I’ve put off writing this post because even though I’m super excited about completing the challenge of ridding my home of 365 excess items in 6 months, this last session is tough to write about.  I’m just going to dive in and get it over with!

Most of the time when people try to get their homes organized, they start with their closet.  Many professionals will have you start with a closet.  The idea being that a closet is a small, finite space.  You can tackle it in a shorter amount of time than a room and feel accomplishment right away.  When you are trying to get organized those small victories make it easier to keep going.

So, you may be wondering, why I have neglected my closet.  It’s certainly not because I wear everything in there!  Here was my problem:  where some people have “fat clothes” that they hold onto for times when they are slightly heavier, some people have “skinny clothes” for when they lose weight and some have both, the sizes in these cases often are just a size or two different.  In my case those sizes ran from 16-28!  I have actually worn all those sizes in a two year period!  I was on a year long weight loss program where I lost 100 pounds.  Not only did I fit into my “skinny clothes”, I blew right past them.

So that doesn’t really sound like a problem, just get rid of the bigger sizes.  BUT- (and this is the part I’ve put off writing about) I have put back on a great deal of that weight.  When I removed the larger sizes from my closet, I vowed I’d never wear them again.  I only kept them because it was fun to see the boxes pile up.  I’ve always hated buying new clothes when my current clothes got snug because it seemed like rewarding myself for putting on weight.  But the truth is, I never really rewarded myself with new clothes when I lost weight either.  Finally I took a long hard look at my wardrobe a few weeks ago and thought, “This is silly.”  My clothes were snug and I dreaded getting dressed in the morning, meanwhile I had boxes of clothes in my room that fit, but I refused to wear.  That’s just crazy!

I thought long and hard about this.  I could diet.  I could exercise more.  But I wanted to stop dreading getting dressed in the morning.  I want to be able to get dressed now.  I want clothes that fit me now.  I have enough stress in my life without causing more over my wardrobe.  So here is what I did:  I went through every box (and there were many), I went through my entire closet and every drawer in my dresser and I kept only what fits me right now!  I got rid of the “just in case” undergarments, the stockings with runs and every item that does not fit me right now.  And it took a long time!  Days and days!

But the result is that I can now pull any item out of my closet or dresser and put it on at any given moment.  It is so freeing!  Look at all the empty hangers in my closet:

All the empty hangers! (Pay no attention to the unfolded mess on the shelf- that’s my husband’s area. The choice to fold or wad is entirely his.)

 I remind myself daily that though I can no longer fit into a size 16, I am also no longer a size 28.  And if I am ever either of those sizes again- I will buy new clothes.  The most important thing is that I can get dressed in the morning without dread and it did not cost me a penny.

I just could not force myself to count every item as I boxed it up.  It was a LOT.  Here are the boxes of clothing to be removed:

7 large boxes full of clothes being removed from our home!

Each of these boxes contains more than 20 items- even the one that has a winter coat in it!  But if I conservatively say that each box has 20 items, plus the small box with a pair of boots in it, the total number of items is 141.  Add that to the 256 items removed as of the Ultimate Room Cleaning Showdown and that makes 397 items removed from our house!  Ta da!  Challenge complete.

It was really hard to write about my weight issues, but if my being honest helps one other person get dressed stress-free in the morning, then putting it all out there is worth it.

So, how are you doing?  Have you accepted this challenge?  Where are you at in the process?  I would love to hear from you.

Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?

I think people know me by my curly hair.  When I was little it was just like Shirley Temple.  Lots of tight curls.  In grade school, my hair was really long and all one layer and that ended up pulling a lot of the curl out.

In 8th grade, Monica Frank and I both had long straight hair.  We both decided that we were going to get spiral perms for the 8th grade dance!  I was very excited to have long curly hair!  I made an appointment and went to the hair salon and the stylist was convinced that my hair was naturally curly.  She urged me to trim a couple of inches off and my hair would boing right back to natural curly goodness.  That did not happen.  So she urged me to trim off “just a bit more”, so I did! No curliness!  Once my hair was no longer long, the stylist gave in and permed my hair.  Then I looked like a poodle!  I was so unhappy!

Sometime in high school/college my hair’s natural curliness returned on it’s own, but I was no longer ready for it!  I wanted smooth, flat hair!

My long, curly hair in 2011 before I donated 10 inches to Locks of Love.

My long, curly hair in 2011 before I donated 10 inches to Locks of Love.

It took me until I was about 30 to finally make friends with my hair.  I still fight the frizzies all Summer, but my hair and I now finally get along…well…except for those grays…

Another post brought about by Daily Prompts on The Daily Post.

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

Obviously, there are lots of things that smell good to me:   chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven, a brand new baby, fresh brewed coffee, but the scent that feels most comforting, most like home is the smell of rain on warm pavement.  It is the smell of comfort.  It smells like summer.  It reminds me of being a kid and also of playing with my own kids in the rain.

When I catch the scent of rain on warm pavement I remember having a conversation with my dad as a kid about how we both thought that was the best smell.  The photo below is from when my youngest was a baby.  My three boys and I all went out to play in the rain.

baby in the rain

Playing in the rain

This post came about because of a fun new website I found called The Daily Post.  I am linking to their Daily Prompts.