Project Simplify: The Closet…

Well I know I love Simple Living Media and inhale their blog posts faster than they can publish them… and they are having a Five Week Project Simplify..

project simplify

Well I decided that I am so happy with my 52 Weeks of Decluttering with the Organizing Junkie… that I wasn’t going to get involved… not a bit of it. I would stand clear, turn the other cheek, not even glance. And then Project #1: was clearing out our closets. That’s my own personal closet… I don’t normally clear out my stuff, just everybody else’s. So I fell for it, couldn’t help myself!!! I knew it would take about five minutes!!! And someone did ask about our closets the other day. So… here’s the closet:


Here’s the thing when it comes to clothes I am a bit of a minimalist… just a tad!!! Keep in mind we have a two bedroom home and eight kids. Keep in mind that we live in Cape Town and on every street corner there is someone asking for clothes or food or anything, really. We live very close to the world of poverty and it is hard not to notice it tumbling over into the world of relative wealth. We just don’t keep extra clothes because I know that there is a whole township full of people down the road from us, whose shacks burn down with monotonous regularity, people who barely earn a living wage and have kids to clothe and school and educate. So, while I don’t giveaway nearly enough and I certainly don’t donate everything… My conscience can not justify having more clothes than we do.


So this is my closet at it’s absolute worst… it is a bit of a dump zone. A box jammed with precious artworks, two empty body shop jars and my secret supply of wet-wipes – if I leave them out then they get eaten by the wet-wipe monster. And behind the box are my clothes and one or two toys I may have removed from the mix because they were driving me nuts!!! What can I say a mother needs her space!!! As for clothes… Well that was easy enough to clean out because I am a firm believer in owning clothes that actually fit. And since my body has rearranged it’s shape drastically every other year for the longest time I never have clothes longer than a couple of months in my closet. Also my body never seems to revert to its original shape!!! So there is no point in keeping clothes for when I am either pregnant or not pregnant again because what was a great fit probably won’t ever be a great fit again… Always in my head is: if it doesn’t fit someone else could be wearing it. I make sure I have a pair of jeans and a pair of leggings that fit well and a handful of shirts that can be worn in different layers… When I have worn an item till I can no longer stand it then I pass it on. It might sound extravagant to pass clothes on as soon as I am done with them but I know I am not going to wear them again. So if I don’t love it I don’t keep it. Seriously: Do you love it or not…


So removed the items that didn’t really belong there and dropped three t-shirts and a pair of jeans into our donate box. And I can hear you saying… what about the winter… well I have a hoodie for when it’s cold…


The only thing that really confused me was the two pairs of socks… since I live in ancient flip flops. Why do I need socks? Well everyone needs socks, so I kept them. Indulge me with my two pairs of socks!!! And I think maybe it’s time for some fresh flops!!!


I know I am not the world’s best dresser – lets not go there!!! But I can sort my clothes closet in about 5 minutes and the entire families clothes takes me about half an hour… sift out what isn’t worn, neaten up and done… I do it every couple of weeks so it doesn’t become too big a job. So how does it work? Everybody has a pair of jeans, a pair of trackpants and two pairs of shorts. Everybody has about four t-shirts and one sweatshirt and one fleece top. Everybody has a couple of pairs of undies and socks. That’s it… Well the father person has enough shirts for work for me to leave them at the laundry for a fortnight and my girls have a rack of pretty dresses that they mostly get gifted with and can’t be parted from!!! Anything more and something has to go out, there just isn’t space.


Thank goodness for a warm climate. And a full load of laundry every other day!!! And that is Project Simplify for this week!!!

