50 Days Happier: Wardrobe Accomplished

So excited.

I’ve finished my wardrobe reduction.  While I wasn’t keeping count, I am pretty positive that my wardrobe is about 30% – 40% of what it used to be.  More importantly, it’s better organized and composed only of things I will actually wear.  After getting started and setting some clear rules and guidelines, this really wasn’t difficult at all.  I’m glad a started the challenge with something so “doable”.  Now I have some momentum for what comes next.

Here’s what I learned from going through this process.

Now if something falls of the hanger, it’ll hit the floor.
  • I still have a lot of clothing. When I look at the huge piles of clothes I will be throwing away and donating, I feel as though my drawers and closet should be nearly empty.  This isn’t really the case.  I still have plenty of clothes. Obviously, I didn’t really have a sense of just how much weathered and unworn fabric was cluttering my dresser and closet.
  • I now have room to maneuver.   You are going to think I am a little nutty, but after the clear out, I just kept pushing my clothes back and forth on the rack…because I could.  I opened and closed my drawers over and over to see neatly folded piles with space around them.  Being able to actually SEE and reach my clothes is more satisfying than I realized it would be.
  • I gained some storage. A wonderful bi-product of going through this process has been the opening up of some storage space.  I’m now able to store my hand weights, foam roller, and resistance bands in the closet.  Previously they were conspicuously propped up in the corner of the living room.  Both spaces are happier now.
  • I might make a little money.  During my sorting, I found that I was able to add a fourth pile to the throw away, thrift, and gift piles. The added sell pile, while small, ended up being a larger than I expected.  Making even a few bucks would be some sweet icing on this cake.
  • I’ll have to change my laundry habits.  One thing a big wardrobe lets you do is put off doing laundry.  I’ve only been at this for a couple of days, but it’s clear that I am going to have wash my laundry more often to keep things in rotation. The upside is that I wont be doing as much laundry at a time.
  • I may keep going. Though I am really happy with the results of the clear out, there are still a number of things I kept because I was unable to make a decision.  Once I live with my newly trim wardrobe for a while, I will reassess and see if it makes sense to hold on to those things.
  • It’s one-in one-out from here on.  I plan to run my closet and dresser like a packed bar from this day forward. If something new comes in, something old’s gotta leave.

 

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50 Days Happier: Day 3 – Back to the Wardrobe

Today I made some headway on the things I started on Day 1 (the wardrobe reduction) and Day 2 (the doggy sofa).

With my t-shirts and hoodies done, I moved onto my loungewear.  This, I am told, is the fancy term for “drawer full of sweatpants and athletic shorts”.  If you read the Day 1 post, then you know I have a bit of a problem with holding on to grubby stuff.  The problem was twice as bad when it came to my sweats and shorts.  Using essentially the same set of rules, I virtually emptied the drawer in just a minute or two.

Since I had already undertaken the project of throwing away partnerless socks, sad undies, and bras whose unwires succumbed to the mighty bulk of my breasts a few weeks ago, the dresser was complete!

I was time to tackle THE CLOSET.

I really wanted to post a “before” picture of my closet. I really, really did. But I could not.  Because it was THAT embarrassing.  I will paint a mental picture for you though.  The floor of the closet is covered by two duffle bags and some old boots.  The duffles are stuffed with clothing, though I honestly have no clue what’s in there.  There is a shelf in the top of the closet where I store my luggage and all of my pants.  The pants are “folded” and look something like a cresting wave, frozen in time right before it crashes.  When I open the door, I gently push the pile back so stave off the avalanche for one more day. Hanging on the left side are two of those hanging canvas shoe racks.  These appear to be full of shoes, though I do not really remember the last time I put shoes in or took shoes out of these devices.  Finally, my clothes are tightly packed into the remaining space. I mean TIGHTLY.  As in, there are several garments that have come off of their hangers, but haven’t made any progress toward the floor.

I decided to tackle the pants and the hanging clothing today and leave the duffle bags and shoes for tomorrow. To be honest, this wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be and I even think I’ve found some things I can sell.  My wife, who has a side-business selling vintage clothing, tells me that 20 years old is the cut off for “vintage.”  I will just fess up and say that there are some vintage items I removed from my closest that were not vintage when they went in.

