Author Archives: My Closet Garden

Tornado Bin – Purging Our Self-Storage


We took heed of the Tornado Warning and headed to the basement. What better time to clean out the storage unit?  When the wind picked up, I just wedged myself between a few boxes, tucking my left foot behind the camping gear. Everything we sorted was big and bulky and it took a few heaves and hos to lift the bike rack. But what at first seemed to be the worst process ever got easier as we made our way through the storm.

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No Easy Task – Finding Gratitude Among Change


We’ve managed to smile most evenings while hunched over a box of clutter, but the stress doesn’t fade away with the morning sun. The small creases in my partner’s brow prove to be fresh with worry. Will we finish it all by May?

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Couple of Plates, Couple of Forks – Minimizing Our Kitchen


Before – some of the stuff we got rid of.

With the anticipation of moving into a smaller apartment and someday living in an even smaller itty-bitty space, we’ve decided to simplify our kitchen essentials. To do this we ignored the “What every kitchen needs” list and paired down our forks and knives to fit the “Simplified Kitchen” model.

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15 Amazing Things I Learned When Simplifying My Wardrobe


It’s amazing what you find when you get rid of all your stuff

The most important thing I learned through this whole experience was that my huge wardrobe didn’t make me happy. Instead, it resulted in frustration, guilt, and time wasted trying to keep my clutter organized. But despite this, the best part of decluttering my closet was discovering myself through all the piles of clothes. Here’s what I learned:

  1. I didn’t really need steps, plans or goal lists to simplify. I just needed to change my perspective and my relationship with “things.”
  2. I still had belts and hats that I “borrowed” from my little sister 15 years ago when we were kids.
  3. I was willing to wear clothes because they were adorable, but not willing to admit I hated wearing them because they were uncomfortable.
  4. I liked the idea of owning vintage, but didn’t tend to wear it.
  5. As I took the clothes down from the rack, a sense of space and comfort overcame me.
  6. I hid behind clothes – I created an identity.
  7. I don’t need 6 bathing suits.
  8. I now prefer having high quality stuff rather than more stuff.
  9. I bought clothes in hopes of generating those happy-go-lucky feelings when I was feeling stressed.
  10. Even though I owned hundreds of items, my wardrobe was not versatile.
  11. I owned clothes that I never wore, not even once.
  12. Fear was holding me back.
  13. I liked to hide money in my purses with the hope that I’d forget and be surprised one day.
  14. I refused to recognize the guilt I had for owning so many clothes, which prevented me from simplifying.
  15. If you smile, people will notice that before commenting on the new dress that you bought.

Simplifying Our Home – The Plan


Josh and I have dedicated the month of April to decluttering (and evacuating) our home. The more critical thing to note is that in addition to simplifying our lives we are also trying to move into a cheaper and smaller apartment by May! Crazy? Yes – change sometimes is designed that way. We hope by simplifying our stuff and finding a cheaper place to live we can completely pay off both of our student loans by the end of this year.

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Let’s Play Dress Up – Modeling for Nana


I might not be adding new items to my closet anymore, but it doesn’t mean I can’t play dress up. My good friend Tobey emailed me with a proposal a couple of weeks ago. She works for Nana, a DC-based online boutique, and the owner, Jackie,needed pictures of their 2013 spring line. Josh and I immediately accepted – we love to work with local businesses. Josh assumed the role of photographer and I was the model.

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First the Closet, Then the Rest – Wrapping Up My Minimized Wardrobe (For Now)


First the Closet

Before we dive into what’s next, I feel the need to clear the air; my final wardrobe is not 40 items. Its 40 items x 2 wardrobes. I have a summer and a winter collection of clothes that totals 80 pieces. It needed to be said, because a few people have patted me on the back, “You only own 40, I couldn’t do that!”

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Links to Distract and Inspire


We’re on a bit of a health kick – we made this yummy stuffed squash and had a bunch of leftovers.

  1. Marriage equality has been everywhere this week – here’s what The Golden Girls have to say on the topic.
  2. Spring snow? Yikes.
  3. Boys get tools and girls get dolls, right? WRONG! Check out Goldie Blox, an engineering toy for girls.
  4. A wheelchair-accessible tiny house.
  5. More from Zen Habits – Zen Mind in the Middle of Chaos & Stress
  6. Zero Unemployment – is it possible?

We Just Walked Away – The Start of a Car Free Lifestyle


As we handed over the keys, the new owner of our little black Neon gave a confused look around.

“Did you guys bring another car? Do you need a ride to the Metro?”

“No thanks, we’re going to walk.”

We looked back at my very first car parked on an unfamiliar road and then we just walked away. We were ready for the next step in our journey and it felt amazing. As instructed, we followed a woodland path toward the Metro. The buyers had jokingly warned us that the “Red Fox” guarded the woods and many neighborhood dogs had gone missing.  As we walked the path we saw a group of young boys chasing their black lab, “Get him before he reaches the woods! You know what happened last time!”

It was an truly an amazing path to exit upon.

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Links to Distract and Inspire


  1. Our favorite radio station, WFMU, is holding its annual fundraising marathon. Support independent, listener-funded freeform radio! Support Tom and The Best Show on WFMU! Donate Now!!!
  2. Environmental Working Group posted a thought-provoking guide to healthy drinking water in America.
  3. Our buddy Robin from Robin Altice Photography hipped us to Behind the Brands, a site that ranks the corporate accountability of your favorite brands against a number of issues, including transparency, women, workers, farmers, land, water and climate.
  4. Check out this the mega-cute designs of Little Friends of Printmaking. T-shirts will be bought!
  5. Deborah comes through again with an incredibly touching video.
  6. We’re gonna go and watch A Place at the Table this week, a documentary about hunger in the United States.