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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Permission To Purge

Welcome to the Fall In Love Linky party!

Back in August when I originally wrote about my desires to fall in love with a house I hated I thought that the issue was the house. Guess what? It wasn’t. How do I know this? Well, I’ve been cleaning and decorating like a mad woman in my desire to banish the dislike and it has not been working.

The deeper I dug into closets, shelves and bookcases the more I began to realize that the issue is not with the house. The issue was with me.  

So what brought on this epiphany? My master bedroom closet. It was a disaster. But for some reason I have been avoiding the urge to purge it with a vengeance. It would seem that denial is just not a river in Egypt.

You see I watch “those shows”. The ones that tell you to rid your closet of anything you haven’t worn for a year, etc. But here’s the thing, giving up those clothes basically means that I am accepting the fact that I am not living the life I dreamed of.

What??? Ok, let me first ask you a question. Do you ever buy or hang on to clothes because they represent a life that you wish you were living instead of the one that you are?

Pinned Image

That was me.

You see when I started design school six years ago I began buying cute little suits and high heels to prepare for the life I thought I would be living.

I did everything right. I graduated at the top of my class. I created a portfolio which featured over 60 satisfied clients. I did everything except prepare for a downward spiral in the economy.

There is an old Yiddish quote that says “We plan, God laughs”.

I think the key to laugh through life is to be flexible. To roll with the punches. But this sometimes requires that we change out of the cute suit. 

Glam up your closet

So, I now have several darling Anthropologie tops, Ann Taylor suits and a few Kate Spade pumps that need to be photographed and put onto Ebay. It’s getting done today.

My closet now has 34 empty hangers. The space no longer resembles a woman trying to wear a dress three sizes to small.

It feels good to no longer be chained to an idea of what I wish I was wearing.

I am now ready to accept new ideas.

Have I magically fallen in love with my home? Well, no. But that’s because I am trying to live a French Country life in a Southwestern casita. But that is an area I am not willing to renegotiate on.


The woman wearing mom jeans




Kelley said...

Laura, I am sooooo there. (Excuse me, did you video me here in Manila this week?!)

We have a walk-in closet here in the Loop. Believe me, am I ever grateful. We could have what the other two bedrooms have-- about a foot-long closet pole. VERY different here in the PI.

But I announced to hubby, "If your clothes don't fit on your 70" pole and my clothes don't fit on my 70" pole, we get rid of something." And BOY! Have I been getting rid of somethingS.

On to the shoes. Forget it. I'm not even going there.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

We just moved and while we have a great sized closet, the organizer that's in it just isn't working for us, Laura. I've got our shoes lined up against a wall because I have no idea where to put them in there! I'm thinking I need to tell hubby that we need to adapt this closet organizer to OUR needs. The one we had in our old house was set up that way and there's no reason this one shouldn't be too.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Love these ideas Laura! We did a major closet purge (we went from having 2 closets for us adults, to having 1 medium sized walk in closet!) and so far I am ok with it! :):):):):):):):):):):) said...


We are in the same place once again. I have been busy sorting through my closets repeating the words: keep, sell, donate, toss. {Due to the lack of storage space in old houses, this is a ritual I go through every season.} I LIVED in power suits and heels. It's over-rated. I have friends that hold on to everything -- clothes they've had for years and ones that don't fit. If they ever do fit in the clothes again, they will be out of style. Embrace the life you are living!

Your Friend,

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

You are my kinda gal, Laura! What a revelation! I think your lightbulb moment comes to most of us at some point. We can't live our dream every moment. But our attitude to find joy and meaning and worth and excellence just where we are is so attainable and so real!
We can all take a lesson from what we consider to be wildly successful individuals who live desperate and empty lives! It is not the success that makes us happy~ there is no such thing as "living the dream" in the real world, but happiness comes from the things we have right in front of us!
YOu are a smart one, Miss Laura! I should be more introspective! I have closets of things weighing me down too! Thanks for the great inspiration and sweet wisdom.
You must be the most beautiful women in your MOM JEANS.
xo Yvonne

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Are you peeking into my closet? I JUST purged this summer! Like you, I still had designer suits and other articles of clothing, from my corporate America days, that I knew I would never wear again. Being at home everyday, it just doesn't work with my lifestyle anymore. This was a great post!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I've been doing sort of the same thing, though my clothes are not as elegant--they have just been held onto for too long! When I see the same blouse I wore in a photo when my daughter was a tot and she is now in college--it's time to let go! Your post inspired me to attack my closets & drawers.

