Before you go jumping to conclusions, no, I did not recently join a nudist colony. Not to offend any of our potential nudist readers, but that’s just not really my thing. Not even if you had asked me two babies ago. In fact, I’ve always been pretty into fashion.
I love the idea of self-expression. Project Runway is one of my all-time favorite shows. Having a huge walk-in closet filled with pieces to fit any mood or style has often been a fantasy of mine. But even with the probably hundreds of garments that I own, I was constantly finding myself standing in front of my closet exclaiming, “I have nothing to wear!”
As pathetic as it may sound, getting dressed could literally send me into a panic attack when my anxiety was at its worst. First world problems, am I right? I was frustrated. It was a stupid problem. A t00-much problem. And that’s not the kind of problem I want to have. So, rather than go through all of my clothes and decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to trash (which I have already done so, so, so many times, clearly to no avail), it was time to get serious.
I put it all away. I left out two pairs of jeans, a pair of leggings, two cardigans, and that was it. Then I dragged my husband and kids to the mall and got five of the same shirt (but in different colors, because that’s what they had) and committed to wear only those things for three weeks, ending on my birthday.
This was going to be so challenging. Everyone would notice. I’d have to explain myself over and over. I was going to hate how I looked. It was going to be so boring wearing the same thing every day.
Wrong. False. Nope. Nada. Not at all.
In fact, it made life SO much easier. I loved it.
It was absolutely freeing to take away something that used to occupy so much space in my closet, time in my day, and stress in my life.
I could quickly get ready in the mornings, even with my two toddlers running around doing all of the crazy things that toddlers tend to do.
Until it happened. My husband (who is super loving, and always does the laundry, and is just generally the best) accidentally shrunk a few of my shirts in the wash. And I had already achieved my goal of reaching my birthday, and the holidays were coming up, and I’m REALLY good at justifying things, so out came the wardrobe monster again.
To be fair, maybe it was unrealistic to go from a vast, versatile, closet to a tiny microcapsule wardrobe all at once. But I found myself back in the same rut that I always end up in.
Then I stumbled upon a new organization method where you literally have to take everything that fits into a category (clothes, books, papers, etc.) and gather it all together to sort through it all at once. I called this the Laundry Mountain Project. Now, this included my husband and my children’s clothes as well, but I kid you not when I say that the pile on the living room floor was at least as tall as I am, and I’m no shrimp.
It was tedious. It was frustrating. But I went by the method of only keeping things that bring joy, and in the end, it was again, surprisingly freeing. I still own much more clothing than I’d like to. My goal is to get down to about 50 pieces (I probably still have about twice that) but I ended up donating or trashing over TEN bags of clothing. TEN! I AM NOT KIDDING YOU.
It is a wonderful, weightlifting thing to get rid of stuff that doesn’t bring you joy. My house is literally ten trash bags lighter. And after all, stuff is just, well, stuff.
So if you’re curious about the capsule wardrobe trend, struggle to find something to wear, are desperate for a simple “mom uniform,” or are just plain frustrated with getting dressed, don’t give up! There’s hope! And if all else fails you can always move to the nearest nudist colony.
Any tips for an ex-clothing hoarder? Let me know how you handle the closet clutter in the comments!