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Un-stuffing a bunch of stuff.

The other day I opened my closet and thought, for the first time in my life, “I don’t think I need all of this stuff.” I began to think about the last time I’d worn certain items, and asked myself why I hadn’t worn them in awhile. Then I moved on to the bottom right drawer of my dresser: the jeans. See, I once realized I’d lost 38 lbs since my highest weight. The number is now around 50 pounds. So I tried on some jeans and put a few pairs that were… wait for it… TOO BIG… in a pile to take to Plato’s Closet.

And then I realized… you know, I haven’t consistently worn dresses in awhile. So I took every single dress I own, threw it on my bed, and started trying every single dress on. INCLUDING… Bridesmaid dresses. Check this:

This first dress is one I wore last September in Rachel’s wedding.

Before/After weight loss //

When I got the dress it fit really nicely; they didn’t alter the fit at all. When I tried the dress on, I thought “okay it fits kind of the same,” but when I saw the pictures I realized that the waist part is actually more loose now! Also this dress is just the cutest. It makes me feel like a princess.

The next dress is from August 2011, one of my favorite weddings of all time because it was at CAMP ARNOLD!

Before/after weight loss //

I was looking for a picture from Sarah’s wedding and I saw this one and was like… wait, what? First, just note how much shorter it was on Sarah’s wedding day. Second, don’t pay too much attention but I was snug as a bug in that dress. When I put it on, I literally thought “this is what it feels like to wear a potato sack.” There was NOWHERE for it to cling, it just hung flat. This was the moment I thought “okay, maybe my weight loss is actually physically noticeable.”

But wait for this one.

This is from my friend Brittany’s wedding in April 2011.

before/after weight loss //

When I wore this dress, I had no problems keeping it up. It’s strapless, but it had enough to stay in place. Now it wouldn’t even stay on my body.

Okay so here’s the thing. I didn’t stop there. I tried on every… article… of… clothing… I… own. Seriously. I tried it all on, and I decided.. some of this needs to go.

clothes //

and you know what’s crazy? I kind of felt awesome about it. Because I realized this little cycle:

Losing weight –> Selling clothes –> Making a little $$ / un-stuffing –> less to worry about –> more time to do other things –> like sleep –> sleep helps with losing weight…. see this cycle? I realized that so much of what I’m currently tackling is all connected.

As I get rid of stuff in my room, I’m appreciating the value in the things I keep, which makes me less likely to go buy stuff just to make myself feel good. That helps me save money and keep an easier living space. Having a clear mind like that helps me stay focused on things like losing weight. It’s all connected.

I’m seeing that there’s a lot of stuff in my life to unstuff. I’m attempting to unstuff my debt (slowly… but surely. You know who is KILLING this debt repayment stuff? ROBYN. Go read this post like RIGHT NOW). I’m attempting to unstuff my body. I’m attempting to unstuff my closet, my room, under my bed, the drawers, the bathroom, my car, the garage…. not all at once, obviously. I’m just realizing that having lots of stuff doesn’t make me happy. Doing lots of THINGS makes me happy. Seeing lots of PEOPLE makes me happy. Being lots of places, drinking lots of coffee, having lots of conversations, hiking lots of miles… all stuff that makes me happy. Stuff isn’t cutting it anymore, and I’m tired of it.

This month I made a goal to unstuff by my bed. I’m getting there. This was a really healthy detour. I’ll tell you how much I make at Plato’s…. when I finally take it down there.

So here’s to progress in all the things that matter.

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A couple weeks ago I realized that I’m surrounded by too much stuff, and I’ve committed to tackling that problem. One small space at a time. A lot of the beginning stuff will be easy – going through the things I can see. Just wait until we start getting into drawers and boxes. Then I’ll turn into those ladies on What Not To Wear who cry because they can’t throw away the fuzzy leopard print vest they got when they were 9 that still fits on days they’re not bloated. But about papers and trinkets and things.

Last week I tackled my dresser corner. This week I went for the top of my desk and the floor surrounding it. This gives you an idea of what we were working with:


My desk wasn’t TOO bad and the floor wasn’t TOO messy but there was still a lot of STUFF. This is where I’m sitting today:

// //

Maybe I’m not the best desk stylist and it’s not super instagram-worthy, but it’s functional and I like it. I went through my pens and made a huge stack of pens to take to work, because for some reason I have NO black/blue pens there. I traded the big white IKEA planter for a smaller bucket that Katie sent me in a care package. I also cleaned the area next to my bed; that pink tub turned into a collection of stuff to take to work for various reasons. It’s in another room so that I don’t give in to the temptation to use it as storage to hide things.


And good news… my dresser corner is still looking good.



My next project.

I’m going to give myself two weeks for this one because I want to be thorough and well-thought out.

The other side of my bed AKA the first thing you see when you enter my room…


Super good thing I have a roll of toilet paper on my night stand, right? It’s a lot of stuff. Just random things. Books I’m not reading, lotions I’m not using, a candle I’m not currently burning… time to take control of all that STUFF.



Do you have any posts about decluttering/organizing/etc? Or any tips? I’d love to hear from you… for my own benefit AND to share on my blog! Drop me a comment.

Also… anybody else yet pick an area of their life to go through with a fine tooth comb and get rid of anything that isn’t helpful/useful/joy-bringing? You should post about it on your blog so I can read about it 🙂 Strength in numbers, people. Strength in numbers!

Other posts on Unstuffing:

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Unstuffing // Dresser Corner

Last week I wrote about how tired I am of having SO MUCH STUFF, and how having so much stuff actually affects my spending habits. I decided I wanted to UNSTUFF my life, and I wanted to start with my dresser corner – the shelves by the corner of my dresser and the top of the dresser. And I did it!

