Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My 12-Item Wardrobe

A few months ago I stumbled upon this article: Why I got rid of my wardrobe.

And then, a few weeks after that, my friend Etleva and I got into an online discussion regarding her recent decision to stop shopping for an entire year. She wrote a guest post about this on my blog entitled: The last shopping trip.

Just a day or two after that, someone else shared a TED video with me entitled: The ten-item wardrobe.

And I began thinking about my own closet: Why was it full of stuff I didn't wear and didn't feel beautiful in? And why do I feel a need to hold onto things I don't love or even use?

I should mention that I am not a shopper. Since I am exceptionally tall with large feet, shopping like other women do is not really possible for me.

However, when I do shop, the things I buy aren't cheap and are also not easily re-buyable. Thus an intense need to hold onto things that fit me.

I should also note that prior to this experiment, I did not have a super-human amount of clothes. Most of my friends would tell you that my closet was already fairly limited. And when I compare myself to some of my more style-conscious friends and family, I was on the lower end of the spectrum.

But I still had way more than I needed or even used.

When I started working from home in 2007, a whole entire section of my wardrobe was hung up and never really got worn again. But the pants fit me, and I didn't want to get rid of them even though I hadn't worn them in years.

(I won't even get started on the three babies that left my body not quite able to fit into those previous tall clothes. That's a whole 'nother story.)

And yet, I still hung onto these things. I hung onto things I rarely, if ever wore. And more importantly, I hung onto things that I did not love wearing.

I ruminated on this for quite some time. I kept reading things online and feeling pulled to do what these people had done. But it was hard! It wasn't until we moved to the farm that I was able to accept who I was now and who I wasn't ever going to be.

I, most likely, will never return to the work force. At least not anytime soon.

I, most likely, will never have the exact body shape I had before I had my children. I'm working on it. But I have accepted that I am okay that these babies changed me.

And so it is time to leave these things behind.

I found an old friend who actually has legs my length, and I mailed her my pants. This made me feel so much better -- to know that someone else might be able to use these things.

And then I started throwing everything into a huge box for Goodwill. I looked at it quickly. If I hadn't worn it in awhile and if I didn't love it, I let it go. I didn't think about whether I would be able to buy it again or find it again. I just let it go.

My goal was, paralleling the TED video linked above, to get down to a 10-item wardrobe. I learned that the 10-items did not include pajamas and "play clothes." They include the "real" things you wear. It also does not include winter clothes. In the winter, I am allowed a separate ten items.

When I was done purging, here is what I was left with:

  • Five summer "nice" shirts
  • One pair of blue jeans
  • Two pairs of capris
  • One skirt
  • Three pairs of shorts
That's 12 items, and I felt very comfortable with that. I still have athletic shorts and t-shirts and tank-tops that I can wear around at the farm. And I still have some pajamas to sleep in.

But I even purged in that section as well.

The TED video speaker talked about not keeping things that I did not love or that were not in good shape. So I got rid of any junky pajamas or junky t-shirts. Life is too short to wear cruddy clothes she instructed, and I concurred. I'd rather wear the same shirt a couple of times a week instead of wearing things that are falling apart or don't make me feel nice.

So there you have it. 12-items. I have written about The Slow Life that we have been trying to live since returning to America a year ago. I believe that this includes not letting our things own us. And lessening my closet is part of that. 

I'd love to hear from some of you on what you think about this and whether you think you might join me on this journey to lessen things in life! Ask questions, make comments, and share your own thoughts and stories!


TAV said...

Good for you! This is so hard to do. I recently read Marie Kondo's book about decluttering and it is motivating!

Pihl Pastures said...

We are in the process of researching and will be building a tiny house in the near future. This was a crucial step in the downsizing and honestly, I loved it! I realized I already pretty much wear the same stuff from day to day so this was pretty easy. Great post!