If you’re a fan of “Sex and the City” you’ll undoubtedly recognize the photo above as Carrie’s closet from her apartment. (And if you’re like me you’ll even be able to identify which outfits were in which episodes…) It used to be one of my dreams to have a closet stock-piled with clothes and memories like hers. The teensy-weensy difference is that Carrie’s Chanel dresses and Manolo Blahniks cost just a smidge more than my Forever 21 tunic shirts and Charlotte Russe wedge sandals.

One of the things I’ve been both dreading and dreaming of through this process is paring down my wardrobe. Allow me to explain… It takes me a very long time to pick an outfit in the morning and even longer to second-guess my choices. I have at least 30 pairs of heels and yet I wear ballet flats to my first job and Payless-brand non-slip sneakers to my second. I can’t remember the last time I wore heels, in fact. I own dresses I’ve never worn and shoes I’m afraid to ruin. During one after-Christmas sale at Old Navy I bought the same sweater in 9 colors. You read that right – NINE DIFFERENT SOLID COLORS.

In addition to the sheer insanity that is “nine of the same sweater”, my gluttonous need for closet space has inadvertently affected my living conditions. Anywhere I’ve lived I’ve needed a huge amount of closet space. I have even had to buy an extra wardrobe to store my myriad of clothes when the closet in my apartment is too small. (FYI: To me, “too small” is a double closet of normal depth.)

I have bras I haven’t worn in years and hand-me-downs that still have the tags on them. Due to years of going to a laundromat, I have more mismatched socks than correctly matched ones. (And with my OCD I cannot wear the ones that don’t match. I just hope they’ll turn up again someday like a long-lost puppy.) I have leg warmers. I have banana clips. I have at least 20 non-winter scarves. I have…a problem.

I can admit it. That’s the first step right – admitting it?

Here is a picture of my old closet, just for kicks. I don’t have one of my current closet.

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(Please note that in this apartment I had another closet with almost as much clothing in it too.)

So now that my Tiny House will be here any day now and I’m facing the reality of downsizing, I’m beginning to panic. I’m beginning to panic a lot. Where am I going to put all 18 pairs of skinny jeans? How many of my nine solid-colored Old Navy sweaters can I afford to keep? Can I still have my size zero dress from high school to remind me of how skinny I used to be?

AND WHERE WILL I PUT MY SHOES?

I’ve read about people who have pared down to capsule wardrobes but I think I’m just going to call myself out.

I’ve been a hoarder of a clothes and a shopaholic. It was fun. We had some great memories. But it needs to end now.

And isn’t that part of the reason I’ve decided to live Tiny in the first place? I wanted my life to be more simple, less cluttered, and more about actually living. I want to spend more time outside and less time doing chores. I’m going to digress for a moment but bear with me: Do you know how quickly cat hair gets on clean clothes? I estimate it to be about 1/10 of a second. That shit is everywhere. So the natural conclusion must be that the more clothes I have, the more clothes I have to launder. And don’t even get me started about putting them away.

I think the above reasons illustrate that I’m getting myself psychologically ready to part with some of my clothes. In a way, I’m pumped. But I haven’t yet addressed why I’m dreading this process at the same time.

If you read my last blog post you saw my plans for my Tiny House in 3D. If you are a woman (or a well-dressed man), you likely noticed that I was missing something crucial; I had no traditional closet. Not many Tiny Houses do, and I was convinced I could get on board with this notion.

But then I couldn’t sleep last night because I was looking around at all my clothes, panicking about not having anywhere to store them. This is the first time my Tiny dream has truly scared me. Because it is getting to be so real, I am starting to really stress. As such, I’ve had to make a change to my floorplan. I’m going to move my washer/dryer into the kitchen where I have plenty of storage and take 2.5′ from the bathroom to create a closet. See below:

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I may try to install a pocket door but I also may just leave an open doorway to the closet. I can’t decide yet. I am also going to place the washer/dryer under the stairs, but I’m now wondering if I may change the stairs to a ladder. Happily, that can all be decided later.

I hope this new solution alleviates my fears a bit. Maybe I will be able to do my laundry in peace tonight, with no nightmares afterward.

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3 thoughts on “The End of an Era

  1. Aww, Rachel-I can so relate to your post.Me and my husband and our FIVE cats and one dog moved into a 16 x 24 foot cabin, with no laundry facilities last Fall.I donated most of my wardrobe and only live with 9 of those ugly plastic drawers from Wal-Mart because my Hubby hasn’t built any closets yet.I know it is hard to believe, but I got used to it, and you just may too!.I only kept what I love and what looks amazing.If I buy a new white sweater, I donate the old one.I have two pairs of skinny jeans, some dresses, tops, sweaters, and leggings, and everything mixes and matches.That is the secret.I don’t have much black because of the cat hair, and have one of those roller tape things in my car and by the front door.Good luck-you can do this! I used to be a hairdresser and had an active social life and almost 30 pairs of heels.Now I have none, and I still feel well put together when I go somewhere.My wallet is much fatter now too! Good luck!

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  2. Hi Rachel,

    I think your off-the-bathroom closet is an ingenious and practical idea! It flows with the bathing & getting dressed progress and keeps it all in one place. No need to run out half naked into the main room in case you have company. Plus, you can slap a “WC” sign on the door since it will literally be a Water “Closet” ;^})
    So glad I came across your blog– you are way ahead of me but I’m planning on going Tiny too. Since I have to decide now what to pack and move to the East Coast (what’s worth the shipping fees), I’m realizing I have so many shoes and clothes to cull! Navigating with the Tiny in mind is my true North.

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