My bedroom declutter: Part 02 – out with the wardrobe! by Andréia

I never thought I would change my bedroom as I did this year. It was a challenge I set to myself. In part one I told you all about my struggles to get rid of clothes and one piece of furniture in my bedroom. Now I am telling how I managed to get rid of a wardrobe.

Late last year I was talking to Colleen by e-mail and I was anxious about the state of my bedroom. It was a mess. I occasionally watch some Peter Walsh show and my bedroom was as far from a “haven” as you can put it. It stressed me out. Always. There was always stuff strewn across the “floordrobe” (I would like to thank Cindy for this very appropriate name…). I had a place to put my shoes, but if I did put them away I could not find them when I needed to go out, because they were under the bed, and I could not find clothes, laundry day was “Oh God how am I going to deal with this!” day and so on. I was desperate for a change. I came to a new milestone in my decluttering. I wanted space. Space can either be bought, by acquiring a bigger house (so out of the question because I would not acquire a bigger place to clean) or clearing space in your existing home. As I have been seriously decluttering for, at least, 5 years, I knew I could have more space by decluttering a lot more easily and with no expense than buying a bigger house or remodelling the one I live in.

Finally I came to a stage in my decluttering when I decided that I needed to have less storage space in my bedroom and less stuff in my room and more space. That means I had to declutter a very big wardrobe (the actual piece of furniture) and empty almost completely another one.  I had to declutter a very massive excess of stuff that was CRAMMED inside those wardrobes. I have read time and time again in this blog how Colleen decluttered this or that piece of furniture. And it always made me wonder: “What if she needs that furniture in the future? She will never get that kind of furniture ever again; they don’t make them as good as that anymore;” And the final thought would be: “She should have kept it, she had space for it and she might need it someday…”. And there you have my thought for that moment. 

After a while (being so overwhelmed by stuff inside my own bedroom) I thought: Why keep a big piece of furniture that you may never need again? I used to love, big, massive furniture. I have monstrous wardrobes and I use every door in both of them. I used to suffer (yes, that is the right word – suffer), whenever I thought I would move to a smaller house and had to get rid of some piece of big furniture that I had. It never occurred to me to down size on the furniture front, I just thought I could never let that furniture go, because I would never have something as good/sturdy/big/well done (you pick) as that again. 

The obvious decluttering had been done. Still there was a lot of things inside the wardrobes. I, sometimes, was guilty of decluttering a few pieces and what I was unsure about I just stuffed or crammed (look, there is that ‘nice’ word again…) somewhere. My somewhere was, mostly, my wardrobes and my bedroom. I liked those wardrobes. I had a hand in their design. They were done to me personally, not bought in stores. Everything from bed linen to covers, from clothes to belts, shoes and purses, books, caps and some things I don’t know, were stored in those two wardrobes.

As I started to clear out the wardrobe in my bedroom, I was so amazed at the amount of UNUSED stuff that I thought this overhaul was long overdue. There was loads of stuff I donated as I told in the first post and a lot I had (finally) to deal with. I started questioning my attachment to pieces of wood and screws, which are, basically what makes a wardrobe. As I was evaluating my bedroom and everything in it, I concluded that I had wardrobes much too big and a lot of the stuff in them was excessive.

One of the best thing I did was downsizing the amount of clothes we had (me and my husband). My style changed and I kept clothes I did not like just because they fit me. I found bad buys, shoes, knick knacks, books you name it, I had in there. So I decided to make a smaller built in closet, a little bigger than my former wardrobe and divide it in two, for my husband’s and my use. As I was doing the project, the architect that designed said: “There is no way all that is in those wardrobes is going to fit in the space you want.” I said “yes, it will.” “How?” Decluttering the excess.

I sold my wardobe, because “I might need it some day” is no reason to keep a 1,80 meter by 2,30 meter wardrobe. I know I have the space to have kept it. To my old self having the space would mean I could fill it up nicely. To my new self, space can be an asset all in itself, even more if it is empty. And I also bought a trunk bed, as seen in the picture, to store big covers so they are not in “the way”. When winter comes we take the covers out and use them as bed spreads (takes a little more time to make the beds each morning, but we can’t have it all…)

As I declutterd something else became obvious: how much easier it was to clean the bedroom. Get up, make the bed, the shoes are always in place (as I designed an easier system to store them I never leave them scattered around anymore), no more clothes to pick up, because they have a place to be stored. I am still amazed I can clean my bedroom in under a half hour. It used to take me several hours and the result was a lot of stuff “crammed” somewhere.

