Category Archives: Organizing

What’s In Lar’s Downsized Purse

A couple of weeks ago I talked about downsizing my wallet. And, you guys, I did it! I’ve been using just this little turquoise wallet for the past month or so. I’ve never once been caught out needing any of the cards that I got rid of, and my purse is so much lighter than when I used to carry my ginormous wallet(s) around with me!

Because of my wallet success, I thought now is the time to downsize from my tote bag to a real purse-sized purse — you know, the kind that don’t give you back problems and leave you with those purse strap gouges on your shoulder.

I didn’t want to go out and buy a small purse (I don’t own one because in the past I never used ones that I bought — I’ve since KonMaried them), so I used this mini Le Pliage that I found at Salvation Army in Edinburgh for £3 — a steal and environmentally friendly.

The mini Le Pliage is still pretty roomy and not as small as I’d eventually like to carry (this is my dream bag in all its vegan leather glory). But I’m really chuffed that I’ve been able to swing a tiny (in comparison) bag on my arm instead of hefting my tote straps over my coat. I’ve been a successful small-ish purse carrier for nearly three weeks!

Hi, my name is Lar, and I no longer carry my life with me wherever I go! (I seriously feel like I should get a badge for that — no, scratch that. No room for a badge in my now compact-bag lifestyle).

If I can keep this up through the winter, I might allow myself to get that Mat and Nat bag for the spring.

And if you guys are interested, you can see what’s in my bag in the pics below. I keep trying to trim this down, but I use pretty much all of these things every day. What are your tricks, small-purse carriers?

And in my make-up bag there are these essential bits and bobs: 

KonMari Clothing Organization

Lar and I are still riding high from the marches on Saturday, so I figured, what better way to celebrate than with an organization post?

I kid. A little. Ever since starting this KonMari/minimalism journey, nothing gets me as excited as a well organized. . . anything. I’m only slightly ashamed to say that having everything in its place and organized makes me unbelievably giddy.

Over a year ago, I showed you how I culled through my wardrobe that was full of things that didn’t spark joy and reorganized everything. Well, since then, I’ve moved my clothing around a bit and reworked my storage. Now every single item of clothing I own either fits in my chest of drawers (the star of this post), my tiny 1940s bedroom closet, or a small box under my bed for out-of-season clothes.

I’ve been on the hunt for a great dresser for the past few years and could never find something I could afford loved. Then I realized my parents had one that they weren’t using in their basement. If you follow me on Snapchat (AsianCajunsCath), you would have seen my week-long process of sanding and painting the dresser with white chalk paint (I’m telling you, there is riveting stuff on my social media accounts, you’re missing out!).

There are a couple of reasons I love this dresser:

  1. I didn’t have to buy it. You can’t beat a free piece of furniture!
  2. It’s such a classic piece. I thought about replacing the hardware, but I love the curliness of the handles too much.
  3. And most importantly, it’s originally from my dad’s childhood bedroom. That’s right, its first home was in a townhouse in Chinatown, D.C. Decades later my mom painted it and added some beautiful gold detailing too it. Then, last November, I made it less pretty (but more fitting with my neutral decor) and painted it white.

But I digress. This post is suppose to be about organization and not furniture after all. So here’s everything that I fit into this dresser (minus my underwear drawer, which felt weird to photograph and share):

The top/smallest drawer holds my hair things and non-necklace jewelry. My straighteners, combs, brushes, hair spray, dry shampoo, bobby pins, rings, safety pins, and bracelets all cohabitate nicely in one drawer.

Next up is the tote bags, tights and socks drawer. Nothing too exciting here, but I do try to keep things nicely folded and rolled, which is recommended by Marie Kondo. I know it doesn’t really make sense to have tote bags with socks, but I had some extra space and needed a spot for them, so there you have it. And it works.

These are all of my tops that don’t need to be hung up: sleep shirts, weekend shirts, and workout tops. Now that I look at this photo, I’m thinking maybe I should organize by color, but maybe that’s getting a little too extreme. . .

