How it all started… THE PURGE

How it all started… THE PURGE

Last year, after a 5 year break from teaching to stay home with my Littles, it was time to go back to work. I reluctantly admitted to myself that yoga pants and tank tops are not work-appropriate, (except on Halloween? Can I be a yoga instructor?) and set about bringing my boxes of old work clothes up from storage. At about the same time, my mom retired and sent me home from a visit to her place with about 2 decades of her old work clothes. And then, of course, I had to make some purchases… teachers get new school clothes too, right?

To accommodate this influx of clothes, I booted my husband’s stuff out of our spare bedroom closet and claimed it as my own. I excitedly pinned beautiful photos in a board I dubbed CLOSET ROOM and set about creating my peaceful, zen-like dressing room. I bought a funky jewelry holder, moved my most prized piece of furniture into the room, found the perfect paint color, and made it exactly what I had imagined. No more off-season clothes storage for me! It was all here… won’t that make life so much EASIER?


You probably already see where this was headed, but my space, although beautiful, was anything but zen-like. It was a newly-painted room stuffed to the brim with clothes from every season of my life (and my mom’s career) dating back to my swinging single days, sparkly tube tops and all. But I didn’t see it….yet.

The school year started, life sped up, and before I knew it, my Pinterest-perfect room was a disaster. There were so many items to organize, fold, clean, consider, put away, and even just to look at. Each item claimed a bit of my attention, time, and energy. One night in Spring I was online, just browsing around when I came upon this article by xoJane. She was describing her quest for a minimalist wardrobe, and was attempting to whittle her closet down to 10 items. That’s not really what caught my attention. What caught my attention was her method. Specifically her first two steps:

Step one: “Confront your closet…start the cleanout by reaching in to grab every piece of clothing that you love.”

Step two: “Examine [these items] to see if a theme emerges.

She continues on, all the way to step 10 to keep up the process, but I was already hooked.

First, I realized that I had very few items that I LOVE. This massive closet room was full, and it was full of things that didn’t quite fit right, or were just not very comfortable, or didn’t really go with anything else… you get the idea. And second, when I pulled out what I actually did love, then that would show me what I was truly comfortable in. It would show me What my style actually IS, not what I want it to be or think it should be. I could take my all-over-the-map wardrobe and hone in my actual style. On ME. On simple.

Here is the kicker. Deep breath. It’s confession time.

That night, I pulled over 130 items of clothing out of my closet and threw them on the floor. I looked over the pile (yes, including the sparkly tube top) and realized there was not a single thing I would miss.

I stepped back to admire my handiwork, and…

I hadn’t even made a dent. 

My eyes had been opened. There was no going back. I have waaaaay too much stuff.

Since that day, I have launched this family on a journey to simplify. It started in the closet, but it is spreading into all corners of our life and we are loving it. As my husband says, “This minimalism thing isn’t just about the stuff, it’s about everything!”  It’s a movement to remove anything from our lives that distracts us from what is most important to us. I’m reading books, reading articles, talking to wise people, writing as I go, and going through a ton of trial and error, and just trying to define this new path of whatever form of minimalism works best for my family. I am so excited to write about this crooked path and our insights and challenges along the way, and I hope that it becomes a place where you can do the same. I know this message of more simplicity is one that resonates with so many people, and I would love to invite you on this journey with us!



8 thoughts on “How it all started… THE PURGE

  1. This was brilliant Megan! I love the idea of trying something new and see where it takes you. While reading this I was picturing the items I really love, and how simple yet insightful that was as a place to
    Start. I can only imagine the organizing going on in your house these days. Please keep writing and sharing your journey.
    Isn’t life amazing all the little unexpected
    Paths you journey down and all
    The fun planes they lead you to?!?!

    • Thanks, Megan!
      Thanks for your comment! It is such a joy to go down these new paths. I used to be all about organizing, but what I have discovered is working so much better. Can’t wait to share it all with the world:)

  2. I love this! I, too, have a room designated specifically for all of my clothes, shoes, swimsuits, lingerie, costumes…you name it. And it is constantly in shambles.

    Your post makes me want to go home tonight and throw everything away. I’ve considered a more minimal lifestyle several times throughout the past year — but something about parting with my clothes (or the memories associated with the clothes) is tough.

    It is encouraging to hear that simplifying has created more joy in your life. Will keep you posted on what happens at the Wolnski house…

    • Addi… I completely understand! I’ll write about this more, but I realized I had so many different reasons to keep each thing, but my logic was off. I have a long way to go in my closet, and the second purge is coming soon… maybe I’ll throw down a challenge! 🙂

  3. I LOVE this! The idea of reaching for only what you love is something I think about every time I pack for going out of town. Why HAVE all this stuff if it never makes the cut? And it’s true, anything extra only takes more time. I’m inspired to go prune my closet even more 🙂 Thanks!

  4. You are speaking my language! I just started reading the life changing magic of tidying up. I have too much stuff and our house is small. The kiddos have way too much and I need to purge! Just need to make the time and make it a priority. I will follow you along the journey !

    • Thanks, Kate!
      It’s amazing how many of us are in the same boat. Keep me posted on how your purge is going!;)
      Another really good book is “Clutter-free with Kids.” Love it!

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