Linda said...

Ha! You should see our one and only walk-in closet that not only serves as a place to hang all of our clothes but also the Christmas/Birthday gift collector. I just said to Jim, the other night as I worked in the closet, throwing hangers out into the bedroom in a fit of rage, that the next time I watch one of those HGTV programs where people are looking at new homes and complaining about the "lack of space", I'm going to personally write them and tell them how spoiled they're acting. True. I said that. Not so sweet, but that's how I was feeling. All across America, in our small town at least, people make do living in tiny 800 - 1200 square foot homes. It's what we could afford. Not what I necessarily wanted. I'm grateful it's affordable. But yes, there are THOSE moments (look out for the hangers!), where I just wish we had a TINY bit more closet space. Jim just said that I have TOO much clothes. True enough, probably, but I love each and every piece and even still I asked for a few more pieces for my Birthday and Christmas. What to do.... install more shelving and rods for hanging! ;)

Kelli @ The Turquoise Piano said...

We just moved so I got to clean out the closet (and the rest of my house). It feels so good to purge, even if it's a big step. Thanks for hosting!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Well, I don't know about your closet or those clothes, but I think the woman wearing mom jeans right pretty great! Your dreams will come true...some things just have gone on hold for a while.

Designs By Pinky said...

I am right there with you and have been slowly doing the same thing. I have clothes in....are you ready....4 closets!!!!!!!! THAT is insane. I ahve been purging too and giving away. I love my empty hangers! I learned a very valuable lesson as a young girl. The man that my Aunt worked for was a multi millionaire, had a beautiful family who all had anything they wanted. EXCEPT his son committed suicide. So, we never really can live the dream. That is why it is a dream. But making the most of what we have is the goal. XO, Pinky

Jeannine said...

Thank you for sharing your struggles. I am in the same boat as you. Sort of. I got the old college degree but never had a plan in mind. This season I am trying to focus on what it is I want to do to accomplish what I need to do without hating me and life.

Really Rainey said...

That's a great post... talk about a reality check... or like in a movie I just watched... "check yourself before you wreck yourself." Everyone should re-assess themselves once in a while. Stay on course or change course, depending on the compass of change and keep a weather eye on the horizon to stay grounded.


Debra @ Common Ground said...

Let's don't even talk about closets. I have to redo all of mine and I don't have the courage yet! xoxo

Vicki said...

34 empty hangers?! Good for you! Now you can buy some clothes that fit your current lifestyle and that make you feel good. Then, when your life shifts again, you can let them go and repeat the process. I think our closets are one of the worst things in our lives for making us feel stuck in a certain place. Our lives evolve as our experiences increase. We should seize the freedom for our clothes to evolve with us!

Blondie's Journal said...

I purge my closet once in's very hard for me to give up something that I haven't worn in year because sometimes I do get the urge to wear things that aren't the current trend. And who is to say that blazers won't come back in style for example. Most of the things I pack up are the items that say "Why on earth did you buy me!!" lol!

Great post, Laura...very funny, too!


The Boston Lady said...

Well, Laura, I still haven't tackled my closet - too overwhelming, but I give you a hug for coming to terms with reality (except for the house, of course). No one could have predicted the mess the economy is in, but I am a big believer in rebounding and I am sure you are going to have your chance to put your degree to work and show the world that side of you. Ann

Sue said...

Oh I need to purge my whole house, but...Man I just need to do it. I can't even tell you 3 of the 100+ things that are in my hutch. I haven't looked in there in I don't know how long. I think sometimes we look around and it just seems overwhelming. I personally just need to do one thing/item/room a day and then maybe by the end of the year I could be done.

