Decluttering the Underwear Drawer

You know what should be a form of therapy? Purging your underwear drawer.

I recently did that and I feel like I could write a whole self-help book on the stages of grief you encounter during a decades-overdue undergarment purge. I mean, I had done some sweeps of the drawer in the past but this time was different. It was like ‘wait for the still of night and dump out all the contents on the bed and cry-laugh (craugh) for an hour straight‘ different.

a narrative of a minimalist purging her neglected underwear drawer

If you want to go to war in an emotional battlefield, clean out your underwear drawer.

Like, all the variations of who I am and who I’m not were in the form of undergarments taking up my space and heckling me with their mere presence

All of the hot-to-trot articles were sassing me

‘What gives? You too good for us now?! What you got that’s so much better than itchy, clingy, non-breathable and possibly conducive to constant yeast infections?! Don’t you know we are the only thing that passes as ‘sexy’ in this whole drawer? Fine, run off to full cotton briefs!’

and all the maternity underwear side-eyed me

‘Ummmm. . . . so. . . . . how’s that vasectomy treating you guys . . . ? You know…..we are maternity underwear right?…..’

and the pre-baby underwear was all

‘You know that thing that happened to your butt after pregnancy, where it kind slid down a few inches and became this fleshy blob officially termed the pancake butt? . . . well we don’t “do” (air quotes) pancake. if you want us to stay you better get on those squats lady . . . ”

and some of the impractical bras sighed,

‘Oh, honey . . . . it’s so cute that you try  . . . .’

and then low and behold there were some sports bras

that suddenly sprang out of a coma and were like ‘Where am I? How do I get home?!’


I even found a bin! (A BIN!) of bras under my bed. All the bras I had accumulated from all the stages of pre-kids,  pregnancy, post pregnancy, and so on. I have such an assortment that I could almost keep the bin at the door and hand them out to friends like goody bags at a birthday party. Except at this party we drink coffee and eat whatever the kids leftover on their plate from lunch.

At the end of the purge, I got rid of two bags of undergarments that have no place in my life or my closet.

I tell ya, it feels freeing to rid myself of all the things I didn’t really want to wear anyways but they were actually burdening me in subtle ways. (like the constant heckling every time I reached for the same sensible briefs I’ve come to love). It was like breaking up with a toxic friend.

Yes, all this from the underwear drawer.

The purge wasn’t just underwear, it was my whole chest of drawers. It was instigated during the furniture shuffle required to redo Lenayah’s room for her birthday. I was giving her my tall dresser, the boys got the change table and I got the recently recalled tippy set of three drawers dresser.


after purging clothes dresser
(narrative on my bedroom status aka the last place that will ever be renovated. This is where we reside in what I call ‘hospital chic’ staring at lego collections, my failed gallery wall, dreaming about what closet doors feel like, and waiting for the teal carpet to come back into popularity).

Instead of putting the new smaller dresser up against the wall where the big one was, we put it in the closet. This has freed up the area through the door, around the bed and to the closet.  Having this space cleared up has improved my mental health to the point where I smile when I walk into the bedroom rather than frown and contort my body around the furniture. It also has taken away the option of using my old dresser as a dumping grounds.


Since I started ‘minimalism’ a year and a half ago it has completely changed the way I view my ‘stuff’.  In terms of my closet, doing the 30 for 30 challenges has resulted in some deep thoughts on owning so much, having so many options, and spending so much money on clothes. The posts around these thoughts are mostly filed under Simple Style but long story short:

  1. I don’t need to put my security in having ‘options’.
  2. I also don’t need to have all the clothes and trends.
  3. I also don’t need to buy the cheapest option, but I do need to buy with purpose.
  4. I can own less and something eye-opening and life-changing happens when you are left only with the items you love the most 
  5. I can let go of those things (*cough*, pre-baby underwear) that just make me feel crappy every time I see them taking up space, not being used and I have maneuver around them (and listen to them berate my pancake butt).

Thank you for reading! Love Shawna, your nerdy girlfriend who is here to hold your hand through all the emotions of purging your neglected underwear drawer.

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