Three piles are growing. From front to back: throw away, thrift, give to someone you know.

After wrapping up the wardrobe work for the day, I got back to working on the doggy couch.  I was sure that I had some leftover cans of spray paint in some basic colors–maybe white or black or gray.  I did have leftover spray paint, but the only options were chalkboard, metallic copper, hammered metal copper, and a brushed metallic color called “champagne nouveau”.  Yeah…I don’t know what happened there either. I grabbed two colors that I thought might work, but ended up going with the copper.

Though the “champagne nouveau” sounded alluring, I went with the copper.

The sofa required a little bit of taping and masking.  Didn’t take too long.  I dragged it out to the front yard and hit it with a coat of paint.

Ready for paint.

With the copper done, I turned my attention to white accents.  I grabbed a big tube of white project paint and way too small of a brush and started on the back of the sofa and the trim long the tops of the arms and the front edges. This will definitely take some more time to finish, but things are getting close. Tomorrow, I’ll finish the painting, make the monster some blankets and cushions, and post some photos!

 

LAST: 50 Days Happier: Day 2 – Reuse it Already! >>
NEXT: 50 Days Happier: Day 4 – Wardrobe Accomplished >>

 

50 Days Happier: Day 2 – Reuse it Already!

I believe in the potential of materials. So much so that I commonly hold onto things–scraps of wood, broken furniture, discarded pallets–with the faith that I can and will make use of them. I honestly don’t find this tendency to be problematic in itself.  In fact, it’s a really enjoyable way to engage my creativity and my commitment to live more sustainably. The pile up of materials, however, is a problem. When I don’t get around to utilizing all the materials I collect, my house, basement, and back yard start looking like a workshop…or a junkyard.

Today, I tackled a project I have been meaning to work on with my stepson–a desk addition to the loft bed I built him a couple of years ago.  Miles has been slowly earning components for a custom built gaming PC (sort of a motherboard for good grades scheme).  All of these computer parts have just been siting in a pile. By building the desk, we’re not only getting rid of some back logged building materials, but also decluttering a corner of the house.

The desk plan (snuck a summer math lesson about right triangles in there)

Ever in search of educational opportunities, I had Miles help me to take measurements and draw up a plan for two triangular brackets and a custom fit desktop.  A couple hours, breaks, and snacks later, we finished.

We’ll be cleaning it up and adding some details, but the new computer desk is more or less complete.

After looking at the scraps from the desk project, I decided to start another project that I have been thinking about for a long time.

Scraps from the desk build.

I have an amazing dog who happens to be elderly and paralyzed from the middle of his back down. When he’s not in his cart or my lap, he spends a lot of time on the couch in the living room. This is non ideal for a couple of reasons. A fall off the couch would be really dangerous for him. Our family likes to use the couch and he takes up a remarkable amount of space for a 10lb dog. And, as you can imagine, he’s not the most “continent” animal in the world.  For whatever reason, sitting on the floor doesn’t work for my little guy either.  I suspect it’s something about lines of sight or fear of getting trampled. Whatever it is, the floor gives Kielo massive anxiety.

I have long had the idea to make Kielo a small little personal sofa  for the living room, and saved a piece of a old, broken knock off mid-century end table just for that purpose.

This used to be one of those two-tired end tables.
As you can see, it’s not the greatest condition.

I cut the scraps to size and added them to the side of the table as arms or guard rails for the little man and then headed down to the basement to find a piece of scrap to use as the back.  For all the random crap I had down there, there weren’t a ton of options.  I ended up grabbing a left over piece from when I build a triangular shaped corner cabinet for my computer.

Used this piece of scrap wood for the dog sofa back.

Everything went together pretty smoothly.  Tomorrow I am going to rummage through the spray paint in the basement.  Hopefully there’s something I can hit this with that will look nice with the living room (at least nicer than this scrap wood collage).

Now all it needs is a coat of paint and some blankets and cushions.

Though the custom doggy sofa is far from done, I couldn’t resist giving it a little trial run.

It looks like a throne because it is.

 

 

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