Downsizing: from a Strut-In Closet to an Almost-Step-In Closet

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Remember when I told you that we moved into the bus? I left out some details that I will regale now.

First, when I was in college I lived in this adorable house with my dear friend Nicole. When she moved out, I had this extra bedroom and I turned it into my closet! An entire bedroom to my wardrobe, would you believe it? Each pair of shoes had their own space to strut, every necklace her own hook, and there was so much space! Flash forward six years–where I am happy with my lighter and brighter closet– to my family of three moving into a 35 passenger school bus; my walk-in (as in, you can physically walk in and not much else) closet is the size of my old scarf area!

I had a feeling this would be tough. Cody and I decided to write intentions for ourselves as we move into the bus. We wrote intentions to keep our focus and keep our heads and hearts right where we want them, working together.

Something I continuously notice bubbling up for me is the juxtaposition of keeping sentimental objects to represent a time in my life and refreshing myself by eliminating the old to make room for the new.

Being on the same team stems from the playful game of razzing one another about potentially sensitive quirks we have (i.e. my self-proclaimed innate adoration of shoes, et al.). As does affirming our compassion for one another through the big move in. We both have more things than we realized, and let’s be frank, the bus is a small space for three people! I even joked about dedicating space on the bus proportionate to our body weight, Cody excluded. That was vetoed–quick–as you imagine. But we realize our house bus lifestyle has a lot to do with simplifying our possessions, thus, we are purging, y’all and it hurts so good.

We moved in the big things well within our intentions, helping each other take turns to focus on moving in while the other played with Willa full time. You know how when you move out of a place and you have gotten just about everything (everything you thought was everything), and then you go for the final sweep and inevitably have a “catch-all” box (or three)? We have those boxes all around right now, and I’m in this place: what is sentimental and what gets the boot (like those beautiful leather knee high boots with the delicate ruffle atop the shaft that I haven’t worn all winter because they were in a box under the bus)? I tend towards the boot–that is, giving the ole kick–and getting rid of many pieces (howbeit sweet the sentiment which takes me to a place or time).

A new system I’m enacting now: Seasonal Wardrobe. I have some closet get ups that appear only in Autumn/Winter; some outfits that are for Spring/Summer; and a few that I call Wardrobe Workhorses which make the cut year around. I just took a peek at the new wares for the upcoming Equinox, and let me tell you, it’s like shopping, but (shhh) it’s free. I love this system already.

What I am working on now is giving everything its perfect home, and what can’t find its perfect home just can’t make it. It’s a dog eat dog world. Not every book will find space in the nook. Downsizing is work; but having my things organized in the small space feels really, really cozy.

How do you refresh and eliminate your material items? What do you do with sentimental materials in your life that perhaps you will never wear/use again? Where do you draw the line of what is sentimental–i.e. do iridescent blue plastic-y unicorn charms that you found in the stadium bleachers when you were a teenager and loved (and still do) count as what is sentimental and should be kept? (Joking. I donated it.) Do you allot yourself a certain number of things, do you take photos and get rid of the object, or do you simply let go (go you!), knowing your memory will suffice?

2 thoughts on “Downsizing: from a Strut-In Closet to an Almost-Step-In Closet”

  1. I do not get sentimental about material things…it is only stuff. Following the golden rule set by William Morris works for me: Do not have anything in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful. When something new comes into my home, something else must depart. I love packing a box for donation, knowing useful items and artful treasures will be claimed by others for new life and enjoyment! Thanks for sharing your process…your mindfulness will help someone out there tackle a closet or drawer!

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