Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm Wearing Thirty items for Three Months

We have beautiful sunflowers in the house (great choice, Brucie!), so I just had to show them off.
I've long been talking about how to do an inventory of my clothes in the name of streamlining and simplifying and so on.  While there are a ton of different templates for reducing your wardrobe, I recently encountered one that resonated with me. I like that I don't have to get rid of my other clothes, because I want to see how it goes and whether it actually simplifies my life.

I've modified the parameters a little to help fit where I'm at, so this is my wardrobe for the next three months (everything else is stored).  The idea is this: 30 items (including accessories, bags, sunglasses, shoes, but not underwear) for three months. After three months, you can rotate your stock.

1 Sunglasses
1 Bag
2 Dresses
3 Skirts
2 pants
2 Light Sweaters
1 Blazer
2 Tank tops
2 Button Down Shirts
3 other shirts
3 pairs of shoes
2 Light Coats (one waterproof, one not)
1 Hoodie
1 Swimsuit/costume
1 Necklace
3 Scarves
30 Items

Balancing the office dayjob and my other life is hard!

My bag doubles as a diaper bag, and the pair of shoes not pictured here live at work.
On Saturday I hung up all the items I'll be wearing, and put all my other clothes in a chest. My initial reaction was one of relief, because my cupboard looks simple and I can see everything- and everything is in one place. I was surprised by how quickly you end up with 30 items-- at first it seems like a pretty large number (for Eug, I think it was-- he's also down to 30 items without blinking)-- but I shudder to think of how many items are usually in my closet and chest. I also think this is a much harder exercise for those of us who wear necklaces and scarves and so on.

I consider this exercise as discipline, where it works to the extent that it allows me to focus on other things, particularly God. For me, the discipline of fasting from most food hasn't been helpful up to now, because I spend the entire time thinking about how much I like food. But this kind of discipline works because although it's a stretch, I'm not going to be thinking about clothes these three months. Or the three months after that.

I like the idea of thinking of those things that are excellent, true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and so on. I say "like the idea of" because much of the time I'm critical and sarcastic, without necessarily building things. But we're meant to build- we're creative. Now, it's a leap from simplifying your wardrobe according to a pre-determined rubric- to thinking and building. But I think the more we create space in our lives, the more space there is to dream and to build.

If anyone tries this out (with me, or later) please let me know, I'd love to share in the experience.

No comments: