Finding Joy in the Everyday

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law sent me The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. No, it wasn’t a hint to start doing a better job of cleaning her son’s house – or at least I don’t think it was… Liz recently decided to take early retirement, so she and her husband have been going through decades of possessions, trying to downsize their life. She loved the book so much that she thought I needed to have my very own copy.

Not only did I also love the book, weeks later I’m still thinking about it. More than just a step-by-step guide to cleaning your house, the book shares more of a philosophy of life: only keep things in your life that spark joy. Of course the focus is on decluttering and getting rid of possessions, but it’s also applicable across relationships, jobs, etc. For me, it was a new approach to cleaning, and for some reason it resonated with me beyond just clearing out our closets or bookshelves.

It’s had me thinking about what simple parts of my everyday life give me little moments of happiness. I’ve been specifically paying attention to the positive moments that often just slip on by:


Coming downstairs to these happy faces every morning



Moments of silliness with this goofy guy



Lazy Sunday mornings in bed dinking around on my computer



When my husband surprises me with a Diet Coke, nectar of the gods

Above all else though, it has me thinking about what in my wardrobe brings me joy when I slip it on. When I really think about it, there actually aren’t too many items in my closet that fit the bill.


My cozy wool hiking socks – worn all year long, even in summer



My chambray shirt that always needs to be ironed – I wear it and wash it so often



My neon tie dye scarf that just makes me feel cool when I wear it

After a few weeks of reflecting and slowly shedding old jeans and other possessions from my closet, I’ve reached a point where I want to really pare things down. One of the points from the book that’s really stuck with me is that if you only have what you absolutely need and love, you should never have to tidy. Everything should just have it’s own space. Not tidying would be the dream, especially the bedroom, where I’m prone to strewing my clothes about.

So, I’ve decided to try pulling together a capsule wardrobe. Picking a minimum number of pieces to wear for a few months, with the rest of my wardrobe moving into boxes in storage. After those few months, if I don’t miss anything, I’ll know that I can live without it.

I’m slowly trying to think through flexible outfits for both the office and summer weekends. How many pants and skirts I need, how many shoes I actually wear, etc. This capsule wardrobe planner has been so helpful. Hopefully I’ll be ready to share my picks in a week or two. I’m pretty nervous about choosing “the right” pieces, so I’ll need your feedback!

Have you ever thought about creating a capsule wardrobe? What must-have items would you add to yours? Would you keep the color scheme neutral or add pops of color?


18 responses

    • It doesn’t have to be 37 pieces. It’s just a minimal number of items. 37 is just the limit that this particular blogger gives herself. Now I want to do it just for a season to see how it goes. I think it’d be impossible to pull together a capsule wardrobe that covered an entire year of outfits. Your summer capsule wardrobe could just be 20 ModCloth dresses, plus some shoes and accessories.

  1. Eeep! As you know, I’m about as far as you can get from a minimalist (does that make me a maximalist?) so the capsule wardrobe makes me nervous. But I’m excited to see what you pick and how it works!

  2. Omgosh your furbabies are so adorable! And wow the capsule wardrobe sounds intense but what a great way to see what pieces you really need. I just try to clean out my closet every 3-4 months, mostly because I need more hangers and closet space hehe. Can’t wait to see how the capsule wardrobe goes for you, you should definitely have an after-the-fact post about it!


  3. Great post Julia…I’ve been reading this book as well and I am obsessed with decluttering my life! I love what she says about “does this item bring you joy.” That hit home to me, big time!

  4. Paying attention to the little things really make life worthwhile. And idd you just say Diet Coke is the nectar of the gods? LMAO. I am sitting here laughing so hard. But your hubby was so sweet to give that to you. And I absolutely love your idea of a capsule collection for a few months. Great idea. I may have to try that out ;). Great post.

    Kia / The House of KTS

  5. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ve read so many blog posts about it, that I feel like I have almost read the whole book… I am contemplating a capsule wardrobe as well, so I am curious to know how you go about it and how it works out for you.

  6. I love this post Jules! It resonates with me so much. I have heard so many good things about this book. I love lthe idea of a minimal aesthetic. I am constantly purging my closet, and only keeping the items I need/love. The older I get the more I realize I don’t want excess in my life. It’s just not necessary.

    Oh yay! You checked out the Un-fancy blog. Did you love it? I can’t wait to see your capsule wardrobe. I’m so excited!

  7. Pingback: A Peek at My Summer Capsule Wardrobe « SOUTH BY NORTHWEST

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