On a side note, I thought your blog was called Decor to Adore, not Decor to Abhor or did you change it because of your falling in love with your house again. I just noticed the change the other day and it made me wonder.

Love your posts and you are giving me inspiration. Thanks

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

In some ways you wrote this just for me. Not for the same reasons as yours...I like my house (although I'd much rather it be in the south than in Illinois) and my clothes actually are right for my life, so it isn't about dressing differently. However, I'm not living the life I want to be...I just don't know what that would be. For many years I knew what I wanted...these days I don't. I guess it keeps us from getting too comfortable?

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

You are so funny! What you said is so true though...I have been a stay at home mom for 8 years yet I refuse to get rid of some of my old work clothes and suits. I am sure if I put them on, they would seem quite dated but I still hang on to them for some reason! Oh well... your post was adorable!

Karen said...

I very much enjoy your Halloween title. I come by every day just to look at it. Thanks for the joy in my day,

Stitchfork said...

Ha - my closet is laughable. I'm still in the denial phase and will have to follow in your footsteps.
xo Cathy

Destiny said...

Well, my closet is another story, but yes, I do tend to keep tops that I used to wear in my showstopper singing days LOL I performed at casinos, etc. and have lots of glimmery, glitzy outfits - perhaps it just reminds me of a time in my life where I was free and still had dreams to chase. Who knows! I am trying to love my house now...I'm finding that the more I purge, the more I like it...too many knick knacks (as lovely as they may be) can really be more of a distraction! Thanks for sharing your story today!!! Happy Fall! ~Destiny

TRay said...

Wow, Laura! I'm declaring this is one of your very best posts.

Love it, love it, love it & you, too!

Your pea

Mandy said...

Good for you Laura! You can't change the just look forward to the future and someday you will see what God was/is teaching you. I know so many people who have lost their homes...aren't you glad you have one? Do I sound like your mother? :)
I enjoy your blog and I linked up! Come visit me some time.

Alexandra Rae said...

Love this! I so relate. I constantly re-organize rather than purge. But last summer I could take it no more. I purged all my old, furniture, accessories and clothes that were clogging half my garage and closets. The old flea market finds I thought I spend hours refurbishing...Not with my schedule. I had to face the fact that most of it wouldn't fetch much at all on on ebay--if I ever even got around to selling it. But as is, those things would be useful to some. And the clothes (suits, party dresses et al) would better serve some less fortunate person who has next to nothing and truly needs a suit. So I donated that stuff to charity. I felt such huge relief. I feel lighter and freer. Plus no more looming projects!!

Dear Lillie said...

Love all the inspiration. It is definitely making me want to clean out my closet which is a total disaster! Your blog is beautiful! An following now.

Debbie said...

Scooch over, Laura. I'm joining you in that closet. I'm that way about a lot of things in my life lately. Now, I'm a pretty good purger, but I have the problem with the closet. (Part of the problem is the yo yo body that needs 17 sizes of the same black pants, but I digress...)

I am really REALLY struggling with not living the life I want to live right now. I think I need an attitude purge.

Becca said...

Beautifully written post ... I think we all have clothes that are for the life with thought we'd be living or think we might live again! Thanks for inspiring us to go through our closets and clean house! And, thank you for hosting a wonderful gathering! *Becca* (now following) ...

Bloggymom said...

I am doing the same thing with my entire house... yestreday was room #1. I am being totally honest with myself and purging everything (almost everything) that hasn't been used in a year.

I am denial regarding my clothes closet the most-- I am just not as skinny as I used to be and I just can't say good-bye to my old self and embrace my new self.

French said...

Perhaps it's a good thing the schedule is so crazy, because I am not sure I could tackle cleaning my closet! I have so much stuff that I wore all the time in NYC but looks comical here, or else the weather is too warm here to wear it! Thanks for the inspiration, Laura!

Liz said...

Awe... kind of a bitter sweet post. I get it though. :)