In case you forgot… this is what it looked like:

too much stuff //


After some carefully thought out rearranging/discarding/etc… welcome to my tiny little place of unstuff:


I did some research and discovered that when styling a dresser you should get one big picture to hang on the wall. I went to Target and realized that not only was there nothing there I liked, but I just don’t want to spend that kind of money right now. I drove home and spent time trying to figure out what to put on the wall above the dresser and decided to use these cute little clothespins and some twine (both from the $1 section at Target) to hang up some of my favorite Instax prints.

instax prints //

instax prints //




Okay let me give you some secrets. That “Do everything in love” print? From Jessica. That “Be brave” print? It’s a framed card sent to me by Robyn. The glass that my cute little succulent is in? Susannah made it for me (the bottom is pink + glittered!). It’s so great to have things that remind me of people who love me.

For my birthday, Lauren gave me a little plaque that says “I love that you’re my sister” and it straight up made me start crying, because… well I’m an only child and hate it. I decided I definitely needed a picture of Lauren + I next to it. Also, did you know I love Curly Girl Designs? Because I do, and I have this cute little decorative plaque next to a picture of me and Taylor. I’d had this little canvas sitting on my shelf and finally finished it by painting HAKUNA MATATA on it. What a wonderful phrase 🙂



(can you guys just appreciate how old that mary-kateandashley spray is? I keep using it whenever I can, but I don’t remember to very often)

Hey do you remember my nail polish problem? I went through and swiped the top of them so that I can display them conveniently. Can I say that I was SO excited to have the perfect number of nail polishes… then I kept discovering more bottles of Julep nail polish laying around. haha. oh and I painted my shelf pink because… I love pink.

nail polish organization //



Everybody give me a round of applause, people. I am on my way. Next up I’ll be writing books about decluttering for the person who usually calls putting stuff in new places “decluttering” haha.


Round 2, are you ready for it? I’m taking down the top of my desk (the drawers are a whole different beast) and the floor surrounding my desk. Because…. hot mess. Well, maybe minus the hot. Just straight up mess.




Someone join me in this whole unstuffing/decluttering thing, okay?


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I have a problem.

and that problem is called STUFF.

Across from me on my dresser are a bunch of nail polishes. My nails have been painted for roughly 3 days since April. My wall boasts a whole shelf full of sprays/perfumes that I rarely think to use because I have endless amounts in my bathroom, too. I see a tin FULL of pens and pencils and piles of clothes I’ll have to cram into my dresser. It’s suffocating.

As if to prove my point, I went to grab my camera (which I brought in from my car an hour ago) to take a picture of it, and I cannot find it. I know it’s somewhere in all of my STUFF, but I can’t find it.

Here’s a weird thought. Part of the reason why it’s so easy for me to carelessly spend my money is because I have so much STUFF that none of it has any real significant value, ESPECIALLY if I buy it cheap. What’s ONE MORE NAIL POLISH I won’t use? I already have like 45 of them, so one more doesn’t require much thought. Another cute notebook to add to my pile of unused journals? Sure… I’ll eventually get to them.

The clutter in my life has a weird affect on my spending habits. I don’t really need anything, but I buy things that are cute because it might look cute tucked away the gazillion other cute things I’ve purchased in the past few years. Buying something new doesn’t create any sort of real change in my life because I buy things to fill holes… that weren’t there. I’m guilty of this on the very smallest scale (which adds up to big problems!). Sometimes I buy a new wire basket in the $1 section at Target because it’s really cute. But I didn’t need a new wire basket. Now I try to figure out where to put it and what to put in it, and I often give up and it ends up in random places because it’s a completely irrelevant purchase, even if it was only $1.

aaaaaand I’m done. I’m officially on a mission to unstuff my life. I don’t want the mental, physical and financial clutter of collecting material possessions.

I’m starting with that dresser I wrote about earlier. My goal, by this time next week, is to have unstuffed the top of my dresser. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to throw it all away, but it’s either going to be utilized, organized, or given away.

Don’t judge me, but I’m about to post pictures I took on my phone as a starting point. You know, a “before.” Keeping it real here, people. Keeping it real.

too much stuff //

too much stuff //


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Every day when I get in my car I see a parking ticket stub. I haven’t looked at it since May 30th, 2012 when I got it. But I know what it’s from. It’s from when I picked Gregory up from the airport. The last time I had seen Gregory was December 2009 when I met him at a Starbucks in St. Louis. For nearly a year and a half I have seen it and thought to myself, “I should put that in my journal,” but it still sits there.

I tend to do that with anything that has some sort of emotional attachment. That means anything I picked up when I was with someone, talking to someone on the phone, texting someone, thinking about someone…. I keep it all.

So I have a lot of STUFF.

and frankly, I’m tired of it.

For a long time I thought “if I had a desk or a dresser, I’d be less overwhelmed by my STUFF…” but guess what. I got both of those things, and then I realized I had room for more STUFF, so I got more STUFF. Even though I have been trying to get rid of stuff for the past year and a half, there’s a lot of STUFF left.

For the month of August, I am going to be unstuffing my life and I challenge you all to unstuff some of your stuff, too. Even if it’s just one drawer full of crap. Let’s just get back to simple.

I’m donating 101 items to The Salvation Army thrift store this month. I dare you to as well.

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One of the most frustrating things in life is clutter. Clutter of the mind, clutter of the drawer.. and most prominent, clutter of the bathroom counter. I was pretty sure that my bathroom counter clutter was under control until I was babysitting and used their bathroom and realized that they owned something that would even further reduce my counter clutter.
Tonight I went and bought my own.



Now I’m ridiculously excited to wake up and be greeted with a clutterless bathroom counter. AWESOME.

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