Sunday, March 13, 2011

Project Simplify Hot Spot#1

When Project Simplify first posted, there seemed to be a long wait before the first hot spot would be announced. But here I am, on the Saturday after the first hot spot was revealed, one day past due date, finally writing about the challenge which I took the "Before" picture on the due date... I guess it explains a lot why I am the the Messy Wife/Messy Mom here!

The first hot spot was our wardrobe and closet or our very own clothing collections. I was surprised by the choice at first, like Tsh anticipated in her post, it was not a common problematic area, not mine at least (or so I thought!) and it was not a high traffic area (so, who is there to appreciate my work ;P ) But I quickly see one thing - I have no excuses for not getting it done: 1. it is my own stuff, not something I need to wait on help or opinion from someone else; 2. it is a relatively small area in the house, more easily done. But still, it took me till Friday to start...

Here is what happened on Friday:

@ 1:30 pm: took "Before" pictures and started picking out clothes that I no longer wanted.

@ 1:40 pm: took out my sweater "collection"
@ 2:00 pm: found more of my clothing in a box...
@ 2:30 pm: 18 months-old woke up to the "in between" scene...
In between scene
Then, I started juggling between finishing the tasks and taking care of my toddler, picking up the school-aged boys, geting them snacks, finishing the dishes, playing with my toddler, etc, etc and meanwhile dealing with my very runny nose... Finally, I had the clothes put away with the give away ones in bags before my husband arrived home.
After - 1st shot
Notice that the mess in the basket is gone and 2 of the coats to the right is gone

@ 8:30 pm: looked for the cable for uploading the pictures... Upon seeing the pictures and the first entryProject: Simplify: Master Closet Results I decided to organize a bit more, retook the "After" pictures.
After - 2nd shot
"nice" clothes to the left, long sleeves casual and then short sleeves T-shirts
and then flip the hangers and took another pictures ;)
After - 3rd shot
hangers flipped :)
And start writing this blog post :) I didn't get the writing done the same night because my runny nose wasn't getting any better. So, I decided to go to bed with some Benadryl. It always speed up the course of my cold.

After Thoughts

Before the challenge, I would not have thought that I have so many clothes to give away... We have moved just 3 years ago and on average we moved every 2 years. Every time I gave away some of my clothes and I did not like shopping for clothes. Yet, I bed was covered with unwanted clothing.
Of course, I need to give credit to this challenge's tips and to the book Organized Simplicity. There were clothing that I kept thinking I would wear some day but never did. Like these sweaters

Some of them were given to me and of very good quality but I haven't worn them even on my thinest days. Even if I could lose those baby weight before the coming winter, I would not put them on. They are just not what I like to wear! Besides, they looks like teenages' clothing to me now. I felt too old for them anyways.

Even though we are now in Southern California, I still decide to keep a few sweaters. These to me are more timeless. I am more likely to put these on when we visit colder places again.
I am glad to see the size of them in the basket, comparing to the before picture above.

In the process, I am also glad to find a women's shelter that may accept my items that may not be acceptable by other charity. You see, I cannot sew but I feel bad for throwing away clothing that can be repaired or repurposed. So, I almost always end up keeping them, thinking that I would repair them someday. But now, they are in my Give pile, except for a few long sleeves... because they are all that I've got. I think I need a few happy clothes to replace them and I am confident that I would hang on to them like I used to.

All in all, this is good exercise for me, both for me to warm up to the rest of the challenge and to understand myself better - I am still hanging onto things in an area that I thought I had always been living simple. I still have a lot to learn...


  1. Hey, you did it! Great job! I like how you did a bit of a time journal for the process.

  2. Thanks a lot! The difference wasn't obvious (the Before and After pictures could be used for "find what's difference" game) There is no one at home notice anything. It is great to have some encouragement on here!

  3. Are you working on paper clutter this week? I have done a good job collecting it in a box...I think I will fill 2 on to the hard part!

  4. Yes, I am. But so far, I have only taken the "Before" pictures... So slow. I am so nervous about putting the paper in a box. I am so afraid that it would be all that I do - once the mess is out of sight, it is easier for me (1) to put new unwanted paper out on clear surface (2) to think that I am done... Perhaps, I would just treat my desk as the collection box which kind of already is!

  5. I have that same fear! Mostly because I already have some boxes/bags of papers that have been around from previous "quick clean up" times. I'm really determined this time not to let that continue! It really only makes my life harder. There's no way I can finish all the paper clutter in my house this week, but I'm going to get as far as I can and revisit it again soon - and hopefully stay on top of it so it won't get worse! I'll be looking for some after pics from you, too! At least try to do one area. :-)

  6. Great job!! I love how you documented each improvement, very awesome! Thanks for commenting on my site so that I could find yours :) Loving it here.

  7. Thanks! Your RVing lifestyle is inspiring. I still have a long way to go in simplifying.