Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Make Room: Challenge One, Part One: The Clothes

Oh, I am so excited. I applied --and I was chosen!-- to be a member of Melissa Micheal's launch team for her new book, Make Room For What You Love. (Yes, it's an affiliate link! My first.)

I joined Melissa's 5 Week Make Room Challenge. You can too which is great because in my efforts to keep house over the years, I've found that doing it alongside kindred spirits has been so helpful. I hope you'll join me. It's open to everyone

This week, it's time to focuson the Master Bedroom. First, to switch the seasonal clothing (Part One) and then do a bit of spring cleaning. (Part Two). (It's a looong post, folks, sorry.)

But First: Background.

As most of you know, I don't have a lot of clothes. I wear a uniform of sorts to work (just so I don't risk getting paint on my everyday clothes) and I don't need much.

But even so, it's unbalanced. There are odd gaps and entirely too many of other kinds of things.

Last fall, as a way to get a handle on what to wear, I paid Alison Lumbatis to send me a shopping list and 21 outfits coordinated from that list. Then, I spent a mad few weeks trying to buy what was on the list. (I posted about what I wore for a couple of weeks. Week 1, Week 2.)

I considered doing the same thing for Spring, but it is more expensive this year...and what with the exchange rate on the dollar, I thought I'd pass.

As a bonus to the package I bought in the Fall, I did get the shopping list and outfits from the Spring of 2015. So, I used that to help me figure out what to keep, what to let go and what I might want to add.

After all--that's one of the reasons to let go of things, right? To make room for new.

So, one evening, I emptied out my closet and my dresser.

The Closet.

I worked from the door to the wall (so, right to left).

I tried on nearly everything. I used one of Melissa's questions: Would I buy this again?

I made the following piles:
1) too small (S)
2) donate/consign (D)
3) give to my daughter. (D)
4) pack away for winter (W)

First up: Cardigans.

I have 6. Six! It's absurd.

And they are all black or dark blue or dark grey. Blech.

Two cardigans were exiled to the "too small" pile.

I kept one I was iffy on because it was a gift from my Mom. It's awkward to wear (it is essentially a blanket in poncho-type form), but I decided to give it another year.

So, I left myself three plus the poncho thing. 2 black and 1 dark blue. I really wish at least one of them--maybe two--were in a fun, happy colour, as my Spring List suggests.

Party Jacket: 1

Black and sheer. It's one of the things I bought last fall and it'll be fine to wear out and about. Like so:

Vest: 1

My fur vest from the Fall shopping list? Obviously winter wear. However, I think I'll try and consign it next fall. It was fun...but extremely silly.

Tunics/Shirts: 10

3 Flannel shirts
2 collarless shirts, one black, one striped
1 burgundy tunic
2 jersey knit tunics, one "snakeskin," one black
2 sleeveless T's. One Eileen Fisher, white linen, 1 black and white plaid.

From the Fall shopping spree, I have two flannel shirts that I did not wear nearly enough. I absolutely love them!

But it isn't flannel wearing season anymore, so those have gone to the hamper to be washed. I gave another thin plaid flannel to my daughter.

Somehow, the collarless shirts survived the Great Purge of 2015. This time, the striped one went to donation and the black to the "too small" pile.

I put the sleeveless Eileen Fisher linen tank top in the "too small" pile, even though it fits. I found it extremely hard to clean. I'd like to consign it, I think.

Here I am wearing it in the summer of 2014 when I bought it. I was much thinner then than I am now.

I lent the plaid tunic to my daughter. I love it.

2014, again. old glasses.

I broke up the two long sleeved jersey knit tunic tops from H&M.* I put the snake patterned one into the donate pile, and kept the black, though I suspect it'll be too body-con. I also have a lovely burgundy light weight long sleeved tunic blouse. It's good for all but the hottest (and coldest) weather. It stays.

"Fancy" Tops: 2

A long sleeved top with a silver threaded center panel and a tank top made with sequins (shown above).
They stayed.

