“A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Wardrobe Declutter for Moms

I have gone from overweight, to pregnant, to nursing and losing weight, to pregnant again in the past four or five years. As a result, there are many sizes of clothing in my closet.

Now, I know the conventional wisdom – have only what fits now in your closet.    But by that rule, I have only maternity clothes, and would have to buy a whole new wardrobe every few months after the baby is born.  I think women in their actively childbearing years should get a little grace.

  • Your real size (without being pregnant or nursing)
  • A size up (that can be worn first trimester and  post partum)
  • Clothes that work for nursing (larger tops for example)
  • Plus of course, the dreaded maternity clothes (stored or on loan to your friends when not in use)

So, on to my closet clean-up. The conventional steps are: purge, purge, try on the remainder, and purge some more.  Then arrange everything in some predetermined order on matching hangers.

Step 1: Purge

I will be donating a few things to goodwill.  Mostly things I know in my heart of hearts I never liked, and will never wear again.  (I’m looking at you low-cut shirts.)  I also gave up the thought that I will ever wear a size “small” shirt of any variety.  So that was easy – if I cringed, or saw an “S” it went bye bye.

Step 2: Purge

I also went through my shoes and got rid of the very high heels (really, who are we kidding? Carrying a toddler or pushing a stroller in 4 inch heels?  Not me.)  Okay, I kept one pair of killer black heels.  If the rare occasion ever strikes that we get a babysitter and go someplace without readily accessible high chairs…

Step 3: Try on and Purge again

Okay, at this point I decided to stop the purging.  Obviously trying things on right now is not really practical and once your pregnant self looks at your nice clothes and sniffles “I’ll never fit into anything-ever-again” it is probably time to step away from the give-away box.  I punted this last purge until the end of next summer, when I’ll have a better idea of what sizes are reasonable to keep.

Step 4: Organize what’s left.

I had enough empty hangers that I could get rid of all the wire hangers that came from dry cleaners.   I hung all my maternity clothes on one side of the closet.  For the next five months, I won’t even open the other side.  On the other side I hung all my summer clothes (the first “normal” clothes I’ll likely need, sorted by type (pants, skirts, shirts) and size.  I hung the hangers backwards.  The idea is that by the end of next summer, when I’ll have to repeat this exercise again, I’ll know what I’ve worn.

More on what I kept in my maternity wardrobe soon.


…Pay attention. Let your eyes transform what appears ordinary, commonplace, into what it is, a moment in time, an observed fragment of eternity.
Philip Levine

Random observations and a goal update

August was a crazy crazy month.  An earthquake and a hurricane in one week.  Oh, and our car broke down and our roof is leaking.  Not that I’m counting disasters or anything.  We all survived and we’re all fine, but enough already.

There were a few things to be grateful for too though.

  • We took my son to REI, where he proceeded to climb into tents and canoes, and try on every backpack he could get his little hands on, in addition to rolling every wheeled piece of luggage around the store.  The backpacks and luggage were all bigger than him.  Better entertainment than the playground! (Especially during tropical storm rain.)
  • Family visits during a disaster weekend makes for lots of technology free family time and early bedtimes.
  • We were only without power for 26 hours.  My freezer survived intact. Refrigerator, not so much.  No, we will not be drinking milk that was unrefrigerated for 26 hours, even if it smells just fine.  I’m seeing this as an opportunity to have a sparkling clean refrigerator.

This pregnant mamma is in desperate need of a vacation.  Or even just a day of sanity. (And sleep.)

Remember my LONG list?  August goals didn’t do quite as well as I would have liked, but progress is progress, right?

Here’s what I managed to complete:

Finances and Life Management
>Make a home inventory (My grand plan is to do this room by room as I declutter)
Not done, but I did inventory as I worked on closets
>Try out (done!)
>Jack Jr.’s room (Mostly done – I need a few things to finish the closet.)
>Find more swim lessons for Jack Jr. (He starts next Saturday!)
>Work on my photography skills more actively
I took a beginner class – more about that in a future post!
>Update my blog at least once a week (setting the bar low here)
Obviously this goal didn’t survive the crazy month, but I planned more posts for September!
Other no less important things to do during the coming year:
>Continue working at my challenging job
I’m actually traveling for work this week, so definitely working and definitely challenging.

In September I hope to do the following:

Finances and Life Management
>Create a will, trust, guardianship documents, others I don’t know about.
Find a lawyer to do this.
>Make a home inventory (My grand plan is to do this room by room as I declutter)
Continue to do this as I declutter
>Catch up with Quicken accounts
>Maintain Quicken accounts weekly
>Write down a budget
>Jack Jr.’s room (Complete work on the closet)
>Master bedroom (Mostly my closet and craft supplies)
>Sell unused things in good condition (I have already got a box of candidates for this.)
>Introduce new vegetables (find one new recipe a week to try on my toddler.)
>Document the moving process to help others learn from what is sure to be many mistakes
>Work on my photography skills more actively
>Update my blog at least once a week
Other no less important things to do during the coming year:
>Continue working at my challenging job
>Make time for some creative pursuits lest I lose my mind.