Getting to know me starts with getting to know my mother. As a child, I always thought my mother was the most beautiful woman to walk the earth. She had a subtle confidence and ease about her that was entirely captivating. I also happen to be a firm believer that our childhood deeply shapes who we are and what we become. For me, growing up in the shadow of this physically beautiful woman left a lasting impression.

Into adulthood, my physical appearance became very important to me; it was a deep obsession I was entirely caught up in. Constantly worrying about being stylish and beautiful led to panic attacks and depression. I had days where I literally could not leave the house, all because of what I did or did not have in my closet. I completely lacked confidence.

I knew something needed to change once I got married. These self-confidence issues were not a part of the woman that I wanted to be for my husband or for myself. I knew I needed to change priorities. I needed a detox—to think differently about beauty. I knew that would begin with pursuing simplicity. So I donated most of my wardrobe and left only the absolute basics. I only had twenty pieces of clothing total when the cull was over! I started slowly building my wardrobe back up, focusing on quality over quantity, a minimal color palette, and clothing that I looked and felt great in.

Creating a leaner wardrobe and a simpler home provided my husband and myself the space to continually remember that it is not about things. My view of beauty shifted with my physical surroundings. With a minimal wardrobe, I could finally focus on spending time with the people I love doing what I love. I was left with only the things that give my life and our home value.

I have always thought that life is defined by moments: the sound of a calm Summer night, the feel of your partner’s hand in yours, the look of the dappled sun through the Autumn trees, the first sip of a cup of coffee accompanying a perfect conversation, the belief in something greater than myself. These small, beautiful moments, perfect in all their simplicity, invite beauty and meaning to my life.

Striving for perfection in my wardrobe was as exhausting as it was unrealistic. For this reason, “The Perfect Wardrobe” series is becoming “The Curated Closet.” Maintaining a life without clutter and noise—ultimately, curating a serene space—obviously requires some effort. But the point is to free yourself from the chaos that smothers your confidence, to transform your understanding of beauty by savoring the simple things. Culture so often demands that we surround ourselves with more; I find the contrary to be most rewarding. Let’s live simple, undistracted lives so we don’t miss the moments that shape us.

Read more about the Curated Closet series here