The Urge to Purge

Simplifying Sunday Series

If you are new to the series, check out the kickoff post here.  At the beginning of January 2018, I read Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living.  The tip are so incredibly simple and full of daily impact for a simpler life, however, all at once it can seem daunting.  I am taking the tips laid out in the book one by one.  This week I am tackling [chapter 2] my closet and dresser.

Closet Before

The Urge to Purge-ish

I’ve been greeted with a messy closet for at least 10 months, if not longer.  There has been no major burning desire to purge…or clean…or organize.  I had my shoes thrown exactly where they landed and I knew where to find them.  Sure, I was constantly passing over sweaters and blouses and reaching for the “old faithful” pieces, but what’re an extra few minutes to flip through some hangers?  No, the closet in disarray did not trigger me a bit, but my underwear drawer…that’s what brought me to the edge.  I have been collecting “just-in-case” or “laundry-day” underwear since my college days, when daily laundry wasn’t ideal or even an affordable option.  Now that I’m all about throwing in the daily load of wash, 35 pairs of underwear seems a tad…unnecessary.

Just throw the shoes

More shoe throwing

First Things First

Since the closet was becoming a bit of an eyesore, I started from the ground up.  Aria, my trusty sidekick, started throwing out shoes one by one [obviously the best part] and scarves.  There was no need to run through them yet, but getting them out decluttered the space instantly.  I started digging through the boxes/baskets where my sweaters spend time smooshing up against each other.  I was pretty ruthless and when in doubt, I asked my sweet girl and her response “DONATE!”.  I don’t think she quite understood the game, but she wanted that donate pile sky high.

aria donate pile

getting advice

In her words: “Let’s give this to someone else, Mommy”…so we did.

throw it all

Trouble is…

I am a dreamer.  I dream of one day having a social life so vast that I need my sequin leggings, my silky beaded tops, my feathered dress [and skirt] and everything in between.  I have such a hard time parting with the “maybe” and the “if, then” pants.  Don’t even get me started on my dresses and skirts [some still with tags…dating back to 2010].  So look, I ditched a lot of the fillers, replaced the misfits, but at the end of the day, I’m keeping the sequin leggings and feathered skirt.  I attempted to leave the house in my feathered skirt for last night’s anniversary date night at 15 degrees and 2 inches of snow on the ground.  I am bound and determined to use the pieces in my closet.sequins forever.

Sequins + Feathers + [faux] Leather

it's a problem

I may have 10 pairs of jeans, but you’ll likely always see me in the ones on my body here.
So many skirts, nowhere to go

I spy some skirts from 2010…and I still wear them!

Well, that’s embarrassing!

Initially, I didn’t think I was making a dent in the closet.  I had kept every single cardigan [possibly a problem…], ditched only the misfit or destroyed [not in the Hollister “on purpose” way] denim, and couldn’t quite part with a few shirts that I haven’t worn lately but are pretty useful for the office.  I started to doubt the process and thought maybe Emily Ley and I just don’t have the same value when it comes to the varying types of jean styles.  Maybe Emily Ley, the crowned queen of simplicity, doesn’t understand that I might need 3 different chambray shirts.  But then my sidekick got sidetracked by her brother and the prospect of a snowman and my purging came at rapid fire speed.


Creating some margin

woeful decisions on the chambray shirts

The look of discernment

What do you do about bridesmaid dresses?

see also: romper addiction

I live the romper life.

will i ever wear you?

Giving you 1 more summer…

tags on.

Bye bye ill-fitting, worn out, and misguided items

You get a black cami, You get a black cami,

Everyone gets a black cami!

Are owning 5 black camis overkill?  What about 5 white camis?  3 tan camis? 2 navy?   Why am I hoarding ALL the camisoles?

bless this mess

Restore Craigslist Dresser: Been on the to-do list for 3 years.

broken drawers

I’ll likely destroy the dresser with overstuffing before I remodel it.

significantly less

another broken drawer

I’ve got a feeling inside my bones…

What was once a sight for sore eyes, a mess we just moved around, a sum of all our hoarding over the years is now organized and accessible without injury.  Tackling closet organization of any kind can feel very overwhelming, but the key is to just start.  I was surprised to see 4 items with tags still on and one of which I didn’t even know existed, 5 “maternity” shirts still hanging among the masses, and 3 pairs of jeans 2 sizes too large [because just in case??].  So this feeling of freedom, purging the unneeded or rarely-worn is nothing short of fan-freaking-tastic.

results from dresser purge

No more crappy work-out tops!part 2 of purge

A New Day is Dawning

Look, I was born and raised a shopaholic.  I love to shop, I live for the thrill of a good find, but why? I spent my entire day cleaning out my closet of items that didn’t make me any prettier, or happier, or smarter, or friendlier, or closer to God.  Plain and simple, it’s all just STUFF; stuff that took up precious space in my life and became something I needed to tend to or think about [more than I want to admit].  Every extra minute spent debating what shirt to wear or trying on 3 different pairs of jeans before settling on the ones that make me feel my best, was time stolen from a date night with my husband or romping around in the snow with my little ones.


You can find me purging Taylor’s side today…

side one

“Scarves too?!” – Mom when discovering I was donating a handful of scarves

side 2

I’ll need to revisit the sleeveless situation come fall.  Whatever doesn’t get worn, gets tossed.

Save The Jeans!

shoe organizers

Policy of Conduct

Here’s my new commitment to myself and my closet: one in, one out.  Nothing new comes in until I am ready to part with something old.  Who wants to hold me accountable here?  I’m all for the simple life in 2018 and can’t wait to see what the journey there brings.

the donation pile

Off to new owners

free hangers

Now what to do about all these hangers…

If you’re toeing the line on apparel consumption and hoarding 35 pairs of underwear, grab Emily’s book here and follow my Simplifying Sundays Series on the gram: @laura_canfield or #SimplifyingSundaysSeries.


  1. this is exciting and hilarious at the same time. I cannot believe I can see your closet…and you thew away a scarf like you gave me and i just wore it a few weeks ago to work! hmmm…maybe should have held on to that one!!!

    • Which one? I kept the multicolored triangle one like I bought you! But gosh I honestly haven’t worn it in years!

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