September 8th, 2014

Are Clothes and Shoes Taking Over My House?

I have noticed patterns in my life when multiple changes happen in a short period of time. In 2001, I moved to Little Rock, started a new job, bought a new car, got a dog and got married all within in a six month period. In 2007, my mom died, I got divorced and withdrew from law school within a three month period. The 2011/2012 years were a period of significant emotional transformation for me as I adjusted to the death of my brother and a new role at the agency where I’ve worked since 2001. My year of “yes” was 2013 when I over-committed to volunteer opportunities, travel opportunities and career growth opportunities; it was a fulfilling but exhausting year and I don’t regret a minute of it. Now it is 2014 and in a six month period, I have added a third dog to my family, gotten engaged and am planning my wedding, am preparing to become a step-mom and am working through plans for an addition to the house.

And it is the addition to the house that is the subject of my thoughts this evening. The plans have been drawn and the contractor has completed his estimate. Enter the bank. Of course our tastes are more expensive than our credit line can handle. So my we had a serious conversation about what we really needed and why. The conversation landed squarely on the need for more closet space. To be fair, we need more space in general and we are about to be a family of three in a one bathroom house. But the closet has been our biggest pain point.

Approximately six months before my soon-to-be husband moved in full time and his seven-year-old daughter moved in part-time, I turned the guest bedroom in my house into my closet/office. When they moved in, I changed the room back to a bedroom — this time a little girl’s bedroom — and my closet moved to temporary quarters in the garage and free-standing clothes racks in the master bedroom, knowing that we were planning an addition to the house soon. Here are some pictures of my guest room turned closet:

2013-10-20 10.59.53
{a closet dedicated to boots}
2013-10-20 11.00.24
{bedroom turned closet/office}
2013-10-20 11.00.34
{bedroom turned closet/office}
2013-10-20 11.00.43
{bedroom turned closet/office}

I was disappointed to give up this bedroom-sized closet and have to walk to my garage each morning to “shop”  for the day’s shoes. But it was okay because I was (and still am!) in love and knew it was only temporary. Now as we discuss the needs vs. wants for the house addition, when the closet comes up as a “need” for the addition, I am questioning my addiction for clothes, shoes and bags. I love style and fashion, and really do believe that “presentation is vital and how you say it can be just as important as what you say.” But can I do it with less? I am already working to slim my collection by selling select items on Threadflip (shop my closet!). To that end, I am contemplating a “uniform.” Vera Wang does it (and argues that Jackie O did it), Steve Jobs did it — as have many others considered creative “geniuses.”

I haven’t found my “uniform” yet, but I know that too much time and energy and frustration have been going into my morning dressing routine. It is time for a change. Not only for my morning sanity, but because I don’t like the idea of my life decisions being dictated by the load of my clothes.

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