Capsule Wardrobe Update

Tomorrow marks the eleven week anniversary of starting my summer capsule wardrobe.  Today is the 66th outfit comprised of the 45 pieces that I chose in early June.  I post my daily outfits on Instagram where you can see, in detail, what living the capsule life has looked like these last eleven weeks.

For the first 6 weeks, it was a honeymoon.  It was new and exciting and I really did love it.  There was no going back.  I was already thinking about my fall capsule.

Did it achieve what you wanted it wanted it to?

My goals in creating a capsule wardrobe were simple: I wanted to be excited about wearing any of my options, I wanted to feel good in everything that I wore and I wanted it to be minimalistic.  Once I decided to commit to the capsule lifestyle, I also decided that I wanted to use this as a tool to try to encourage myself to wear clothes that I wouldn’t normally, such as dresses.

I achieved all three goals – for the first six weeks.  By week seven, I was no longer excited by what I saw in my closet.  I was bored.  Now, it’s mid-August and I am really bored.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I think that would be true of my summer wardrobe whether I had done a capsule or not.  And I don’t believe that boredom is a good reason to accumulate more stuff.  This whole experience has been a great lesson for me in contentment.

I was more intentional about trying to switch things up so that I wasn’t wearing the same outfit repeatedly.  Which led to making combinations that I wouldn’t have done without my capsule.  That felt like a win to me because even though I was wearing the same items, it didn’t feel as repetitive.

What I've learned from my summer capsule wardrobe - maximizingdaysblog.comWhat have you learned?

I don’t wear dresses.  Even when I only have 45 items in my closet from which to choose, and a quarter of those items are shoes, I still don’t choose a dress to wear.  I really like both of them that I have, but not enough to pull them off the hanger and wear them.  I don’t know why.  I can’t explain it.  I just know that when I’m standing in front of my closet trying to decide what to wear, and I see those dresses, my first thought is always “Nahhhh……”

What I've learned from my summer capsule wardrobe - maximizingdaysblog.com

What would you do differently?

I would include less “off-season” items, and by that I mean the items that I included for what I consider to be cold summer days.  I included a jean jacket, cardigan, 2 – 3/4 sleeve tops and 3 long-sleeve tops.  I get very warm very easily, so it takes serious temperature drops for me to wear anything more than a t-shirt on my arms in the summer.  I have worn each of those “warmer” items a handful of times, but I know that if I would have 3 of those items instead of all 7 that I would have been just fine.  And I would have enjoyed having 4 more t-shirts or tank tops that would have been worn more than those long-sleeved options have been.

Through 52 days I’ve worn each of the 7 cooler weather items once.

What I've learned from my summer capsule wardrobe - maximizingdaysblog.com

Will you do a fall capsule?

If you would have asked me eleven weeks ago, I would have excitedly said “YESSS!”  While I don’t have that same level of enthusiasm now, I am going to try this again in the fall.  I’m wary of trying to choose a wardrobe that works as well on Labor Day as it does on Thanksgiving.  Theoretically, my fall capsule wardrobe would be for September, October & November, but the weather change from the beginning of September to the end of November in Minnesota is drastic.  I’m not sure how to make it so that I have what I need for that weather range, but also don’t feel like I’m including items that will only be worn a few times.

For instance, I like to wear shorts until the first or even second week in September.  For all of you who don’t live in the frozen tundra, that may seem obvious, but it’s a little bit of a stretch here.  I am stubborn, however, and insist that shorts season should go into September.  So, the question becomes, do I include one or two pair of shorts in a fall capsule that will, realistically, only be worn  handful of times?  I’ve thought that I could just not include them and break the rules and bust them out for the 4 or 5 times in the short window of time where my wanting to wear shorts overlaps with the starting of my fall capsule.

Which lead me to start thinking about whether I really need a definitive capsule wardrobe to achieve my goals.  Couldn’t I achieve the same thing by just super-minimalizing what I have in my closet and drawers?

I believe that the answer is yes.  But, for me, and I would presume a lot of other people,the self-imposed constraints of the capsule wardrobe give me parameters in which to work to give a framework to that desired minimalism.  Creating the capsule wardrobe is the means by which I draw the line for what I want my minimalism to look like.  It’s a way to hold myself accountable.  Not everyone needs that framework, but I’m discovering that I do.

If I had it to do all over again, this is what my summer capsule would look like:

What I've learned from my summer capsule wardrobe - maximizingdaysblog.com

Who’s with me on the fall capsule?  Let’s do this together!

