So, I don’t have a dressing room in my new apartment*. It’s a challenge every day, since I love being able to spread out (“Hey, it’s been awhile since I’ve baked any cakes, why not store my sweaters in the oven!”) and I love to accumulate lots of things (“Yes, I’m sure this perforated raincoat will work perfectly on some rainy day without rain! I’m keeping it!”)
So now I’ve got to make it work with two small closets and a dresser.
I’ve had to totally retrain myself and it’s been happening in three phases…
Dumbfounded when I saw everything that had piled up in my old apartment (I had just dedicated a tiny room to all my shoes and bags) (two more years and I would have ended up turning the elevator into my “belt cabinet”) (the neighbors would have understood what it’s like to be a poor little fashion girl, right?) I had to come to terms with the facts – I could either rent a storage space or I’d have to get rid of 70% of my clothes.
Since I was in the mood to lighten up, I decided to get rid of everything.
So I started by setting aside everything I wanted to keep.
Then I made a pile of everything I wanted to sell.
Then I made a pile of everything I wanted to give to friends.
Then a pile of everything I wanted to donate to the Red Cross.
Then I took the pile of everything I wanted to keep and started the process all over again.
Three or four times.
Until what was left over would actually fit into my new apartment.
Honestly, it was a big deal and pretty emotional. You get attached to your clothes, it’s crazy!!!
I loved having my friends over for long sessions of trying on clothes. My mom and her friend came to visit just at the right time, and both of them ended up leaving with three extra suitcases.
I even gave them the suitcases, in fact.
I had accumulated about a dozen of them.
Once I had totally skimmed off all the excess (it took about two weeks, you know – it’s a huge job) my wardrobe had taken on a new color. Literally. I had pretty much only kept neutral colors (gray, white, beige, black) (which have always been my favorite), a few colors (red, pink, green, blue), a few prints, and finally, very few super fashion pieces.
I realized that everything I’d bought in fashion monster time, I had only worn maybe two times. Considering the price I paid for them and all the traveling I could have done instead, I think I’m cured now, thank you very much.
I also saw I’d made some amazing investments too. My Saint Laurent bag that I’ve worn every day since I bought it. My beige Stella coat, my Valentino ballerinas, my Céline blouse. And a bunch of things I love from Zara that have stood the test of time.
I had to make a winter pile and a summer pile (I never used to do that before, I used to say “But there are no seasons anymore!!! I wear my tee-shirts in the winter anyway!”) and that also helped me to figure out what I actually needed right away, and what I could store in boxes under my bed for later and take out as soon as it got chilly.
So now I sleep ON my clothes. And I sleep well ;)
Putting it all together
I have to say, I’m totally into decorating my new place right now.
It’s kind of taking the place of clothes – searching for a couch is definitely my new life goal – especially since I had to adjust really quickly this summer and think about what I actually wear compared to what I buy. And now I have zero desire to go back to how I was before – completely buried in clothes.
So now that I have to think about every square inch of storage space, every time I’m about to buy something, I ask myself what I’ll have to get rid of to make room for it.
And that’s really, really changed the way I dress and the way I buy things.
I buy less, and I get rid of things I don’t wear without even blinking.
And this weekend, I realized how much I’d changed without even realizing it. When I was packing for fashion week (I’ve only got two suitcases now – I gave away five of them), I organized my trip outfit by outfit.
I hadn’t really ever done that before – I always preferred to stuff as many things as possible in my suitcase, telling myself I’d figure it out when I got there and that “I dress according to my mood, so how could I possibly plan outfits in advance!” but that’s exactly what I did this time**.
I took photos of each outfit and only brought what I really needed.
The result? Two super light suitcases (I didn’t even have to sit on them to get them to close!!! No overweight baggage fee!!! No need to buy another suitcase to bring back all the stuff I bought!!!) (Yeah – that’s why I had accumulated so many suitcases and $20 duffel bags) And that’s when I started to wonder…
Was I going to end up naked by the end of Fashion Week?
Ahahahah. We’ll see.
So what about you? How do you deal with limited space at home? Do you have any tips? Do you sleep with all your clothes under your bed too? Is it easy for you to get rid of things?
* Which is kind of a transition apartment, if you know what I mean, but really super nice anyway.
** How do the “personal style” bloggers do it? That’s the question I’ll never find the answer to.
Translated by Andrea Perdue