The bottom drawer is filled with bottoms! Pants, that is (or trousers to you Brits!). I find that in my old age the leggings/sweat pants sections seem to be overtaking the jeans section and I’m really okay with that.

So there you have it, all of my folded clothing in one place.

Here’s one questions that I think folks might ask: Do my drawers always look so organized? The answer is yes! Ever since jumping on the KonMari bandwagon, organizing my clothes and keeping them organized has become easier. I have less clothes, so I know there’s room for everything. Plus, I just spend a little bit of time each week doing laundry, folding everything and then putting them away where they belong. There really isn’t any magic to it except the initial hump of purging what you don’t really wear. Also, you know, you have to actually fold your laundry and put it away, but I swear that it’s easier once you own just what sparks joy.

P.S.: For those of you who have been living under a rock have no idea what KonMari, Marie Kondo, or the term “spark joy” is, then I recommend you read this book. Cheers.

P.P.S.: To our regular readers, apologies that the comments aren’t working. Every time I think I’ve fixed the problem, WordPress proves me wrong. I’ll keep working on it and if you have any tips, shoot me an email at AsianCajuns@gmail.com.

A tale of three wallets

Apart from the number of face products I use, I’ve also been a maximalist in regards to my purse. And by purse I mean tote bag. And by tote bag I mean my life!

I’m definitely one of those women who like to carry everything with her just in case. And just-in-casers can not carry small bags because where would you put that hand lotion, hand sanitizer, extra pads/tampons, pain killers, hair elastics, bobby pins, stamps, band-aids, lip gloss, lip stick, lip balm, powder, blotting papers, loyalty cards, credit cards, debit card, coins, insurance card, I.D., bus pass, old receipts, lucky cat talisman, single small googly-eye, mustache-shaped paperclip, 2 still-pertinent and positive fortunes from fortune cookies … Okay, maybe those last few aren’t universal. But you get what I mean.

I have tried to down-size before. And I was totally inspired by Cath doing it (read how she down-sized her purse here). But somehow (again, like my face products), the fewer things I tried to have, the more I acquired. Math isn’t my strong point, but when has 2 minus 1 equaled 65?!

So I realized just recently that things have gotten out of hand. Why? Do you see those two wallets to the left of the turquoise mini-wallet in the pic above? I was using both of those simultaneously. That’s how much stuff I was carrying. I mean who uses two full-sized wallets day-to-day?

It seemed sane at first. I bought the Michael Kors wallet because my office building has a number of security doors with card beepers. Forget your card and you’re stuck in the 4th floor cafeteria when you have a meeting in the conference room on the 22nd floor. This wallet has a handy wrist band and holds my phone, so I could always have my card and phone and be kinda hands-free too. There are slots for a few other cards so I thought great! No more bulky wallet, I just need a credit card, debit card and my office pass!

But then I had to go to the doctor’s one day and didn’t have my insurance card. And then I realized I needed to carry two credit cards because one of them offers me cash back on groceries (aren’t you so proud, Dad?!). I couldn’t fit everything into my spiffy Michael Kors wallet so I pulled out my much-loved and seven-year-old Marc wallet and added that to my ever expanding tote-that-wishes-it-were-a-purse.

wallet-2

But enough is enough! I’m sure, I have actually used the band-aids and the hand sanitizer in my stash of seemingly ultra-necessary things I carry — but not that often. Maybe once a year. So, I bought this cute little turquoise wallet and am going to see if I can handle at least a smaller wallet and then see if I can graduate to a smaller bag.

I mean, I don’t even own a small purse. All of my purses think they are purses because they are leather and not canvas, but cavernous totes they are. I figure this is safe though. I don’t get a bag unless I can live the lifestyle of the bag.

Something to work toward, but I’ll let you know if this just turns into me carrying three wallets instead!