22 Replies to “Project Simplify: The Closet…”

  1. LOVE your project simplify! Your simplicity is inspiring. You seem to have your priorities in the right place. I found your blog after you left a GREAT comment on Pioneer Woman’s homeschool site and I’ve enjoyed reading! I loved the root veggie windowsill garden! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hay Denise – Great to meet you!!! I love Pioneer Woman’s Homeschool, it is so great!!! So glad you stopped by and are enjoying our blog!!! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

  3. I love hearing about how few clothes you keep. Good job! I really struggle with this and feel like living in the United States makes it more difficult because it is just not the norm to be so minimalist about clothes. Yet, I really need to simplify in this area! We just have so much dirty laundry all the time! I’m inspired now, so watch out closet, here I come!

  4. WOW! I agree, your simplicity is really inspiring and makes me think twice about the extreme excess that we have here. Our laundry is out of control, and I know its because we have way too much!

    I also can’t imagine life without socks, ha ha! Even in the summertime here I often wear them day and night! Brrrrr, cold feet!

  5. Oh KM we had a week of organizational lul!!! And we needed it – I am good to go a few thousand miles!!! Hope you have a fun week!!!

  6. Hi Rebecca, So glad to inspire you!!! It really helps to live in a first world/third world country… it just keeps the perspective on “getting” a little under control!!! Have a fun organizing week!!!

  7. Hi Kristin, Thanks for stopping by…yup those socks had to stay, Hope you have a great week with your family!!!

  8. Hay Aunty Muffin – It just never stops!!! We are always donating and there is always more stuff to put in the donating box!!! See you soon and lots of love!!!

  9. I’m so impressed and inspired that you live in a 2 bedroom home with 8 kids. We have 3 kids in a 1 bedroom in Manhattan. We are constantly cleaning out and decided what we really need.

  10. I’m blown away by how you can fit 10 people into 2 bedrooms, but while I was trying to work that one out I cleared out my laundry cupboard and have a load of bedding to donate. :o)

  11. Oh Kiasa don’t be impressed – It’s home and as our family has grown so the walls seem to have expanded for us. It is the perfect spot close to a great beach and we couldn’t be more content!!! We love it and it works for us!!! Yes we are constantly decluttering as well. We have have learnt the saying “people before things” by living it!!! I think I will write a post on why I never ever want a bigger house!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  12. Hi KT I am so happy to have helped you to clear out the laundry cupboard!!! Anytime you want to clear anything out just ask me!!! Our house is not tiny by any means, it isn’t a squash and a squeeze and as I said to Kiasa I must write a post on why I never ever want a bigger house… watch for it it’s coming… not this week but the next – most likely!!! Meanwhile happy organizing!!! Have a great week!!!

  13. Oh my goodness, a timely post indeed for ALL our closets that have become jam-packed with North American generosity. At least there is a spring break coming up for a good old clean-up. Wish I could send a bucket your way to hand out. Maybe I should!

  14. I had to jump in and let you know how pleasantly surprised I was to find your entire blogpost in my Google reader subscription. I hope this isn’t just a fluke, but a change you’ve made.

    I absolutely love your blog and would love to never miss a post, but the reason I subscribe through Reader is that I really don’t always have to the time to wait for the individual pages to load on the several blogs I follow. So, I would often miss out on your posts. I am really happy now.

    To keep the comment current, I was pleased to see your minimalist approach to clothes. I follow it too. AND, I too live in NY where this is definitely not the trend. But people just accept it after a while…. and it makes life so much simpler, imho.

  15. Hi Jacki!!! Good to hear from you… I hope you are getting a bit of Spring and sunshine!!! I always think to call you on a Sunday and then realize you guys are probably busy… and the week wanders on!!! Hope you are doing great, lots of love…

  16. Oh Inca!!! I am so ashamed!!! I have one reader that has asked me about partial posts and I had no idea what she was on about… Anyway… after reading this post on Life your Way I knew it was time to learn!!! So partial feeds are gone forever and I continue to learn more about blogging everyday!!! And so nice to meet another minimalist dresser… I had no idea I was until I saw the decluttering that was going out there!!! Talk about the week of awakenings for me!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  17. Hi Sherrin… GReat to hear from you… we also had a successful corn crop!!! Never tried it before but frankly we are all fired up to start a farm!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

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