Closet Space and Other First World Problems

Hello again.

This blog started as a chronicle of my personal journey through the stuff that was making my perfectly-sized home feel tiny. We have about 900 square feet of living space – which means the two car garage, man cave, and woman den are not included in that. Neither are our yards or porches, for that matter. If I am a typical American, then it makes sense why the average new home has 2500 square feet. It is easy to fall into the “oh, it’s on clearance so I’m going to buy it for absolutely no other reason” trap around here and fill your home right up!

Sadly, one of the problems in our home is the closet space. I actually listed that on the “cons” side of the paper when thinking about buying this house (never mind the clay main drain piping). Our apartment had a walk-in closet that could seat six for dinner. The solution D came up with for our closet space dilemma was to put his dresser in the hobby room and use that closet for all of his things (shoes, belts, ties, shirts, leather dyes, you know, normal stuff that someone who wears scrubs to work needs), and I would put my dresser in the master bedroom and use that closet.

We sure have come a long way. Upon moving into our perfectly-sized home, we each stuffed our respective closets full. I filled my dresser too. And a plastic bin for the off-season wardrobe. At the time, I thought that was incredibly reasonable and was kind of proud of myself for using my space well. Ha!

A couple months ago we gave away D’s dresser and bought a little armoire-type thing for him to keep in the master bedroom. He had to reduce his dresser contents down to about a third of what it was in order to do that. His closet now stands about half-full. Mine is even better – as of this morning there are 34 items hanging in it (I still have a bin of summer things to sort). We could totally share the master bedroom closet now without any trouble.


I still have some work to do on my actual wardrobe. Everything in it is worn now, so that is one goal met. However, I do not absolutely love everything in it. As things wear out I am thoughtfully making purchases to replace them, but it is a very slow process.

As a closing thought, while preparing for this blog post I discovered something that actually helps reduce the closet clutter: take pictures! For some reason, looking at pictures of my clothing made me better able to take a step back and realize some things really needed to go.


Who needs two grey knee-length skirts to wear to the office? No one I know!


4 thoughts on “Closet Space and Other First World Problems

  1. smallthingsgood

    I think I’ll try that photo tip, I really need to go through my closet. It’s small but it’s probably still the least minimalist part of my apartment. I don’t shop all that much, I just never get rid of old torn (or non-fitting) clothes and shoes because in my mind I think maybe someday I’ll fix them (obviously never).

    1. tofukate Post author

      Smallthings, I was pondering your comment when it occurred to me that clothing is an area where being frugal can really come back to bite you (or at least me). Frugality frequently takes on the mindset of “cheaper is better” as well as “I might need/want this someday”. Minimalism realizes quality – here that would be fit, style, comfort, etc., is important. Also, minimalism asks, “do I use/want/need this now?” rather than asking about the possibility of wanting something in the unforeseeable future. You live your life in your clothes. They should work for you!

  2. JM

    I just love you blog! You truly have inspired me to minimize stuff at home and reduce clutter. I have cleaned out my kitchen, my kids study desk, and under the bed stash so far. But, I have long ways to go-closets, bathrooms, dressers, garage, basement, toys…..the list goes on. All I want to say is thank you for starting this blog; I agree with you that life is much more than stuff. I love the simple living and hopefully will be able to model that to my young children. Thanks again!! I love you writing.


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