 

Your House Does Not Need To Look Like This

Back in July, a few weeks after Matt and I had moved into our new apartment, this was what was going on in my boudoir (aka the bedroom that also houses my $99 amazon vanity — fancy pants, you know):

old-vanity

There’s a teeny shallow drawer in the front of the vanity that housed all my make-up. I was so proud of my efforts to keep almost everything for my face and hair in the drawer or my storage ottoman that I use as a vanity chair.

I mean just look how clean and white and serene that all looks, right?

bedroom2-new

Okay, it actually looks a little too sparse in the above photo, but you can see the ottoman where my hair do-dads live.

I just loved the idea that most of my stuff was unseen. I don’t like the clutter of lots of little bits and bobs — especially all the different colored labels that come along with them and do not match my neutral palette (except for you, Aesop. You, you do can sit on any surface you wish!).

But you know what transpired after a few weeks of being settled into our new space? I noticed I was leaving all my stuff out — on the floor and on my vanity, sometimes my bed. Because in the morning, when I’m rushing out the door, the last thing I want to do is carefully wrap up my blow-dryer cord and open the ottoman to put it away. And my concealer? Brow powder? No time for putting you away either!

So even though all the beauty products I own can easily fit in my storage areas, it wasn’t working. My bedroom was only clean and clutter free when I had a moment to stop and put things away (you know, like that time when I took the above pics ;D) — and that rarely happened.

So that got me thinking.

As much as I want a space that looks like this:

dreamy

that is not how I live my life. I’m not saying things can’t be clutter-free, but I don’t want a space to not work. And it doesn’t work if you can’t use it the way you really use it.

So even though I initially thought — yeah I totes put allll my stuff away every single day. That was a lie. And I fought against it for months. I wanted to use my space how I thought it should look instead of how I really need it to function.

So I hushed my inner perfectionist (she’s so noisy and bossy most of the time) and decided to think about how I go about my day-to-day face painting and hair doing — and set up my vanity that way.

So now it looks like this:

new-vanity

Yup still neat and tidy, but much easier to have my skincare and most-used make-up items at my finger tips rather than under my bum (that sounds weird — I’m talking about my ottoman storage again).

This also helps me remember the bits and bobs I want to use up. They won’t get lost in the back of my drawer or bottom of the ottoman — which has recently lead me to buying way more overpriced skin serums than one person needs.

vanity-2

So even though it doesn’t look like I’m living with less now, I’m actually less apt to buy more stuff because I see what I have on a daily basis.

This goes back to the pic at the top of this post. I think it’s so lovely and serene, but apart form the obvious styling done we know even the most minimalist of minimalist don’t live like this. When real people sleep there (who are these fancy pants people, Architectural Digest?), they would have a bottle of loud-labeled hand-lotion on their bedside table and cotton balls scattered on top of that vanity (with the teeniest mirror known to womankind) and a pair of pink Target pjs that say “Turnip the Beets” strewn on the bed. Or, you know, the rich person equivalent.

Makeup Cleanout

Hi Dear Readers, so sorry to leave you in the dark for two months. This summer has been busy and not-so-great for me personally. Without getting into details, just know that I never meant to leave AsianCajuns gathering dust and have been itching to get back into blogging for a while. In fact, I had this post partially done in late May and was excited to share it. And since I’m not ready to get into personal nitty gritty details online, let’s just jump right into the post, shall we?

Vanity_beforeandafter

My makeup collection has tripled in the past two years. I blame all the amazing YouTubers out there that make the latest and greatest blush/foundation/primer look completely transformative. Plus, I am always tempted every time I go into a drugstore to pick up a “cheap” lipstick (which is never that cheap and adds up fast, btw).

