So another year’s over, and what have you done?
I’ve made excuses as to why I can’t get past my personal road blocks. That stops today. I know it’s cold as heck out there, and personally I am not a snow bird, but I have let the weather squelch my forward momentum, and for no good reason.
If I told you that everything inside this house was sorted and reduced to a minimum I would be only playing make believe. That would be easy to do, but it wouldn’t help me in any way. Oh I know I said I can’t sell anything in a garage sale in the snow, but what about all those pesky little things…like my belts.
Because little things don’t take up a lot of space they seem to be allowed to stick around. This is not good. They have to go.
No matter how large or how small your crap is, you have to get rid of it. Space displacement is not the determining factor when eliminating clutter and crap in your life. Think about it like a junk drawer. Who wants it? Who likes it? Every little space, drawer and/or container filled–I can’t even breathe when I think about it this way.
I read something recently, that said storage isn’t good. It only serves as vehicle to neatly hide your junk. It doesn’t solve any deeper issues, and it does not advance you to a goal of living better with less.
Advisory: Don’t go to Target, January is “store your stuff” month, containers galore on sale! All so you can make more room to buy more useless stuff, from guess who? -Target.
So for this week, and for the rest of these gloomy winter months, I will work on the little things in the little drawers and in the little containers. I actually wonder what I might find.
Tip: If there is something that needs to be fixed that you have been putting off – bite the bullet and fix it.
Inspiration: ” Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” ~Coleman Cox
One-day one-day: Old stationary-clear it out, when is the last time you actually wrote a letter?
Last week I handled sorting my belts after a little self-talk-therapy. I now own four belts total. There’s a fifth one hiding in a box somewhere, and when I find it I have no doubt it be long out of style. Which brings me directly to my point today; style and de-cluttering your closet.
Before you sort clothes you ‘ll need to define your look, your style , or lack there of. Don’t worry if you feel lost doing this. In the end, if you haven’t figured it out, your clothes will tell you.
I have little style. I love fashion, and I buy fashion, but I don’t wear it. I am a dog person- rain or shine, a dirt person-yard and garden work is fun and I paint- the paint always finds it way on to whatever I am wearing.
I love comfort but at the same time I love the discomfort of high heels and formal gowns, black tie type formals. How many “black tie” events have I gone to in the last few years? Zilch. I love wearing formal gowns so much, I often daydream about having a themed party for ladies only and making the required dress code an already owned formal or gown. Play-dress-up and party. (No one ever likes this idea.)
Reality: I wear jeans. I swear to God, I think I wear them ever day of the year. So how many khakis, and slacks do I really need? Answer: Two pairs of dress slacks for business. No khaki’s needed, I only bought them for the two weeks I worked at Target.
To succeed in trimming your wardrobe you have to be brutally honest. It gets easier the more clothes you toss, a sorting momentum takes over. It feels good. Remember everyone has different requirements for their clothing needs so adjust accordingly. For example some people have uniforms and dress codes. Just make sure those items are always kept current and in good repair.
On to the work. Here are some top questions to ask yourself as you look at each item of clothing:
1. Have I worn this in the past year?
2. Does this piece remind me of anything negative or bad? If there is even the slightest bad memory associated you must toss/donate immediately, no excuses.
3. Does it fit now? Not ten pounds for now, today- remember brutal honesty.
4. Can you remember when you bought it? If it was so long ago, you say you have no idea, then get rid of it. (unless it’s become “vintage” and it passes all the other requirements)
5. Do you feel good about your self when you are wearing it?
6. Is it part of a total look or is it a stray that never looks right with anything? Toss/give away the stray.
7. Do you have to tug at it? Particularly under garments, stop the suffering now-toss.
8. Is the elastic rotten? ( I tried on an old swimsuit and the elastic crumbled. Sad but true.)
9. Do not think about how much something cost. Actually erase the amount spent from your memory bank. It’s useless information.
10. Any progress is good, you an always come back to and continue this task as a “one-thing one day” action.
Some minimalist are extreme in the clothing area. I am not. ( Remember -I am only in the process to minimalism) I like this easy route for now. Concentrating first on raising my clothing awareness will help me immediately in two areas; I will only buy what I know I will wear and my closet will only house items I like.
It’s your turn now. Look at your life and how you spend the majority of your time. Once you have a handle on that, you can begin downsizing your wardrobe. Use the questions as a guide. It will be inspiring, easy and you might even learn something.
Tip: Look up shelters for homeless and/or abused women and fresh start organizations. These woman will really benefit from your donation.
Inspiration: “I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.”~ Katharine Hepburn
“I’ve been shopping all my life and still have nothing to wear.” ~Author Unknown
One day – one thing: Sort underwear, socks, and all your shoes, if you still have time tackle your clothes in the closet.
Downsizing my wardrobe will be very tough for me. Because clothes, in the scheme of things, don’t take up much space. For example, today I was looking at my belts. I don’t wear the majority of them, but then that voice in my head said, “Don’t sort those yet, they don’t take up any space, you don’t have to make those choices today.” So I didn’t sort them……What?!?
The goal isn’t to keep things because I have the extra space. That is what got me into this mess in the fist place. Yet still after all this time, my resolve, and all that I have been doing, reading and focusing on, that little voice, that little hoarder voice was convincing me not to move forward. Devil hoarder voice won. I took my filled bag of give-away-clothes to the Good-Will and my belts stayed and lived on another day.
Not only did the ugly belts survive, but now I still get to see them. Sad, but one hundred percent true, some of these belts I have NEVER even worn. But I still kind of believe I would need one of them in the future. I might. It’s possible. (it’s NOT possible) I think the belts are laughing at me behind my back. Telling their little belt jokes. I hate them.
Right now I am going to take a time-out and SNAP myself back to reality. I mean seriously,what the h#ll? If I was in a gym I would have earned a penalty of 25 push-ups or even worse burpees.
(back to reality – time to face the core issue)
Unfortunately I can, and still could, make anything seem perfectible logical to buy, save, or even pick out of the trash for myself or for someone else. In a matter of seconds, I can present at least four perfect rationalizations that justify any acquisition, whether it’s lavish or simply junk. The very root of my problem is my acquisition rationalizations. I can not let that continue. I need my rationalizations to focus on my goal and my goal alone. I need that voice to tell me why it’s better for me to donate, sell or throw away things. That has to become my stronger voice.
The devil hoarder voice has lived inside me a long long time, and I don’t think it wants to leave. I’m its host. I gave that devil hoarder’s voice life. Now I have to squelch it silent….for good.
The lesson here is the one I stress over and over again; do a little something each day in the right direction and soon you’ll be closer to living better with less. Lesson served. (to me)
Tip: Never go clothes shopping dressed in sweats. This only makes you think you need everything you see. Dress nicely, look good and feel good about yourself, and then ask “do I really need this?” – before buying anything new.
Inspiration: “Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
One day one thing: Sort belts today!
Miss Minimalist Wardrobe (Comment section is interesting also.)