The Adventures of Anastasiya Didok

Life and faith in a nutshell.

How uncluttering my closet went.

Inspired by Miss Minimalist, as well as my own post on the ideal amount of things a working mom should have in her wardrobe, I have ruthlessly uncluttered my already not that large wardrobe. (Ok, so I uncluttered everything to the basement, which I know doesn’t really count, but I have found in the past that things that I put in my giant “box of stuff I don’t want” don’t tend to return upstairs, and transition to Goodwill quite well after a few months.) Below is what I have left, and I am pretty happy with it!

1. 3 pairs of jeans. (One is a maternity pair. I could probably do with just one regular pair, but my husband really loves both on me, so I’m keeping one for home and one for going out).
2. 3 t-shirts. They are my three favorites!
3. 2 medium length sleeve shirts
4. 1 long sleeve shirt
5. 4 dresses
6. 2 blazers
7. 2 pairs of black slacks (1 maternity pair)
8. 1 pair of brown slacks
9. 2 skirts (1 I wear, the other one I made and wear very rarely but can’t get myself to part with since it’s the only thing I’ve ever sewn in my life!)
10.1 blouse
11.2 tank tops
12.3 white camis
13.1 black cami
14.A pair of sweats
15.A “jackhammer” shirt I lounge around the house in
16.A hoodie

Of those 30 items, 15 are maternity, and 6 of the maternity items are not currently residing in my closet but are either borrowed or stored in the basement.

As a result of the purge, I got rid of ten items, consisting of:
1. A turtleneck that was too short
2. A dress with a zipper that was semi-broken
3. One white cami
4. A black tank top
5. Two pairs of jeans
6. A hoodie
7. 2 t-shirts that I don’t love
8. A long-sleeve shirt in a color that doesn’t flatter my skin tone

I’ve always been good at keeping the contents of my closet down to a minimum and have reaped the benefits all throughout my life. In my next post, I will outline the benefits of keeping your wardrobe small.

Why I decided not to read. My 2014 New Years Resolution.

My 2014 New Years resolution is not to read books for a year. That’s right. I am planning to not read a single page of printed literature in 2014. The bible will be an exception, as well as any books that my husband suggests we read together. (Articles and blogs are ok). That may seem like an unusual resolution, but as always, I have my reasons:

1. I need to honor my husband. My husband doesn’t like when I read. This probably sounds like a controlling statement, but there are no such intentions behind his reaction and he actually has a point. I can “get lost” in a printed book in a matter of seconds. Although that doesn’t seem like a big deal, I tend to shut him out because I don’t typically share what I’m reading about, and much less how I feel about what I just read. In his words, my reading makes him feel “left out.” Although novels don’t typically bring much harm, it gets pretty bad when I decide to read a self-help marriage book. I can suddenly find myself identifying with a paragraph, and he can walk in on me sobbing and mad at him when he hasn’t done anything and I was his normal happy wife five minutes ago. So it only makes sense that my reading would annoy him. In addition, I nag him about reading the same books. And who likes to be nagged? Needless to say, if he does pick up the volume that impacted me, he already has negative associations with it, and doesn’t receive the information in it objectively. It’s time I allowed him to lead me in this aspect of my life that takes up such a huge chunk of my time.

2. I need the time I spend reading to write. To make it an even sweeter deal for hubby, I am going to dedicate this year to writing about books, so he can find out what I think about them (I hear he reads my blog posts. Hi honey!) In my recent find on the Becoming Minimalist blog, I found a great article about uncluttering books! The author advises to assess how each book makes you feel and to write about it. Then decide whether to get rid of it or to keep it. I decided to take that advice, and instead of spending the time reading, to write about the books I’ve already read. I am going to call it the 52 Books series, and am going to commit, for the first time in my blogging career, to write one post each week about one book. I hear consistency is key to having a successful blog, but to date all I’ve promised my readers is to be inconsistent. And I think I delivered on that promise pretty well, since this is my fifth blog, and the gap between the first two posts on it is a year wide. This is going to be my attempt to be consistent. So I pick (what’s today?) Thursdays for my 52 book series. Currently all my books are in the basement. We just got a bookshelf, so instead of moving all the books upstairs right away, I am planning to do it one at a time.

3. I need to reassess the value of books in my life and why I hang on to them. I grew up in a household where there were hundreds of books, and other households’ “intelligence” level would be measured by the amount of books they owned. I now realize that that’s not necessarily a good indicator of anything. However, I still have a fear that if I don’t display hundreds of volumes at my house, people will think less of me. I think it’s time to let go of that fear, as well as judging others by the amount of books they own. Besides, it’s not quite applicable in this day and age of Kindles and reading apps.

4. I need to clear my mind. I realized that I am quite easily influenced by what I read. The result is confusion and clutter inside my brain! I rush from one extreme to the other, either determining that I need to achieve what the author has, or become like a character I’m reading about. Because I read so much though, it is practically impossible to achieve that many things and become like that many people in one lifetime. I think at this point I’m confused about who the heck I’m supposed to be and what I need to focus on achieving in my life. For the first time ever yesterday, I took a bath without a book. I just relaxed and processed my thoughts. And what I discovered was surprising. I got a lot more clarity, and realized that I need to learn to identify what I am thinking about and to process my thoughts and emotions in moments of solitude instead of filling them with more information. This resolution will be a sort of uncluttering of the mind.

5. I like the feeling of accomplishment. The only resolution I’ve ever not kept was to read through a massive volume on shoes. I did not care for the feeling, and since then have kept my resolutions accomplishable. While everyone else will be slaving on their reading lists, I will sit back, relax, and feel great at the end of the year when I accomplish my resolution once again!

Happy 2014!