I started to feel overwhelmed by all the items I had cluttering my vanity (a.k.a. an Ikea desk and makeup mirror). So I figured the time had come for me to minimize my makeup collection.

vanity_makeupsorting

I sorted my makeup into three piles (left to right): items that spark joy and/or I wear frequently, items that were expired and just needed to be tossed, and items that I would give away, give to friends or bring to work.

makeup_organizations

Since my desk vanity was getting so cluttered on the top and my shoebox storage solution wasn’t cutting it, I decided to purchase a Helmer drawer unit from Ikea to keep everything stashed away. You can’t tell from the photo above, but after cleaning out my collection, I had tons of room left over in my brand new Helmer to store other necessities: a couple of phone chargers, essential oils, and lint roller, etc.

makeupbrushes_perfumetray

The only things on the top of my vanity now are my (ahem, unwashed) brushes, perfume, and some jewelry. I know it might still seem too busy for some, but it’s made the world of difference to me. Just like cleaning out my closet, cleaning and reorganizing my makeup has made getting up in the morning much less stressful.

vanity_top_beforeandafter

Since this cleanout happened over two months ago, I’ve been able to keep my vanity looking organized and clutter-free without having to try too hard. I now feel like I really use all the makeup that I’ve purchased over the past year or two and have yet to miss any items I threw or gave away.

Maybe someday I’ll truly join the minimalist makeup bandwagon (using the bare minimum products daily), but I still love playing around with a concoction of stuff and would get bored of wearing the same exact thing every day.

All of My Papers (all of them) Fit in Here

Yep. All of my tax documents, warranties, and other not-throw-away-able papers fit in that blue box and blue folder. The blue folder is for my legal-size papers (mostly house-purchasing stuff). Everything else is in the blue box with plenty of room to spare. The black accordion folder is for work items that could easily fit in the blue box, but I need it to be more portable than the rest of papers so a separate folder is necessary. And that’s it. All of the papers in my whole house.

I spent the weekend sorting and recycling old documents. Here’s what my study looked like at the beginning of the weekend:

papersbefore

My important papers were mixed in with office supplies, tons of crafts, and random stuff that just didn’t have a home.

As I do with every organizing project, I first re-read the chapter in Marie Kondo’s book about going through your papers. She’s pretty ruthless about papers, basically saying that you should get rid of everything except the very few items that you really need (house deed, tax documents, warranties, etc.).

sortingpapers

So I jumped right in. I got rid of all of my product manuals (I wrote down the model numbers in Google Docs for items like my stove and fridge), old vet receipts, medical claims that were super old, credit card statements, 7+ year old tax documents, and other boring, unnecessary paperwork. That was the easy part.

Then came the old letters from friends and family, artwork from college, and my fashion scrapbooks. I’ve kept so many letters from the past because I love letters – they’re so old fashion, and quaint, and proper. Plus, isn’t that what you do with letters? Keep them? Like a Jane Austen heroine. I’m sure Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot kept all of their letters!

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that as much as I love the idea of the letters, I’ve never actually re-read them. I was just moving them around with me from home to home for the past fifteen years. So, what did I decide to do with them? To the shredder! Same with my fashion scrapbooks that I spent hours putting together from magazines in high school. I thought that I would enjoy looking at them after all of these years, but found them pretty boring.

I also got rid of most of my craft items (clay, yarn, tons of different papers, colored pencils, etc.) because I’ve probably spent only about 5% of my adult life really crafting. If that.

Post organizing, all of my remaining crafts, office supplies, and random stuff (travel neck pillow, yoga block, dance shoes) fit into the cabinet. And I was able to clear out so much stuff in the study closest that it now fits all of our suitcases with room to spare!

papersafter

I’m honestly kind of surprised it took me the whole weekend to sort through it all. Grant it, I did take lots of breaks – took the dogs for a walk, worked out, saw a movie, went out to dinner, did laundry, etc. The papers were easy, but it was the letters, crafts, and other nostalgic bits that completely slowed me down. I should have anticipated that, but I didn’t. Nevertheless, I persevered! And now I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Even though I could close the cabinet doors and shut the closet door, I still hated going into my study before this weekend because I knew all of that stuff was haphazardly piled in there.

