I have written before about trying to simplify my life and I am continuing to do so, albeit in a gentle way.
To start with I have been focusing on my wardrobe. It is important to say that I never buy cheap clothes, with dubious origins and quality, and I don’t really buy many clothes at all, certainly not compared to a lot of people I know.
None the less there is quite a lot of stuff in there, including 2 three piece suits, 4 two piece suits, left over from my corporate marketing days. Working in the arts I am never going to need these again! There were also numerous shirts – not casual ones, but formal French cuffs needing cuff links.
So, I have been on a bit of a cleaning binge with my wardrobe. I have to admit to being inspired by Project 333. This is the idea that you create a wardrobe of 33 items (including jewellery, shoes, outerwear, but excluding items of jewellery you wear all the time, exercise wear, uniform, underwear, slobbing around at home and nightwear clothes). Which you then have for just three months. At the end of the three months you can swap them out again.
Looking at before photos from the site this is another area where the difference in size between America and England is very, very obvious. We have the smallest houses in Europe and compared to America the size is absolutely laughable. So I don’t have a big walk in wardrobe, like most English people my bedroom has a bed, chest of drawers, wardrobe and bed side table, no dressing table or lovely big separate wardrobe or a relaxing chair to sit in! For most of us we don’t have much space to store things away either.
None the less, I have found this very useful. I wouldn’t say I am down to 3-33 as yet. But I am getting better. Not least letting go some of the clothes which I have had for 10 years and don’t fit me any more, but I use as a subtle way to beat myself up. Strangely I am not the same weight as I was when I was at uni, when I was running around stage managing three plays at once, holding down three jobs, doing uni work and having an eating disorder. And that is a good thing.
There is even an element of replacing things, so three pairs of boots have been replaced by one, which goes with trousers, skirts (on the rare occasions I wear them) and are suitable for work and home. I no longer have 6 pairs of jeans, none of which fit me, instead I have none. Well, to be fair that’s because my favourite pair of jeans which I have worn nearly continually for five years have given up the ghost. I do plan on replacing these – hopefully when Howies release the next lot of their jeans.
It has also helped me to be more creative in the way that I dress, I have chosen the colours (purple, black/grey, green, blue, rusty red/maroon) I wear, all of my clothes are in that colour. I am actually putting them together in different ways, and I only look at items to add to my wardrobe which go with everything and extend the amount of outfits I can wear from a small number of clothes. This has been stretching me in more ways you can imagine. Outside of work I am a jeans and very baggy hoody girl. That is changing and I feel much better about myself for it as well. I feel like I am developing my style, which is a little more sophisticated than it use to be, but it still very simple.
When clothes come out of the laundry I hang them on the left hand side of the wardrobe, so at the end of the three it is clear which of those I haven’t used at all. I can then think about if I send them to the charity shop, eBay them or maybe I have left them in the wrong season, and actually they are only summer clothes and not autumn ones. I also try to have clothes which cross seasons, rather than having a huge box of other clothes stored in the bottom of my wardrobe.
So there you go, a little peak at my simplified wardrobe. I have to say that taking a big box of STUFF to the charity shop is exhilarating and seeing a wardrobe where I can get to all of my clothes is wonderful. I won’t even tell you how great it is to have a sorted, organised underwear drawer with paired socks, tights in one place and knickers which aren’t trying to escape out of the drawer!