 

What I've learned from my summer capsule wardrobe - maximizingdaysblog.com

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Always be Prepared

We do a lot of coming and going in the summer.  Summer is such a short season in Minnesota, so I am determined to capitalize on every warm minute that we have before it’s back to parkas and wool socks.  Which means most of our summer days are filled with some sort of outing.

We don’t normally do snacks – not because I’m opposed to them, but just because I don’t think to do it when we’re home and my kids don’t ask for them.  However, when we are getting ready to go somewhere, I always grab a snack for them and stash it in my diaper bag.  I have this strange fear of being away from home and not having food for my children should they need it.  Maybe it stems from my dislike for being away from home and hungry with nothing to eat.  It never occurs to me, when under our  roof that my children may be hungry, but the moment we walk out from that roof, I can’t imagine not being prepared for hunger.

My go-to grab & go snack in this instance is the GoGo Squeez Fruits & Veggiez pouches.  I’m not a health nut, but we generally try to eat food that is good for us.  On the occasions when my kids are going to eat a snack, I’d prefer that it not be completely void of nutritional value.  The GoGo Squeez pouches are ideal because they’re something that my kids love and it’s good for them.

I prefer the Fruit & Veggiez pouches because one of my parenting mantras is “sneak in vegetables wherever you can.”  We eat regular, non-vegetablized applesauce from the jar at home and I’m pretty certain that my kids don’t know the difference.

I was having a particularly terrible day yesterday.  My husband hasn’t been home until after the kids’ bedtime every night this week and we are all feeling the Dad Void.  I’m crabby.  They’re crabby.  We’re a recipe for disaster.  By 4 o’clock on Thursday I thought that I was going to lose it.  So, I did what I always do.  I put them in the stroller and pushed 75 pounds of toddler around town to burn off my frustration.  As we walked out, I quickly grabbed a couple GoGo Squeezes – you know, just in case.

We met a friend, who graciously gave the kids popsicles, which reminded them that they like eating yummy things, so as soon as the popsicles were gone, they each asked for more snack.  I shrugged off my grumpiness, dug the applesauce out of the diaper bag and the kids joyfully ate their snack while watching for ducks on the lake.

I’d like to tell you that the fresh air and applesauce changed all of our moods and the rest of the evening went swimmingly.  Yeah right.  But, for about ten minutes yesterday, none of us were yelling, so I call that a win.

I mean, just look at those eyes.

And that face.

We have also had the regular applesauce and the yogurtz.  I was super excited about the yogurt because my two year-old struggles with the packaging of go-gurts, but I accidentally bought the banana flavored and it did not go over well.  I’m going to try them again with the strawberry flavor.

The Fruit & Veggiez pouches are not only a great snack, but they are also a staple in the kids’ lunches when I pack them.  See what else I include here.

You can see how I store & organize the applesauce pouches in our pantry here.

Another great use for these applesauce pouches is to put them in ‘Sick Kits’, which are little baskets that I bring to friends when they or their kids are sick.  I started doing this last winter when a friend gave us one when my kids were puking and I thought I was going to lose my mind.  It was a life-saver that day.

 

This is not a sponsored post.  I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing this post.  As always, all opinions & recommendations are my own.

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Online Coupon Organization

We ordered our Christmas cards from Tiny Prints last year, and they took three weeks to get them to us because their printers broke.  It was no big deal because I got them in plenty of time to send them out before Christmas, so I didn’t think anything of it.

In February, I received a $50 gift card from Tiny Prints as an apology for taking so long to get our Christmas cards to us.  This was not the typical $50 off $150 order – it was just a $50 credit. Woot.  Woot.

The code for the credit expired on July 31st – which seemed like forever away.  I remember thinking that I would use the credit to order my kids’ birthday invitations and/or thank you cards.

And I completely forgot about it until last week when I was cleaning out my InBox on our desk.  I was so frustrated.  I just let $50 get wasted.

I am a firm believer in not buying something just because you have a coupon or it’s on sale.  The only justification for purchasing something is if you need it, and if you are able to save some money when buying it, well done.  For this reason, I throw approximately 90% of the coupons we receive in the garbage.   The big one right now is 20% off at Carters or OshKosh.  I think we get that coupon once a week.  But it can’t be used on most of their sale items, and only 20% off at Carters is still more than I spend on my clothes, so those go in the trash right away.

Every once in a while, we will get a keeper, and I have a tray on my desk where I keep stuff like that.  Because coupons aren’t the only items in that tray, they get lost in the shuffle.  At this moment, other items in said tray include: Cards that I received that I need to respond to, a list of dates of my daughter’s milestones in her first months (for her baby book that I’m just now starting), tickets to the Iowa football game Josh and I went to last fall, my dream house layout and some Bible study notes.

