Tuesday, December 2, 2014

simplify

Sometimes I read articles that inspire me.  Like this article I read the other day about how some of the most successful people wear the same thing everyday.  The idea makes a lot of sense...when you don't have to waste brain power deciding what to wear everyday it frees up a lot of time and energy in your life. As a full time working and stay at home mother of two TIME is something I need more of...Energy is also something I could use more of...so logically this article sang to me.  If you know anything about me, you know I have a thing for clothes...when I lived in Florida somehow I managed to acquire over 150 dresses...(no I'm not over exaggerating...I counted them one day...this is what happens when I have a large walk-in closet). When I moved to Chicago I exchanged half of those dresses for sweaters and fleece lined leggings...but I've always had an overly stuffed wardrobe.
Having a plethora of options has always been comforting...

Well I decided to risk throwing away that comfort in an effort to save time, space and energy...and let me tell you it was a glorious decision! I wish I had taken a before picture, but I didn't so you'll just have to imagine that both my closet and my armoire were so stuffed that I could barely squeeze a hanger in between two articles of clothes. I had 115 hangers in my closet and 61 in my armoire. Now there are just 30 in my closet and 23 in my armoire.

How did I do it? You ask?
Well I thought about it for a good week. I read several different articles about pairing down clothes/wardrobes...I already had a clothing swap planned last Monday so when I finally decided to take the plunge I did it with gusto and gave away all my clothes.  Of course getting them out was the hardest part...and I did that by:
a) Taking EVERYTHING out of my closet and assessing every piece of clothing one by one.
b) putting each piece of clothing into one of three bins: 1. Keep 2. Clothing Swap 3. Not sure
c) I gave myself rules. Since I've decided to have a base outfit I needed to decide what that base outfit is and then came up with guidelines in order to keep an article of clothing. My base outfit is a neutral colored dress with leggings and a layering piece for warmth.  So, for each article of clothing I kept I had to answer Yes to each of these questions:
          1. Does it fit right now?
          2. Is this a neutral colored dress, leggings or a layering item?
          3. Does this work comfortably for breastfeeding?
          4. Have I worn it more than once in the last year?
          5. Do I feel attractive when I have this on?
          6. Will this work with multiple things in my wardrobe?
If I could NOT answer yes to every one of those questions then the item would then get placed in one of the other bins. The "Not Sure" bin was reserved for pieces that didn't fit the rules but that I worried I might miss if I let them go. (In the end this bin only ended up with about 18 items in it...I placed these items in an opaque bin on top of my wardrobe for assessment at a later time.)
I also kept 4 pairs of pants (just in case someone ever asks me to wear them) and a drawer filled with long sleeve and short sleeve shirts for pajamas/lounging.

This was the end result:

That's it...that's my entire wardrobe (with the exception of my pj's and leggings in my dresser).

  Honestly I couldn't be happier with the results.  Now I can clearly see everything in my wardrobe. Getting dressed is simple...I take a pair of leggings from the top of the pile and grab a dress from my closet and then I select a layering piece from my armoire and I'm done! And I look and feel great. There is still plenty of variety and plenty of fashion...and far less decision.  The best part is I now have no desire to shop. Before I used to feel obligated to buy things if they were cute/ on sale and in my size...now I will only buy something if it fits my uniform rules and is cuter then something I already have. I want to keep my wardrobe small...I have a 40 hanger limit in my closet. I currently have 10 empty hangers...once those hangers are full for every item that comes home I have to choose something to come out. My armoire is full...if I add anything from this point forward it will be to replace something that is already in there. 

This, my friends, is therapy. De-clutter...simplify...stop consuming for the sake of consuming...I highly recommend it.