Papers_beforeandafterv2

Now I feel a sense of calm wash over me when I enter the room. I know exactly where everything is and won’t get annoyed by toppling paper piles.

Before I end this very wordy post, I just want to list a few things that helped me get through the process:

  • There’s a nearby thrift store that I love and always bring my stuff to (it’s Second Life for you local readers). The best part is that they’re open on Sundays. So after I finish a big organization weekend project like this one, I can pack everything up in my car and drop it off. It makes the whole project really feel completely done and then I don’t have to second-guess my give away choices – out of sight, out of mind.
  • My paperwork collection wasn’t too ridiculous when I started the weekend, because twice a year, I go through all of my documents, check the required retention length for each type, and get rid of the ones that are old. I do it twice a year because there’s a local paper shredding event twice a year in Decatur where you can bring bags and bags of your old documents and put them in a giant shredder that can shred everything in seconds. No need to clutter my home with a personal shredder that’ll just burn-out on me.
  • For some of the time that I was sorting through my papers, I listened to The Minimalist podcast. Even though they weren’t necessarily discussing paper clutter, listening to them helped keep me motivated through the whole process.
  • I didn’t worry about having the perfect filing storage system for my remaining papers. The hanging folder box and accordion folder were items I already owned. Eventually, I might get a nicer looking setup or get some better organizing containers for my office supplies, but I don’t really need to.
  • Before starting, I made sure to get all the papers in my house gathered together including the mail on the table near my front door, the fridge (lots of outdated stuff magnetized on there), and the dining room table, which always collects crap.

And there you have it. This post was a long one! If you’ve made it this far, good for you! Now, go celebrate by going through your own paper piles and let me know how you feel afterward.

How many rings does one girl need?

For the last few posts, I’ve been blabbing on and on about how good I am at getting rid of things and learning to live with less. But there are still a few categories of stuff that I have that I just can’t seem to whittle down. Jewelry is one of them.

Jewelery3

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry anymore (though I used to — accessoriessss!), but I can’t give away things given to me. I know the memory of that person is more important than the thing that I have, but that line of thinking doesn’t work for me with jewelry for some reason.

When I sorted through my closet, I did go through my jewelry and got rid of some pieces that I was loath to part with but never wear. I felt very proud of myself — carefully putting the pieces in ziplock baggies so that the Good Will staff didn’t just have a tangled mess to deal with:

Jewelery-goodwill

But I still have way more left over than I will ever wear: my alma mater ring, a pearl necklace given to me by my cousin when I was 9 or 10, a mood ring given to me by my favorite design client, a butterfly brooch that makes me think of friends in Scotland.

Jewelery2

For now I’ll let my collection be and maybe tackle it in the future.I know Cath mentioned how hard it was for her to get rid of books.What do you guys find the hardest to part with and how do you grapple with letting it go?

Does it spark joy?

One of the trickiest parts of trying to live with less, is holding on to stuff for the wrong reason. In the KonMari Method, Marie Kondo suggests holding each item you own before you decide to keep it or toss it. She says if it “sparks joy” you should keep it.

I totally agree with Marie on holding each item and not just standing back and looking at your stuff, but I think the “spark joy” tenet is a bit tricky to follow.

Very rarely do things like electric toothbrushes or spatulas “spark joy” but I do absolutely need both of those things on a regular basis. Another example of things that may or may not spark joy? Shoes!

Here are some of my shoes as an example. See those pretty Rachel Comey silver oxfords up at the top of this post? Those 100%, definitely spark joy all over the place when I wear them or just look adoringly at them in the closet.

But what about these (see below) less inspiring, 4-year-old tennis shoes? These definitely don’t spark joy. Usually when they are on my feet that means I’m sweating up a storm and extremely tired and cranky. So they don’t remind me of good times or give me a feeling of unstoppable effervescence when I clutch them to my bosom. In fact, I feel more “ugh/blegh” when holding them.

shoes--tennis

According to Marie, that means I should definitely keep the silver shoes and donate the tennis shoes. But I can’t very well wear the sparking-joy-shoes while trying to imitate Kayla Itsines (aka, pretending I can do burpees and comandos like a boss lady), can I?

