Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Minimalist Living: The Closet

Recently, I began to see these small pin sized brown bugs on the baseboards in our Master Bathroom and sometimes in our Master. Ugh! Ick! I was curious as to what they were. So, I did a little digging via the Internet. My OCD self immediately felt like cleaning.

I am still not sure what they might be at this point, but I have narrowed it down to DUST MITES or CARPET BEETLES. 

Resources for Dust Mites:

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/dust-allergies
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20276

Resources for Carpet Beetles:

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Carpet-Beetles
http://npic.orst.edu/pest/carpetbeetle.html

Apparently, my busyness as a mom has resulted in my house not being as clean as I would have hoped. Of course, we do have two dogs (one a long haired Australian Shepherd) and the dog hair alone would be enough to feed an Army of Dust Mites!!! Ick!! I do dust at least once a week, but sometimes it can go longer. I do vacuum my mattress and wash the sheets weekly as well as put the pillows in the dryer. But, it is difficult to keep up with the hair especially with this winter season and the dogs being indoors more than out.  

So, I turned to my new found interest in MINIMALISM. I decided to do what any OCD person would do - Super Clean the Closet and Bedroom. This would get rid of the bugs if that was their source and help organize the closet at the same time. 

Steps to a Minimalist Closet

Even though I do vacuum, the closet hardly ever gets vacuumed. Maybe because it on the other side of the bathroom. Maybe because it is often too crowded with laundry that needs washing. Either way, it was quite dusty in there. 

Do you ever have the conversation with yourself when you are getting ready for an event that goes something like this - 

" I have so many clothes, but I can't find anything to wear!" "This is too big, this is too small." "I LOVE this skirt - why haven't I ever bought a top to match so I could wear it?"

If you have, like me, have this conversation with yourself all too often, something is wrong!!

My Closet Purge Process: 

1. Take EVERYTHING out of the closet and lay it on the bed

2. Quickly go through each set of clothing {Dressy, casual, jeans, etc.} and toss what you haven't worn in ages into one pile. Don't forget the shoes too. You don't really need 5 pair of black pumps. 

3. Make another pile of clothing you need to try on

4. Toss doubles of items into a pile {You don't need the same shirt in every color} 

5. Clean: Dust and vacuum EVERY surface in the closet. Yes, I even vacuumed the walls and the shelves. Don't forget the baseboards, corners, and vent if there is one. 

6. Replace items you are keeping in an organized way (ie. Dresses together, slacks together, work clothes together.....)

OPTIONS TO DONATING if you need additional money to rebuild your wardrobe or a Girls' Night- Clothing Swap Party or Sell them online. 

Things there is no need to keep:
  • Items you haven't worn in at least 6 months
  • Items too large for you {Do you really want to plan on gaining weight??}
  • Items too small {Unless you have just gone on a diet or you just had a baby, keeping clothing several sized too small isn't worth the space it takes} I did honestly lose 20 pounds after changing my diet/exercising and went through several sizes over a time. 
  • Items you no longer need to wear {I was a teacher for 10 years and I have a lot of business clothing that I do not ever wear- I kept some for when/if I return to work, but got rid of the outdated items}
  • Items that are torn, faded or worn out {DO NOT DONATE THESE ITEMS!!}
  • You DO NOT need a T-Shirt for every day of the year (My hubby gets free ones from conferences and meetings and from his job and vendors - we are working on this. LOL!) I love you honey!!!
  • Items with sentimental value (I admit I am having issues with this one as my little man gets older. I find it hard to part with an outfit I can picture him wearing as a baby.) You do, however, need to protect items such as wedding dresses if you do plan to keep them. They will age quickly hanging in a closet. 


Tips for Rebuilding an Efficient Closet
{Resources: 
http://into-mind.com
http://www.missminimalist.com/category/wardrobe/
http://www.houseforfive.com/2013/08/purging-closet-30-piece-wardrobe-free.html 
(my favorite is the last one)}

  1. Items that are classic and versatile - classic pieces that never go out of style 
{White button up dress shirt (short and/or long sleeved), black slacks, black heels/flats, simple versatile blazer, black skirt, Little black dress; Black Cardigan; Colored Cardigan}

SIDE NOTE: When I was still teaching, I semi-purged my closet and gave some of my clothes to a coworker. I didn't like them and I didn't wear them anymore, but they were in great condition. The first time I saw her wear some of them to school - I selfishly wanted them back. Why? Because of the way she created a totally different look with the same items. 

    2.  Items you absolutely LOVE and they go with your individual style 
{Stay away from purchasing items just because they are "in style" - create your own unique style}

    3. Items that are well made and high quality - I often think of how an item needs to be take cared for as well. I don't want items that are hand wash only or dry clean only when dealing with a toddler! But, I do appreciate well made items. 

    4. Seasonal Items
{Great Winter Coat- remember versatility - dress up or dress down, Winter hat/scarf/gloves, Rainy Day Coat with lining for warmth (mine has a removable warm layer lining so I can also wear this as a summer rain coat}

    5. Don't forget to accessorize
{Scarves, jewelry, hats, belts- don't forget that the same outfit can look very different depending on what accessories are added} 

What is the moral of this very winded story on the tiny bugs in our room? 

Purge your wardrobe and build one that works for you - not everyone else. On her blog, House for Five, Demi points out that Pinterest can be our best friend when it comes to planning our outfits. I honestly do this a TON. Pick out a dress or skirt or any piece and then go to Pinterest and see how people have worn that same or similar outfit. I do this and it really helps you to look at your wardrobe in a different way. What used to be your mantra of "I don't have a thing to wear." now becomes, "Oh, that is cute together - why didn't I think of that?"

Examples: The ever popular Maxi Dress (I admit I own 2- one blue stripe and one tan with lace detailing) and Maxi Skirt 

YouTube Video (Pop Sugar): {10 Ways to Wear a Maxi Dress}
You Tube Video (Maxi Skirts) {5 Ways to Wear a Maxi Skirt}

I love this 2nd one because these would all work for a shorter person like me. I find that most Maxi Dresses and Skirts are often too long for me. These tricks would save me the hassle and money for hemming. I admit I have actually worn many of my skirts as dresses before - one huge benefit of being short!! 

The Maxi Dress and Skirt actually fall into the VERSATILITY category as well. Add boots for cooler weather, a jacket, scarf and pare it down to sandals and a beach hat for summer. 


So, go get busy restyling your closet! Just in time for Summer and a new look. Who cares you have a toddler in tow? Looking great is for mommies too. It will make you feel great!! 





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