After the wardrobe left and I had dealt with the excesses I put my chest in the wardrobe’s place. I holds all the linen and towels of my house. It is not crammed and it looks quite nice on that spot. That chest belonged to my great-grandmother and it was passed along to my grandmother (in whose house I lived until I married) and I got when she passed for my then, future children (as she would have liked). And as it was restored to be used by my children and it is a very useful piece of furniture, it is also a warm reminder of my grandmother. I feel great when I look at it. I feel great walking into my “new” bedroom.

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Today’s Mini Mission

 Declutter an item of clothing that you promise yourself is going to fit you again some day.

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Day 242 Cleaning Out the Closet A guest post by - My Husband During a recent overseas business trip I read about an experiment to choose six clothing items and only use those items for a month. You could have multiple […]
  • Day 76 Sometimes we need help Lets face it, we all have clothes in our closet we haven't worn for some time that for one reason or another we are reluctant to part with. Well, today I have a plan to help you sort out […]
  • Rationalising Clothes Last week I was interstate visiting my parents and my in-laws. There was a change of weather in my absence. Actually it had started turning prior to my departure, but I wanted to wait […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Great job, Andréia! Isn’t it great having all that space just to move?! It can’t even be called ‘living’ if you don’t have space to move. It’s amazing what you did and how much will power it must gave taken : )

  2. Fantastic! And I love before and after pictures as they are very inspiring. Great work on accomplishing this task. Although I have gone through my clothes several times and gotten rid of some things, yesterday, I was eyeballing some clothes that I feel are not great pieces. I wonder why I still have these “ugly” clothes, when they do absolutely zip for my appearance. However, I did try to go shopping this past weekend and frankly, I didn’t like hardly anything I saw. I could possibly be too picky in this regard. 😉

  3. thats a great transformation!
    I used to think “bigger is better” with furniture too, I was always looking for tall, big storage pieces and then wondering why the walls always felt so “heavy”. Now I go for low and lean furniture wherever practical. I have a bookshelf in my home office that I have a love-hate relationship with, it matches the other office furniture and holds my most often needed office items (so I access it regularly), but it is tall and cumbersome and very “busy” with things of every shape and size. Until I find a workable alternative, it has to stay for now.

  4. Grace from Brazil

    Nicely done! In order to make your closet what other area did you have to “invade” or give up? I also have a wardrobe and I miss a closet, at times. We intentionally bought a small wardrobe so that we would not be tempted to fill it beyond capacity. So far it is working…we have had it for about a year and we keep weeding out as needed. Right now my linen closet are two baskets on top of the wardrobe. It works fine and makes the unused space up on top look better. : ) I always enjoy reading your real-life struggles and victories!

  5. Excellent words Andrei! We get captured by the thought that some items are irreplaceable .
    I know what you are saying and how pleasing the end result is . Cheers

  6. Congratulations on your new space. I bet you feel great.
    I have heard that a way to immediately reduce your clothes and accessories by 25% is to look at each item and ask yourself if you would you buy this again? If the answer is no, out it goes.

    • Hello Kimberley. I love your suggestion to ask yourself if you would buy the item again. I may spend some quality time in my closet this weekend asking that very question! 🙂

    • Grace from Brazil

      Such a great way to look at things! This will help me right away get to work on some stragglers who are hanging out in my wardrobe!

      • Exactly Michelle and Grace. We all have or have had what my daughter and I call, “What was I thinking” items in our clothes and accessories. We need to give ourselves permission to let go of anything that no longer serves us or fits who we are right now. Such freedom in letting go. What I always strive for is a closet/wardrobe with breathing room filled with clothes and accessories that make me feel good and represent who I am in the present.

  7. I am new to 365 Less Things and loved these comments about decluttering the bedroom. where can I find ‘My Bedroom Declutter – Part 01’?

    • Hi Margret S and welcome to 365 Less Things. Here is a link to bedroom Part 1 ~ http://www.365lessthings.com/daily-template-2/ . Sorry you will have to cut and paste it as I have never worked out how to add a link in a comment.

      • Colleen, when you type the address in your reply, it automatically creates a link. I’ve just clicked through and it works.

        • Thanks Jo, I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote that so didn’t go over to check. The thought had occurred to me though. I only arrived home on Thursday and by Friday I had booked flights to go interstate to visit my mum and dad. My dad was very ill while I was away. No matter how much one tries to simplify their life complication do occur. It is good to be with them though.

  8. Happy Day! Happy Day! There is Colleen, returned from her travels! So glad to see you, my friend, but sad that your father is ill. I hope all goes well there. Take care. 🙂

  9. It can be so hard to let go of the big things. I did the same thing recently. Way to go girl!