on christmas morning, i reached for a neatly wrapped nordstrom box, and inside was the following letter: “megan, it’s time to get organized. we challenge you to get rid of 100 things—check your closet, trunk, storage unit, and the garage for potential items. we’ll pay you (in the form of a plane ticket) for pieces you purge. and as preschoolers often say, it will be ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy.’ xoxo, mom and dad.” cue a heavy sigh. and feelings of guilt and utter agony. how could i possibly get rid of 100 items? (i know, i know—i sound pathetic.)
with #konmarimethod trending on social media, following the release of the netflix-made show “tidying up,” organizing my wardrobe has been front-of-mind. (if you’re unfamiliar with konmari, it’s an organizational approach, developed by marie kondo. the five stages are outlined in her book, the life-changing magic of tidying up.) my mom bought me a copy, and i’m already a few chapters in!
tidying my closet
one of my favorite quotes in the life-changing magic of tidying up—“when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” i began my declutter journey a few weeks ago. i was completely dreading it and quickly realized how badly i needed to tidy up.
unlike the konmari method, i decided not to take everything out of my closet—i thought i might never put it all back LOL! instead, i started with hanging items—jackets, sweaters, blouses, and dresses. i made several piles for unwanted items, including those i wanted to consign, donate to goodwill, or share among friends. (i love gifting unworn clothing to my coworkers, and this particular pile grew quickly.) i tried to embrace marie kondo’s mentality: “does this item bring me joy?” if i hadn’t worn something in 6–12 months, it was time to say, “goodbye.”
after i moved through the racks, i shifted my focus to items in drawers. i have a small dresser and several built-in drawers in my closet. i have a separate dresser and storage bins throughout my bedroom. my t-shirts, pants, and workout clothing is folded in drawers. i continued to get rid of items that hadn’t been worn for some time, and i have to admit—it feels good to downsize! thus far, i’ve gone through my closet, trunk, and our garage. (i need to clear out my storage unit but have not yet had time to do so.)
a few noteworthy tips when purging—look for trends. (and no, not “trendy” clothes, but trends within your closet.) for example, i had nine pairs of black leggings. even if i wore leggings daily, i wouldn’t need nine pairs; i donated six. another tip? ask for help! one of my colleagues—a dear friend—graciously helped me tidy up. she folded donations and helped me hone in on items i truly enjoy. lastly, if you’re hesitant about getting rid of a particular piece—perhaps it was a gift or is sentimental in nature—create a “maybe” pile. give yourself a deadline. if you haven’t worn the maybes after a pre-determined time, it may be time to let them go.
i kept track of everything i removed from my closet; i filled several donation bags and sold a few pieces at my local crossroads trading. (i received $70 in exchange for dresses, tops, jeans, and boots.) my count is strong at 150+ items!
the goodwill challenge
throughout my purge, i was in communication with my dear friend and fellow blogger, jenn. amid the tidying, and due to an influx of donations at thrift shops, jenn and i thought it would be fun to participate in a goodwill challenge: could we put together an entirely thrifted outfit for less than $50? (jenn and i are avid thrift shoppers and soon planned a trip to our local goodwill.)
while $50 may sound like a moderate budget, it quickly proved difficult. we loaded our carts with tops, dresses, jackets, shoes, and accessories. the dressing rooms were crowded, so we chose to try on our selections in front of a floor-length mirror. (this allowed us to provide feedback to one another and collaboratively track our items’ costs.)
first, i found the green faux-fur vest. it’s originally from topshop and priced at $24.97. while this felt like a steal, the vest alone depleted half my budget! i was determined to make it work, and with jenn’s help, i put together the remainder of my #thriftedootd.
my thrifted outfit
and now, a quick breakdown of my look: topshop vest ($24.97); h&m dress ($6.99); zara heels ($19.99); crossbody bag ($2.99) = $54.94 (+ tax)
unfortunately, i did not stay under the $50 limit. (this is the story of my life.) however, i came close. i tried to be mindful of what i brought home—after all, i’m trying to minimize items simply taking up space in my wardrobe. this was a fun challenge, and i think i was successful in choosing pieces i’ll wear again. while my dress is too short for the office, it will be perfect for a date night or other event. i’ve also worn my vest and heels multiple times!
photos by jenn from hello rigby
pop over to jenn’s blog to learn more about her thrifted look! she stayed under the $50 limit—i’m impressed. and not only is her outfit budget-friendly, it’s incredibly stylish! i look forward to our next trip to goodwill. =)
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