So instead of holding each item and thinking “does it spark joy,” I suggest holding each item and giving it a little more of a think. For example, my poor maligned tennis shoes; though they don’t spark joy because of their utilitarian nature, I am so grateful to have shoes in my closet in which it makes it easier for me to (pretend to) do burpees and squats. If something does not spark joy, does it nudge your gratitude?

I mentioned this in my closet clean-out post, but another example of sorting practical, non-sparking items is my simple white cami. This cami does not spark joy as it is incredibly unflattering when worn alone, but the lacy top it allows me to wear sends off fireworks of joy, and for that I am very grateful. Thank you, cami.

A final example if you are still finding this whole getting-rid-of-stuff tricky, take these slim looking Gazelles (below). I bought them because I had visions of me looking very fashion-editor-off-duty in cropped pants and long wool coat. I bought them for a ridiculous sum and they hurt my feet worse than any pair of heels I’ve had to break in. But I persevered because Pinterest had me believing I too could look like this.

For many reasons, I did not look like that when I had the unyielding Gazelles on my feet (not least because I might have been grimacing in pain). And, more importantly, it didn’t feel like me at all. I love the a sporty trend, but not so much on me. So as hard as it was to let them go, I did – hopefully to find a home with someone who holds them and slips them on their feet and it makes them feel like magic!

Shoe-walkaway

How I clean out my closet

Okay, I know those two photos don’t look dramatically different, but I promise it made a huge difference to me! Also, for those of you that have been following AsianCajuns for a while, you know that I KonMaried last year (and Cath did too) and, in the past five years, I’ve moved overseas (and then moved back stateside). Both of those processes means that I have far fewer clothes than I used to – I had about five times the amount of stuff in 2010 than I do now.

So all of that is to say, please don’t be discouraged looking at these pics if you are thinking that your closet is so much larger and has so much more. I was there too! And you don’t need to move overseas or take six years to pare down your closet.

I’ll walk you through my process of cleaning out my closet, and I followed these same steps when I had five times the amount of stuff. The biggest difference is that now I’m a pro at following them. So, these steps seem like common sense (and they are), but I’ll give you my tips and tricks along the way that make things so much easier. 

(p.s. Before I started to tackle my closet, I spent a week daydreaming and pinning my ideal closet – read last week’s blog post here. This really helped keep me focused during the day I sorted through all my stuff).

Mound-of-clothes-v2

Closet clear-out steps:

