How I finally slayed the laundry monster

Since I started down this path of simplifying our lives, I’ve gotten a lot of questions on how to get started with the decluttering process.

For a long time, I dreamt of clean counters, every object having a home, and actually being able to enjoy my evenings and weekends, but no matter how hard I tried, I always ended up running around like a crazy person, scrubbing bottles, cleaning up mess after mess, and fighting (and usually losing) to a never-ending mountain of laundry.

Laundry was a particular sore spot for me.

I’ve been known to go buy a shirt and pack of underwear at Target to avoid confronting the looming pile in the corner of our bedroom.

Every several days, once I mustered up the courage to slay the beast, the conversation between Evan and I went like this:

Me: Hey babe?

Evan: *mumbles* Hmm?

Me: I’m serious this time.

Evan: About what?

Me: We’re becoming nudists. I’m just gonna go burn these okay?

Evan: *shaking his head* Sounds great, hon.

Bless that man for keeping up with that running joke for 4 years.

I digress.

So when I started down the path to minimalism, I started with my closet. Between getting pregnant, growing a human, birthing aforementioned human, and then becoming that human’s mother while also working full-time and being a wife, I had gained and lost about 100 pounds, which left my wardrobe a hot.freaking.mess.

Even though I had gotten back down (and then some!) below my pre-baby weight, my body was just so different. Styles and silhouettes that used to be flattering, felt frumpy. I found myself with this hodgepodge of a closet that had clothes from high school and college, my first job, pre-#momlife in all shapes and sizes.

So one night after Ava went to bed, I popped in my earbuds, grabbed a few trash bags and cloistered myself in our closet.

And over the course of an episode of Wine & Crime, I eviscerated my side of the closet.

Keep. Donate. Trash.

Three piles. And I was ruthless.

If I loved something and it was still in good shape (no rips, stains, obvious signs of wear), it went to the keep pile or stayed on its hanger.

If I vacillated, even for a moment, it went to the donate pile.

If it was in terrible shape, trash.

Let me just say, that it was a stroke of good luck that I had taken the trash bags in with me, because by the end of it all, I had made piles of clothing that literally reached my waist and I’m 5’8”. I wouldn’t have been able to get out of our closet if I hadn’t brought them in. I had to tunnel out so I could get downstairs for more!

When it was all said and done, about ~15 bags made their way to the local donation center, 3 went out to the trash, and I was left with a wardrobe of clothing that fit and that I was excited to wear!

This change, coupled with my new laundry rhythm (1 load started every morning and then put away before bed), has really allowed me to breathe. I rarely have issues deciding what to wear, and I don’t stress about getting the laundry done because it’s just something I’ve put on autopilot.

So what’s holding you back? Don’t be paralyzed by the enormity of the task — tackle one area at a time and you’ll make progress.

xo- Sarah

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