Saturday, June 5, 2010


Where: Highline Park, Chelsea, NYC
When: May 30, 2010

I am continuing to mull minimalism, and am enjoying perusing various blogs and discussions about the topic. It does tend to get fairly repetitive, fairly quickly - there are really only so many ways to communicate "Let's all have less stuff. It's nice. Here's how I ended up with less stuff - I got rid of most of it. Ta da!"

At the moment, these are my two favorite blogs on the subject:
mnmlist because the subjects aren't just about the stuff, but also about mindset and approach and philosophy behind the relatively unimportant stuff. Also the guy lives in Guam. How cool is that? And where the heck is Guam?

Simplicity By Sunny because I find her writing style entertaining and a little manic and fun.

SO. Let's talk about clothing, shall we? Because after I went through my desk drawer, I decided the next most obvious thing to tackle was my closet. And my other closet. And the chest of drawers. Dear god. I am shocked and appalled by the amount of clothing I own! And I'm not going to talk about the pile of shoes, out of which I wear two, occasionally three of the pairs. I just don't have the strength, so let's not go there.

I thought briefly about taking a picture of the mountain of material heaped on my bed, but shame took over and I chose not to expose myself so very deeply. Now, it's not that I haven't done this in the past. I have frequently, in the past, decided that everything I owned was old and broken, and that I looked messy and dowdy and 10 years older than I am and that I wanted new shiny - but this time, THIS TIME, I would be scientific about it! I would go all What Not To Wear on my ass, and brutally throw everything out that I didn't wear or that didn't look good, and then I'd go out and carefully, thoughtfully purchase The Perfect Wardrobe, and I would have nothing in my closet but stunningly perfect outfits, where every piece cross referenced with every other piece, and I would have NO CHOICE but to look perfectly put together every time I walked out the door because of all the SCIENCE.

But that never actually works. Because you know who has two thumbs and bought all those clothes in the first place? This girl. (That joke works better in person, with hand gestures, but try to go with it.) You know who is going to go out and do it again? Oh why yes! Yes. That would be me. So this time, the rules are going to be a little bit different. In that there will be actual rules.

At this point in the evening, I have successfully ripped through my wardrobe and gotten rid of all the obvious things to get rid of. But now I'm down to the hard part - I'm down to the clothes that I consider wearing but don't quite ever actually wear, the shirts I like but forgot I owned because they were hiding under above referenced mountain of material, and clothes that I wear but really probably shouldn't because they make me look like I haven't showered. (This is usually because when I put those particular clothes on, I totally haven't, but whatever and who's checking anyway!)

I am also down to the part where I need to decide just how far I want to take this concept. So here's what I'm thinking:

1) Long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, winter/fall/spring jackets, heavy anything gets a reprieve until the weather stops reaching post-apocalyptic temperature levels every day. They make me sick to look at them right now, but that's not their fault.
2) I am leaving my sock and underwear drawer alone.
3) I will select clothing for the next week. (This was Dave's idea.) The rest of the non-selected clothing will go elsewhere, but will not go away. I will wear the selected clothing (and only the selected clothing) for a couple of weeks, and see how I feel. For example, do I miss the illusion of choice? Am I bored with the current selection? Do I long for THAT shirt, or THIS skirt?
4) I will not use this purge as an excuse to go shopping.

If I desperately long for the unchosen items, I will reconsider the line-up for the weeks following the initial experiment. Obviously, if we get a cold snap or it pours rain for days or anything resembling an insurance company's definition of an "Act of God" occurs, I will reconsider. But in the mean time, I'm going to have some fun experimenting with what it's like to have fewer choices in my closet.


Allison C June 7, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

Pack-rat is in my genes, I swear. I go through phases like this but quickly realize that I'm okay with all the stuff as long as I have room. My numerous kitchen tools and pots and pans make my life easier and more enjoyable (except when packing to move), but I totally get you on the clothes.

I always think I just need to have everything be "good" clothes, but that just never works out. No matter what I have, there are always a few pieces that are my "nicest" things that I save for some reason for the nicest occasions, which we never actually have. Then there are the dog park clothes, the gym clothes, tons of layers for winter (dog park and nice), the vacation in the tropics clothes, etc. And I *need* them all :)

Good luck!


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