  1. Take everything out of your closet and lay it on your bed (so you might have to clear your bed first — I did) and on the floor. I put all my clothes on the bed and my shoes and purses on the floor.
  2. Give your closet a good dusting and vacuum or sweep the floor.
  3. Now let’s look at our ginormous mound of stuff spread out all over your room (don’t panic — I promise it will get better before we’re done). I started with the stuff on my floor because I couldn’t comfortably get to the bed without tripping over my shoes and purses mound.
  4. Now here’s a great trick from the Kon Mari method. Hold each item in your hands and really look at it. I know that sounds silly or unnecessary, but I swear this makes all the difference. Because there is so much stuff on your floor, you will be tempted to just glance at stuff and say “oh I know I want/wear/love that” or “I’m gonna just toss all this stuff.” Rash decision making, my friends. Don’t be tempted. Hold each thing and give it its due. This totally changes how you think about your stuff. Marie Kondo suggests to ask each item if it “sparks joy” but I don’t think it has to amount to joy. I think of each item and how it makes me feel. Even if it’s a boring white cami that I have no attachment to, I know it goes under my favorite lacy white blouse which I love, so it feels perfect (but does not strike joy on its own). I’ll be doing a post next week about the idea of “sparking joy” because I found that the hardest of Marie’s tenets to follow.
  5. After you hold each item and really evaluate it, put it in one of three piles: keep, donate or maybe. Holding each item and really thinking about, should keep your “maybe” pile pretty small, but if you need to come back to an item because you’re truly conflicted, that’s what the “maybe” pile is for.
  6. Like I mentioned, I started with all my stuff on the floor first, made my piles, and then started putting the “keep” pile back in my closet. I still had all the clothes on my bed to sort, but I find breaking up the process helps prevent decision-overwhelm. Once I had put all my shoes and bags back in my closet, I had a break. Breaks are important. Don’t let that scary mound of stuff on your bed make you rush through. The more thorough you are and the less hangry you are, the better decisions you’ll make. So take a break, eat a snackypoo and guzzle some water — preferably in another room where your mound-o-stuff can’t watch you.Floor-v2
  7. Okay, watered and fed, let’s tackle the bed! You know the drill now: hold each item and sort into your three piles. If you haven’t done so already, put all your “donate” items in a large bag so that you don’t mistakenly mix your piles. If you need to take a break part way through, definitely take a break. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed again, remember to think back to your ideal closet/wardrobe. Refocus on what you want and how you actually live your life now.
  8. Put all your “keep” items back in your closet. I highly recommend grouping things by color and type. I know that sounds really anal, but I swear both steps make such a big difference when getting dressed in the morning. I hang my clothing mostly by height going left to right: skirts, tees and blouses, dresses, sweaters and jackets.
  9. Now, let’s look at that “maybe” pile. You’ve given these guys some time. Hold each item again and now you must chose to put it in the keep or donate pile. My maybe pile consisted of one item (in the past, there have been much larger maybe piles), a very sensible black cardi that was Cath’s. It’s great for layering and more importantly I hate to give anything away that was Cath’s (because she lives so far away and I miss her — sob!), but I didn’t really like the way it looked on me or made me feel. I felt frumpy and rumply. So ultimately I shushed my sentimental mushiness (it likes to rear its head whenever I do any sort of clear-out) and the black cardi went in the donate pile.
  10. Any items your kept from your maybe pile, put those in their proper place in your closet. And guess what? You’re done! Pat yourself on the back, do a happy dance and plop yourself down in front of your closet and gaze in disbelief at the serene scene before you.

Goodwill-bag

Lar’s Inventory

Cath and I are both making long lists of what we currently have in our closets. It’s a way for us to see how much we already have and to evaluate if there is anything else we might need.

As we’ve mentioned in this post, our goal is to learn to live with less and switch out quantity with quality.

We know that looking at itemized list of what is in someone’s closet isn’t the most thrilling read, so we aren’t including the lists in our posts, but we do have them on a separate page on the site. We’ll be updating the inventory page as we subtract and add (a wee bit) to our closets.

There are many areas of our lives that could use pruning, but we thought it would be easiest to concentrate on our closets first.

A heads-up on my list, over the past five years, I have gotten rid of most of my wardrobe. I had roughly three times as many clothes in my closet in my 20s than I do now. And this process didn’t happen overnight. I’m a pack-rat at heart and sentimentalize everything — even a pair of socks. But once you start, I promise that it really does get easier.

One thing that did surprise me, was how long it took me to write an inventory of every piece of clothing I own — stuff really does add up and the process makes you realize how much you already have. If you are joining Cath and I on this journey, let us know how your inventory goes and if it’s an eye-openner for you. I think it works as a great cure any time you get itchy shopping fingers. Just look back at your inventory list or start one, and your credit cards will let out a sigh of relief.

I plan to go through my closet this weekend and see if I can whittle any more bits out of it as well as figure out what I need (if anything). I’ll be posting updates in the following weeks, so stay tuned if you’d like to know my closet-clearing process.

Cath already has a plan of action for her closet — check back this afternoon to see her post.

closet