Shopping in my closet

A couple of weeks ago I got inspired to clean out my closet (we live in a small house, so my “closet” is actually a teeny closet, 2 armoires, and a small chest) after reading Married With Luggage. The blog is all about how they’re decluttering, budgeting, and preparing for their trip around the world.

We’re not taking a trip around the world (at least not anytime soon!), but joining The Compact is turning out to be a life-changing event for me. All of a sudden I don’t want anything around that I don’t absolutely LOVE and NEED. Also, it was time for spring cleaning and changing things out for the season.

Which brings me to these RYKA running shoes. I found these in my stack of shoe boxes, which always house my “out of season” shoes. There isn’t room in my teeny closet to have them all out at once (lest you think I’m Imelda Marcos the 2nd, I only have about 20 pairs of shoes total, which I don’t think is too bad for a girl).

Those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning know that running shoes were one of the things I was worried about not being able to buy new. A few months ago I put them on my “exceptions” list, because it wouldn’t be safe or healthy to skimp in that area. But I didn’t need to worry, because there was this pair which had obviously never been worn right in my closet.

The funny thing is that my last three pairs of athletic shoes have been Merrells, which are usually some shade of tan or gray. All of a sudden I hated that bright white look so I switched brands. Which means that these shoes are at least 2 years old!

So this is either funny or embarrassing, depending on how you look at it. Something similar happened when I was looking into getting a digital camera to take photos for this blog and my husband remembered he ALREADY HAD ONE that he didn’t use anymore. You can read about that incident here.

Have you ever found something you’d forgotten about in your own home? Do you ever go “shopping” in your closet? Please share your closet and decluttering stories in the Comments section.


  1. calimama @ compactbydesign says

    What a great find! We recently decluttered the closets and it was great. I’m a big proponent of the LOVE it, NEED it or LOSE it mentality.
    I did have a harder time in the kitchen with that philosophy. I have now used every kitchen gadget we own and am happy to have them. But if they hadn’t been wedding/shower gifts I don’t think I would have been able to let them hang out for 2 years while I found a new love for the kitchen. (Guilt is a terrible motivator, yet somehow quite effective.

    It’s rare, but sometimes ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can come back and kiss us instead of the usual bite.

  2. FOO says

    What a timely post! I just got back from spending nine hours at my mom’s house – and I brought a friend with me, too! – to declutter, clean and organize her two car garage. I told my mom, who is quite the hoarder, I was only going to say one time what I thought our approach should be – and you guessed it: love it, use it or lose it.

    She has been so overwhelmed with the state of things she was much more amenable than I thought she would be – we filled their truck with trash, I filled my Forester with things to give away and we stored an equivalent amount in the basement of “seasonal” items.

    My friend was thrilled to be the beneficiary of a HUGE tv, a weed whacker, a tent, many kitchen items and so much more – all of which my parents had multiples of – and I still had a huge amount of stuff to give to Goodwill!

    My mom also “found” many things, like shoes, hats and coats, photo albums and such that she really wanted, too.

    The only item I elected to bring home (and, boy, did I have to fight off my mom’s attempts to take home some “treasures”) – a “Superfriends” thermos that my son loves.

    It was a very satisfying day – I’m so glad I could help my mom in this way. It also served as a wonderful affirmation of why I *try to* keep only things I love and need.

  3. Kristen@TheFrugalGirl says

    That happens to me every spring and fall. I buy most of my clothes off season, so it’s usually six months before I can wear them. By that time I’ve forgotten about them, and they’re a delightful surprise! lol

  4. Kate says

    I’ve found a few ‘gems’ in my day -perfectly great things that got lost amongst all my stuff. A sure sign of having too much. I need to purge and see what I can unearth. My closet is a great candidate. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. thefrugalmusician says

    HOW FUNNY! Last year, Boyfriend bought me a lovely pair of fancy summer shoes- cork and leather- very nice. And I had TOTALLY forgotten about them until I was cleaning out my niche closet. The niche closet is a 4x4x4 cloest in our hallway. I have no idea what the former occupants used it as- maybe a place to put misbehaving kids (chuckle). It is perfect for my clothes and shoes! But gets cluttered easily….
    I was bemoaning the lack of summer shoes when I stuck my arm in the back of the closet and pulled out a dusty shoebox. What is this? I wondered.
    And inside were the marvelous shoes. They’re the kind I would never have bought for myself. Too expensive. But as a gift from Boyfriend they were perfect!

  6. Betsy Talbot says

    Yea for pleasant surprises! I was just bemoaning the fact that I dropped our digital camera in the sand at the beach a few weeks ago and no longer had the option to make short videos.

    I was just going to do without (even though I’d love to have a new flip camera for the blog), when my husband helpfully pointed out that our old bulky camera DOES have video capability. And I just never knew it.

    So, it was a welcome surprise to me to find out something I already had would serve my needs. It pays to read the owner’s manual, I guess!

  7. WilliamB says

    I don’t go shopping in my closet because I know what’s there. I do go shopping at my parents’ place. My father dresses well and has more than he needs since he retired. My parents have plenty of stuff that’s not worth their while to go through but they’re happy to give to me if they don’t need it.

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