In Defense of Hoarding: Finding Joy in a Closet Full of Clutter

I have to admit I've abandoned any hope of having a minimal wardrobe. It’s not that I don’t get the appeal – a closet full of 20-30 streamlined, complementary pieces would certainly make getting dressed in the morning much easier. And maybe if I was 22 and just starting to build a grown-up wardrobe I might go the way of the capsule. But 10+ years of thrift store shopping, sewing experiments, clothing swaps and impulse buys (but it’s fair trade!) mean that I’ve far surpassed the 30-piece mark.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have several plastic bins full of clothing I’ve kept over the years. It’s Mari Kondo’s nightmare, really: 48 cubic feet of pure clutter. Things I should have discarded long ago because they didn’t get worn, didn’t quite fit, or at the time didn’t spark joy. But now that I’m pregnant and reworking my wardrobe on a daily basis, I am so glad I kept them around.  

Last weekend I went though my closet and lovingly stowed away all the things my belly has outgrown. I hung up the few new maternity pieces I bought, along with several old pieces that I excavated from those four bins. This dress, for example, is one that my grandma bought me about five years ago. I loved the print and it’s 90’s vibe, but it was always a little too big for me. Now it fits like a dream, looks practically brand-new, and most importantly doesn’t scream “maternity.”

I’m trying my best not to shop with the same abandon that I did in my twenties, when I spent what little disposable income I had on secondhand pieces because they were cute and fun and cheap. But I think it’s silly to get rid of the things I’ve already purchased just for the sake of having less stuff. And if you have a little storage space to spare, I urge you to think twice before purging all of the clothing you're not completely smitten with. After all, you never know when that dress you forgot you had will suddenly fit you again. Joy? Consider yourself sparked.

Outfit Details:  Dress, gift from my granny; not sure where it's from / Velvet jacket, thrifted from Wallflower Vintage / Leather sandals by Fidji (made in Portugal)/ Birdie Watch by Shinola (made in Detroit, USA) / Woven clutch, part of my first delivery from Le Tote