Closet Anatomy

Why yes, I do hang my Edwardian nightie up in my closet.  I want to get a hook to hang that empty bag on as well.  I rearranged things so that the line of clothing slants upward to the right, as per Konmarie, which felt really backwards and wrong at first, but now I think I like it.  There is a shelf running across the top, way up out of my reach, holding a small office-sized box of clothes and 4 pairs of shoes I can’t currently wear, but am not ready to part with.  I laid out my favorite necklace to remind myself to wear it more often.

I sorted through all my clothing, from all over the house and threw away a kitchen trash bag worth of items that weren’t fit to give to people with no clothes.  Eye opening.  And I don’t just mean a little stained.  I mean I would be at risk of being arrested for indecency, were I to wear them in public.  At home I would try to layer them so that the holes wouldn’t line up.  I donated a paper bag worth of clothing that never fit or was from another lifetime- one that has nothing to do with my current reality- to charity.  I did not only keep items that I love, as much as I relish the idea of an entire wardrobe composed of outfits I adore.  I’m too pragmatic for that.  But from here on out I hope to replace pieces with great care and that goal in mind.

As it is, I could fit all of my current clothing, all types, for all seasons, in one dresser drawer with ease.  The box on the top shelf is clothing that I wish to keep, but can’t currently wear.  Dresses that I can’t nurse in, outfits that aren’t right for my figure at the moment, but may be again in the future. I know everyone says not to keep clothes that don’t fit, but I think the situation is different for mothers of many.  There are so many phases we go through and from experience I’ve found that my body makes a profound shift around the time my babies turn 2 1/2- 3.  I’m not attached to the idea of reaching a certain goal in wearing them again.  They are just there if I need them.  And if not, it’s one small box that’s out of my way, no big deal.

I would, however, like to cover the box or find a nicer one.  The plain cardboard isn’t aesthetically pleasing and since we haven’t built doors for our closets yet, I see it many times a day.

In that same box are some dresses that I seriously doubt I’ll ever wear again, but they have sentimental value.  I thought the girls might have fun with them when they are older.  I know that as a teenager I used to enjoy mixing my mom’s old clothes into my wardrobe.  It was a fun and funky way to be different and also connected to her and the young woman she was.

And now, where to go from here?  I’ve started gathering ideas for both an Autumn/Winter Capsule Wardrobe and a Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe.  There will be some cross over of course.  I’m thinking 10 pieces?  Maybe? I think I’ll have to live with it and see what works.  Someday I will have an entirely home-made dream wardrobe, but my sewing time is very limited at the moment.  I’m going to try to add a custom piece or two each season.  Does anyone have suggestions on where to find good quality clothing that doesn’t cost a fortune?


6 thoughts on “Closet Anatomy

  1. a little crafty nest

    Oh, Melody, you could be writing this about me exactly…the wish to have an entirely hand-made wardrobe, through the seasons is something I aspire to, as well. And yes to the layering of hole-y clothes to not look so piecemeal….hahaha…so true. I guess I do make a few of my own clothing…skirts are mine, vests and sweaters for sure. I”m working on some pants for winter but I think I’ll be well into late spring by the time I’m finished them as there are other projects taking up my time…as you well know! I look forward to seeing more of what you create!
    xo Jules

  2. Claudia

    My partner and I did the whole KonMari purge of our closets on October (on Halloween, to be exact) and ended up with nine bags of clothing to give to charity and a number of bins to items to sell. We will be extending the tidying & organization to other areas of the home next week (I’m especially looking forward to sorting through my books). I’ve also taken a make/mend/thrift pledge for the year, with an eye to having a wardrobe that is both handmade and expresses my personality (I like to be a creative dresser). Congrats on your closet. It looks great.

  3. Zena

    The Konmari way of hanging clothes sounds wrong but when I look at your clothes hung that way, it looks right. I must try this out. I look forward to seeing your winter clothes actually as we live in a colder region. I am slowly working on a capsule wardrobe too although the house we are renting has hardly any wardrobe space so I can’t even really hang everything up to address them.

  4. Amy

    So nice to see you “KonMari” efforts! I just did my closet and it feels great. Now, though, I have to find the perfect homeschooling mama/feed the chickens/cook all day clothes that I love…. Maybe just a pair of wide legged pants and a cozy sweater.? I too was amazed at how worn my “wear around the house” clothes were!
    Keep us up to date! I am about to attack my paperwork…..

  5. mamaashgrove

    Dear Melody, I just got three patterns for myself: 100 days if sewing dress, pants, and skirt. I think you’d like them!
    I agree about mothers of many and shifting bodily changes. While nursing I don’t lose all the baby weight as many mamas seem to…. Current I am on the bigger side. But I too notice a huge change around 2-3 year ppd, even though I’m still nursing then. I keep things that I am hopeful I will wear again, mostly for my upper half!
    Your closet has a lovely fresh feel. You’ve inspired me to go through my things again (I too have been getting rid of stuff) and thin things out even more. I laugh at myself over things I have had since college… 20 years ago…. Because it doesn’t seem like long ago. I guess I’m becoming an old woman. ;)

  6. Annelise

    I hadn’t realized this book was so popular when I read it, but I’ve been going through the same thing, and it really is eye opening. I didn’t own a lot of clothes, but I had the exact same problem. A trash bag of clothes that weren’t fit to give to people. Bleach stains on the sleeve, holes, stretched out and pilled – I would do the same thing where I would line things up so nothing showed. When I looked at what I liked or not, well. 95% of my clothes I hate or don’t feel good in, but bought because they were the most inexpensive things I could find.

    It was really hardest but most valuable things I learned from that book had nothing to do with cleaning; it made it clear how low I prioritize myself in my household. My daughter is three, and while most of her clothes are used or handmedowns, I take special care to make sure she likes her clothing and take her preferences into account. I’m even teaching myself how to sew and knit, because she keeps requesting dresses and sweaters. Meanwhile, I was wearing literal trash. I feel like it’s an easy habit to fall into as a parent, and it’s unfortunate.

    Those sweaters are lovely, by the way. I love the colors in your wardrobe!

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