After watching Minimalism: A Documentary for the second time, I was inspired to go through my already purged closet. I currently share a regular sized closet so I use the floor and upper shelf to maximize space. I re-organized the floor area using bins to store my jeans and sweaters. Instead of buying yet more baskets, I used toy bins that the girls no longer need. I’ve set aside clothes to donate, and within that I’ve included shirts that I had multiples of in the same colour. I kept tank tops in duplicate colours because tanks are good for layering.
My shoe “collection” is already small but I donated the pairs of heels that I know I’ll never wear again. I now have 5 pairs of high heels – a nude pair, a metallic embossed snake print pair, a white pair with gold details, a black pair and a magenta pair (my favourite pair that I bought 10 years ago). I also have a pair of black Manitobah Mukluks and a grey pair of moccasins, a navy pair of ballerina flats, brown leather ankle boots, and my trusty winter boots. I want to buy a pair of floral print heels eventually, but I’ll wait until I find a pair that I really like. Looking at this list I’ve just typed, I see that I still have a lot of shoes…but that’s all relative.
All of my jewellery has been streamlined too – I have a small vintage ceramic bowl for rings and a hand turned wood bowl that my grandpa made before he passed. I drape my necklaces on the wood bowl and I keep my bracelets in it. Years ago, I found an old picture frame that was my grandma’s (she passed away long ago), and I added green velvet to it to hang my earrings on. I don’t want fancy jewellery boxes, and I don’t need organizers to store “my collection”. All of my jewellery fits on a single narrow shelf amongst my books and momentos that the girls made for me. Now that Ava is 12 she occasionally wears jewellery, and I’ve given her some of the amber pieces that I never wear. I love amber, but I no longer feel a connection with these particular pieces – and she loves them so now they resonate with her. Eight years ago I posted a snapshot of my jewellery at the time – including a bracelet that Ava made me in preschool. My “collection” is still the same size…with a small selection of rings.
As far as bags (I detest the word “purse”), I have a bin under my bed that houses my small “collection” of clutches and shoulder bags. They’re various sizes, and mainly neutral colours – except my vintage burgundy eel skin clutch from the 70’s.
Makeup- I have some. I use it quarterly. I keep it in a bag under the sink, and I have to remember how to apply it every time. There was a time when I wore makeup everyday, and I dressed up and walked in heels. Hell, I could run in heels. That feels like a lifetime ago. My priorities are vastly different at this stage of my life. When I was 25 I would never leave the house without mascara on. At 40 I leave the house and I forget to even look at my face on the way out. Dark under eye circles, and tired eyes – the eye drops that may, or may not, have worked – chapstick enhanced lips, and the everyday hair bun that greets the world – my current uniform. When Christy Clark was the Premier of BC, I met with her in Vancouver for a round table with 16 other parent bloggers. When I shook her hand as I left, I noticed that she had several layers of under eye concealer on…and I thought, “see – she’s a tired mom too”. Despite the politics and my personal feelings towards her decisions as the Premier and former Minister of Education, I recognized a fellow woman who was just bloody tired. But I digress….
Back to my thoughts before the makeup paragraph:
I’ve written before about “fast fashion“ and how we need to make thoughtful purchases. So much of the clothing produced ends up in landfills – and much of it is donated clothing. Every time I donate clothes I wonder if the items will be bought or dumped…and I feel guilt. You know what I love? I love it when Moms who are in need reach out via social media, and items of clothing, household goods and children’s necessities are given directly to a family from the community. I tear up every time I see people coming together to help someone in need. At any moment life can change and we all could be someone suddenly in need.
In the book “Everything That Remains“, Joshua Fields Millburn talks about how being organized with storage is still hoarding. I didn’t think about that before. I can space plan the hell out of any room or closet – that was a part of my Interior Design training at BCIT – but to look at it from another perspective is interesting. If we didn’t have an overabundance of stuff then we wouldn’t need to be “organizing” the stuff.
Throughout this post the word “collection” is encased in quotes because when we collect items to sit on a shelf is this not a basic form of hoarding? “Collecting” has become the “in” thing – from vintage items, to knick knacks that sit behind a glass case, to books that we’ll never read. Stocking things like a store display, to show off to people who come into our homes, and these items most likely don’t get used. They look good though so that’s what’s important. In the end the important things are: how we look and how our spaces feel. Oh wait, I mixed that up, it should be that the important thing is how we feel, and the space outside of ourselves is irrelevant if we don’t have an understanding who we are.