I can’t imagine how that $50 voucher got lost in that mess. #sarcasm

I have this sorter on our desk (similar), which I purchased in college to create a spot for my messy roommates to put the mail.  It hasn’t had a purpose since moving to this house and was just sitting on my desk.

Don't let those online coupon codes expire because you forgot you had it. A quick & easy way to see your offers and use them! - maximizingdaysblog.com

Don't let those online coupon codes expire because you forgot you had it. A quick & easy way to see your offers and use them! - maximizingdaysblog.com

I decided to pull all of the coupons out of my tray and put them in here.  Separating and putting them in a visible spot is the first big step in not forgetting about them.

Don't let those online coupon codes expire because you forgot you had it. A quick & easy way to see your offers and use them! - maximizingdaysblog.com

I also decided to write the expiration dates of each coupon a neon post-it and adhere it to the coupon.  Then I sorted the coupons by date, with the nearest expiration date first.  I’m at our desk once a day, so I catch a glance of those bright pink notes each day.  I’m reminded that they’re there and how long I have to use them.

Don't let those online coupon codes expire because you forgot you had it. A quick & easy way to see your offers and use them! - maximizingdaysblog.com

This doesn’t mean that I use all of these, because I don’t always have something to buy, but at least now I don’t lose the chance to save money because I was unorganized.

Don't let those online coupon codes expire because you forgot you had it. A quick & easy way to see your offers and use them!

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Summer Momiform

I wrote about my go-to outfit this spring, which was part of the catalyst for becoming a capsule wardrobe-er.  I have committed to the capsule wardrobe lifestyle and post my daily outfits on Instagram.  Because I post what I wear everyday, highlighting my summer momiform seemed slightly redundant, but for those who don’t follow the daily attire on Instagram, I thought I would keep with this new-found tradition.

My summer lifestyle is what I like to call tri-polar.  There are days where I’m going to be super active with my kids either biking or going for walks, which require tennis shoes and athleisure apparel.  I work one day a week in an office, where the attire is business casual, but where it’s my one chance to dress like a real grown up.  Most of my days are somewhere in between where I’m playing with my kids, but also running errands and getting stuff done around the house.

When I created my summer capsule wardrobe, I was intentional about having pieces in there that fit all three of these lifestyles.

My spring momiform was an outfit that I would have worn for all three of these lifestyles, but the summer heat doesn’t allow that, so I have three summer momiforms.

Summer Momiform: Athletic, Casual & Office apparel from a 45 piece capsule wardrobe - maximizingdaysblog.com

Do you find that you wear the same thing every day in the summer?  Or do you switch it up?  For those of you who have a capsule wardrobe, do you find that living the capsule life means wearing the same thing more often?

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons.  I’ve already started to think about my fall capsule wardrobe and I’m ready for boots and scarves and pumpkin spice lattes.  But I will miss my chino shorts. If I had to pick one outfit to wear all summer for everything, it would be my casual outfit.  A comfy cotton tank, some JCrew chino shorts & my trusty Sanuk flip flops.  That’s summer comfort right there.

Trouble Spots: Kid Closets

In each of our kids’ closets, I have something that I call the “Outgrown Bins”, which are bins that clothes are thrown into once they become too small for said child.  My daughter has been wearing 4T since last summer, which means that, for the first time, we have four seasons worth of clothes in one size.  Which also means that her “Outgrown Bin” had reached capacity.  Actually, it was over capacity.  And there was a cardboard box overflowing with hand-me-down shoes that are currently too big for her in the bottom corner of the closet.  It was mayhem.  I broke down last weekend and pulled the bins and the cardboard box out in an attempt to reel in the mess.

Once I sorted through the bins and shoes, I was inspired to tackle the rest of her closet.

All of our bedroom closets came with built-in shelving that is not easily adjustable.  Translation: I have to work with what I have.

In my ideal world, I would tear out the wire shelving to create a custom solution.  Nothing fancy, but something simple that incorporates drawers and maximizes the space.  I’m drooling over these closets.

How to organize a toddler closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

Financially, neither of those awesome closets were options for us, so I made the best of what we had.

The shelving in my daughter’s closet isn’t that bad.  I love the idea of drawers/shelves through the middle of the closet, and the shelving configuration in her room lends itself to that with the addition of some baskets.

In addition to the overflowing bins and boxes, her closet was also storing stuff that it shouldn’t (an extra euro pillow, bedrail and window covering).  We order our kids’ diapers from The Honest Company in bundles and I never had a good system for storing the multiple packages of diapers that come in each bundle.

*I took these before pictures after I had already removed the full bins and box of shoes, so I drew them in order to help you envision the mess*

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

Most of her clothes are folded and kept in her plastic drawers.  The only clothes of hers that are hung are dresses and jackets/outerwear, so we don’t need a ton of hanging space.

