Friday, September 10, 2010

Operation Simplify and Purge: Day 7, the Grand Finale

When you can't do something truly useful, you tend to vent the pent up energy in something useless but available, like snappy dressing. ~Lois McMaster Bujold


I saved my worst enemy for last... my clothing. I think that is most women's Achilles heels as far purging goes. We have some gene that drives us to have more clothing, nicer clothing, the same clothing except in multiple colors. We derive some sense of accomplishment in wearing prettier clothes than the next girl. I must say I am not too much of a clothes whore. In truth, I can not be, as my storage options are these:
I know a few women who just died a little inside knowing I only have a 3 foot converted armoir and a teeny 3 drawer dresser to house all of my clothing. But, that's all I need. Having said that, they had both become so over stuffed that I could not even put all of my laundry away any longer. Why? case in point: I fall into the trap of owning a lot of items that are essentially the exact same thing. 3 white spaghetti strap tanks? Check. 2 tan corduroy skirts? Check. 7 pair of tan pants (3 dress pants and 4 corduroy)? Check. Who the hell needs 7 pair of tan pants when I only ever wear jeans? These are held over from 4 years ago, the last time I held a full time job.

And so the purge began. I saw The 333 Project on Be More With Less and thought, "What a great idea!" Wear only 33 items for 3 months. Well, it is a great idea, just not for me. As I started weeding through my clothes, I quickly realized I am not quite ready to be a bare minimalist with my wardrobe. I did follow the advice of my favorite simple living blog, zen habits, on editing my closet. I mean, I get ready for work at 4 in the morning. I literally grab clothes in the dark. How much do I really need? 3 or 4 pair of jeans and 3 or 4 tees has me covered for that. And I only go out about once every week or 2, it's not like I need a large variety 'about town' clothes. 2 nicer outfits would probably keep me covered for that.

Anyhow, I pulled EVERYTHING out of every drawer, closet, shelf, cubby hole, etc... Yup, that's everything I own. Not too daunting considering I live in New England and that is a wardrobe for 4 seasons. But, I still wanted way less. I am tired of looking through the same 50 things that I never wear just to find the 20 that I do.

becoming minimalist, another of my favorite blogs, offered a list of 10 tips to help you learn to own fewer clothes:

1. Admit that you own too much clothing. Check.
2. Wear fewer colors. I really only wear very neutral colors. Check.
3. Embrace the idea of one. I did do away with 2 white tanks, 3 pair of tan corduroys and i tan corduroy skirt (among other duplicates.) Check.
4. Donate, sell, recycle, discard. 2 bags for Goodwill. Check.
5. Donate, sell, discard some more.
6. Impose an arbitrary moratorium on shopping. Check. Now that I have uncovered many clothes that I love and will not have any trouble finding them, I don't feel the need to buy any more clothes.
7. Set a monthly spending limit.
8. Purchase quality over quantity. I have always adhered to this theory. Why spend $10 on cheap pants that will fall apart after 2 washings?
9. Avoid the sale racks. Will try really hard!
10. Impress with your character, not your clothes. Lee Mildon once said, “People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.”

And what did I get rid of? 59 items for Goodwill and 75 items in the trash (that wasn't all clothing, I has some random crap in my drawers and bottom of my closet!) 2 items that need to be altered in the next week (or donate if I don't) and 2 items to Ariana (ahhh, she is wearing my clothes... this is VERY bad!)

This left me with 6 pair of jeans, a couple of pair of pants, my 6 favorite tees, and enough cute skirts, tops, sweaters and hoodies to fill that 3 feet of closet space back up, but not at all crammed in.

I was smart last year and bought 4 different neutral long sleeve tees so that I can layer them under me warmer weather tops and not have to alter my summer wardrobe too much as autumn arrives. This can be quite cumbersome to us New Englanders. I know people who literally have 2 separate wardrobes taking up space in their home. Not me! I put exactly 9 things under my bed from my summer wardrobe. I will wear my long sleeve tees under the rest of the tops and some cute tights and boots with the skirts and... voila... cold weather attire.

And, now, I can breathe deeply, stress less, look better in the nicer selection of clothes I kept, and live simply.

Today's total: 134
Grand Total purge: 581

See day 1 here.
See day 2 here.
See day 3 here.
See day 4 here.
See day 5 here.
See Day 6 here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the donations to Goodwill, you are a superstar!