Pants:  10
2 pairs ponte knit pants, 1 grey, 1 black.
5 pairs of jeans. 1 dark wash "skinny" ; 2 boot cut, dark wash (same one, two different sizes); 1 white, NYDJ; 1 burgundy.
1 pr black leggings
1 wide legged yoga pants, black

Let's see, my 2 pairs of ponte knit pants are clearly winter wear and joined my flannel knit tops.

Of my five pairs of jeans, three; the NYDJ (I could cry), and two dark wash ( skinny and boot cuts) were too small and so exiled with the sweaters. So, I was left with a pair of boot cut jeans and the burgandy jeans. That left my leggings and sweat pants, which stayed.

Not in my closet, and, I had, in fact, forgotten all about them, are a pair of flare jeans I bought as part of the Fall Challenge. They need to be taken in at the waist, so, I removed them from the closet. I loved how I looked in them, though, and they fit, so I just may resurrect them for Spring. Full length jeans are too hot for me to wear in the summer.

I do have to wear the right height heel for them to work.

That gave me a few hangers!

I brought out the box of summer things I keep under the bed.

Blouses, tanks, shorts, tees and a pair of pj's. The warm weather essentials.

Blouses: 4 (all sleeveless)

All of my summer tops except one are sleeveless--and it didn't make the cut. I really need more short sleeved tees!


I've never worn it, but I'm sure I'll wear it someday!

Long sleeveless summer dress: 1/1

Closet Count:

Cardigans: 6 before/4 after (2D)
Fancy dress jacket: 1/1
Vest: 1/0 (1D pending sale)

Button ups/tunics/Tank: 9/2 (2W, 3D, 2S)
"Fancy" tops: 2/2
Blouses: 4
Cami/Tank: 1

Pants:   10/5 (2W, 3S,)
knit pants 2/0
Jeans: 6/3
Leggings: 1/1
Sweat pants: 1/1

Long sleeveless summer dress: 1/1

The Dresser.

Time to put away the little space heater, too.

I made short work of my dresser. Only two drawers (middle and bottom right) were of concern: one holding bulky sweaters, and one holding lighter knit tops. Three long-sleeved jersey knit tops stayed in the drawer. I had a short sleeved burgundy T-shirt, but I didn't like the way it fit, so I gave it to my daughter. I kept an old sleeveless black T shirt--I like to clean house in it!

My jersey knit turtleneck was packed away with my four sweaters and I donated a heavy knit purple turtleneck.

same tub as before, now packed with essentials for winter!

I put my two pairs of shorts in the sweater drawer. (I need more shorts!)

Dresser Count:

Turtlenecks: 2/0 (1W, 1D)
Bulky winter sweaters: 4/0 (4W)
T-Shirt, short sleeves 1/0 (1D)
T-shirt, long sleeves: 3/3
T-shirt, sleeveless: 1/1

Shorts: 2

Wow: that's 30 items. That seems like  lot to me. And yet....not quite enough.

Here's the closet, after:

Hmmm. Rather dismal.

Donation Pile:*

Alison's Spring list would have me purchase some light and bright coloured shirts, but I looked on-line and ran away from the prices. I think I can manage without.

But I do need/want to purchase at least one more pair of shorts (black) and two pairs of capris (dark wash denim and white). (Fortunately, I can source those locally, but still, pricey.)

I'd also like a few short sleeved tops--maybe 2 or 3? Plus shoes. And that should do me, I think. Well, OK, I just might get a pair of culottes--to go with my sequined top!

Many thanks to Melissa for inspiring this switch over! I've read about half way through the book, Make Room for What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing and Simplifying and I'm happy to say I love it! (Yes, that's another affiliate link. The second.)

*Also, I want to mention H&M's fibre recycling program. You can take any clothing or textile in any condition whatsoever into any of their stores for recycling and re-use.

Be sure to catch Part 2!  Have these posts delivered right to your inbox!



Anonymous said...

As always, love your writing and sharing! I was thinking- since you like the plaid for winter (and it does look great!), have you considered gingham for spring/summer? I like a gingham oxford with sleeves rolled up for all but the very hottest days (paired with shorts of course). Just wanted to share what's worked for me (in the Midwest).

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks Sarah! I had that thought too. I took a look at what Land's End had available (where I got my fab plaid) and they were all out of gingham in plus. :( I bet you look cute in your gingham!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...