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

The laundry hampers that we have fit perfectly between the shelving posts and for that, I am very thankful.  That makes a big difference.

In addition to the diapers, there were a few other items, such as her hat, scarves and backpack, floating around her closet that didn’t have a home.

My goals for her closet were:

  1. Contain the diapers
  2. Find a home for the random items
  3. Get rid of items that don’t need to be stored in her closet

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

I was so excited when I was able to empty her entire top shelf.  There will be a time when we will need that space, and now it’s available.  The y-weave baskets from Target are, once again, the star of this re-organization.  The 11″ basket fit perfectly in the middle column of shelves, which then serve the same purpose as drawers – just not as pretty or slick.  The more shallow 11″ basket was the perfect way to contain extra bedding (because I’ve never perfected the folding of a fitted sheet) and the taller 6″ baskets were perfect for containing the random accessories that didn’t have a home.  One basket now has “seasonal wear”, which is swimsuits and scarves, and the other has her accessories, which include her fedora and jewelry.  These baskets are deeper than the basket that we had holding the open package of diapers, which meant that we could get an entire package in a basket, so no more partially opened packages that needed to be stored.  The OCD part of me really wants to fill the gap with a fourth basket, but I have nothing that needs to go in there – yet.  When I do, I will gladly fill that void with a matching basket to complete the set.  I currently have an old diaper bag and her LL Bean tote in the large 13″ basket, but because those are the only things in that basket right now, I’m reconsidering putting hooks on the wall for those bags.

I sorted all of the shoes that we have that are currently too big by size.  They are labeled in my favorite, clear shoebox containers and can easily be accessed when her feet decide to grow.

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler girl's closet - maximizingdaysblog.com

My organization adrenaline was pumping when I was done with my daughter’s closet which was all the motivation that I needed to walk upstairs and tackle the mess in my son’s closet.

His shelving is a lot more haphazard and there are more unusable and awkward spaces in his closet.  I’ve been frustrated by this closet since we moved in, so I knew that when I had the desire to do something about it, I needed to take advantage of that. Otherwise, it would be a hot mess at least until he starts kindergarten.

In addition to the awkward spaces, my son’s closet is also the place for my overflow/out-of-season clothes.  I’m realizing as I type this that as a result of my new capsule wardrobe, I think I have some extra space in my closet, so maybe I could move that overflow back into our closets.  I’ll keep you posted.

My daughter is potty-trained and only wears diapers when she sleeps.  My son, however, is still in diapers, and in addition to our Honest Company bundle, I also stock up on them when they’re on sale at Target.  So, my son’s closet could also be called the “Diaper Storage Area”.  He also had his fair share of random items floating around that didn’t have a home.  All of this in addition to containers of paint supplies and play-doh because I decided to take them out of our coat closet, but haven’t yet found a better spot for them.

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

The issues with this closet weren’t all that different from my daughter’s.  Contain diapers & wipes and find spot for the random stuff that just gets shoved in there.

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

The boxes of diapers got moved up to the top shelf (that is above my hanging clothes where you can’t see it).  The bags of diapers and wipes each got put in a shallow basket that holds them neatly, but also makes it easy to grab a package whenever I need them.  The painting supplies and play-doh got put back in the coat closet where they belong.  Swim diapers got put in the dresser with swim trunks since they are always grabbed together anyway.  His hat sits on a low shelf so that he can grab it when he wants to wear it, along with his backpack, which is hung on the same shelf.  We keep a laundry basket of extra blankets on a high shelf.  We need extra blankets occasionally, so need to be able to access them, but don’t need them often, so that high shelf is the perfect spot.  The y-weave basket next to it contains other items that we need occasionally, but don’t need to be on a low shelf to be accessed often.

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

Again, I was left with some empty shelf space, and I love that.  I’m a firm believer in not filling a space to capacity when you organize it because you have to account for growth and accumulation that will occur.  Now, there is a great spot for that growth.

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

We don’t hang a lot of my son’s clothes, but this space is the only one that really works well for hanging his clothes.  But, there is room for growth there as well, which I’m perfectly happy with.

How to organize a toddler boy's closet - maxmizingdaysblog.com

What do find is the hardest part about keeping your kids’ closets organized?  What else besides clothes, diapers and bedding do you keep in their closets?

While this is certainly not my ideal solution, I feel good about it’s functionality and it’s longevity.  I’m especially happy with the extra space this organization opened up.  That might be my biggest win in this whole process.

How to organize a toddler closet when you can't adjust shelving - maximizingdaysblog.com