Originally written March 22, 2014
After being in Arizona helping my mom recover from a knee replacement surgery and admittedly soaking up some much needed sunshine, I am now back in South Dakota. We have had sunshine, but there hasn't been much warmth to it which has been hard to adjust to! But, it has given me an opportunity to spend some time inside, accomplishing my goal of minimizing my life.
As I said in my last post, I am actually freeing myself of some areas that I feel have had a bit of a hold on me. My love of buying shoes and clothes has been a way for me to temporarily distract myself from some personal stress and hurt and has served as a way for me to feel better about myself. It never really worked but I kept hoping that it would. So, as I am trusting more and more in letting God speak into those areas in my life, I am able to slowly let go of these strongholds.
So, I have done it! I just delivered 6 full large garbage bags full of what I figure to be 2/3 of my wardrobe. It feels great!! To get to this point, I went through the steps that I will outline for you which I learned from a blog called into-mind.com/.
According to the information given, these are the 10 steps to a wardrobe revamp:
1. Determine your approach to personal style. I was never really sure what my style really was and it was often determined by what was either on sale or what I saw to be the latest trend. I never really thought about what fit my personality or my lifestyle. Since I was a whimsical shopper, I over-bought. Experts say that we tend to really wear 20% of our wardrobe which frustrated me. I don't need 80% just sitting there when others could benefit from it and I certainly don't need to spend funds on that 80% that could go to much better use. So I decided to go the minimalist route which focuses on having less but making the less count. John Dawson says "Minimalism is not defined by what is not there but by the rightness of what is and the richness with which this is experienced." This takes a little time to think through but the focus is on function: having what you need for every occasion, self-expression: being your true self and not trying to be someone else, and investing: buying good quality items but less of them.
2. Do a wardrobe detox. Pull everything out of your closet and try everything on, yes everything. This takes some time but is actually kind of fun. Focus on how it fits, how you feel in it, if it fits your new-found style, if its in good shape, if you have things to wear with it, and if you would naturally tend to grad it out of your closet. Only put things back into your closet that fit the criteria. Then, determine what needs to be given away or maybe even thrown away. If there are a few things that you simply need to keep and can't afford to replace at this time, hang them in a special spot with plans to replace them when you are able to.
3. Find inspiration. I spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest and pinned looks that I was naturally drawn to. I also looked through magazines and pulled out looks and colors that I liked so I could create a mood board. This is just a collage of things that reflect your style and personality. I have yet to do mine but am still collecting things to go on it. One of these days I plan to get out some glue, put on a "chick flick" and kick the men out of the house so there is no mocking of the mood board. They just wouldn't get it!
4. Analyze your lifestyle. Write down your weekly, monthly and yearly activities to figure out what kind of things you need to have in your closet. Be realistic. For example, I love dresses and especially really nice dresses but since I live in a small town in South Dakota, I don't get too many opportunities to wear them. I may only have a couple of events a year to wear them so I probably don't need a closet full. I would like to have a closet full of them but remember the 20/80 rule.
5. Build a capsule wardrobe. According to the Into Mind Blog, Capsule wardrobes are one of the core elements of a minimalist approach to personal style. "In the best case scenario, a capsule wardrobe should consist of a small selection of key pieces, express the essence of your style, be optimally adjusted to your lifestyle and allow you to pull together an outfit for every occasion."
6. Develop a Signature look. In my daughter-in-laws' blog www.wideeyedlegless.com/ Madeline refers to this as a "uniform" which I think is a great idea. This should consist of no more than 20 total pieces counting shoes and jewelry that mix and match. She says that if you have a uniform to rely on, you can be ready at any given moment for a event and it makes packing a breeze as well. Packing has always caused me so much stress but Maddy just throws things quickly in a bag and is ready to go. I want to be just like her! She has great style so I will never quite get there but I'll do my best!
7. Build a separate "work uniform" and "casual uniform". I also have a very small "dress uniform" for special events to save me from giving into the thought of going out and purchasing something I don't need for a special occasion that comes up. Some occasions require a special purchase but I was in the trap of thinking I needed to buy something special for every special event.
8. Organize your wardrobe. There are a lot of good websites for helpful ideas on how to do this. I have my clothes in sections of what they are: blouses, tops, sweaters, pants, skirts, etc. Some sites suggest having each "uniform" grouped together. I guess do whatever works. For me, I need all of my different elements visible and easy to get to, such as belts and scarves.
9. Wardrobe Maintenance. It's a great idea to go through your closet on the onset of each season to determine whether there are some things that you still tend to not wear, things that don't fit well anymore, or have come into disrepair. I have heard of people hanging the hanger backwards so that if a new season comes and there is something still hung backwards, it's obvious that it did not get worn and may need to be given away. I know that for me, as I change, mature and simply get tired of the same old thing, I may need to change something out for something new to add a little spice. I have already made the commitment that if something is added, something is discarded.
10. Streamline your beauty routine. This is something I am not going to spend a lot of time on but it's probably a good area to look at. I let my Mary Kay lady do this for me so I don't have to focus on it!
Well, that's it and it may sound daunting but it was actually really fun to do. I love the freedom I feel and I love how my closet looks! I have made the vow to not buy clothes or shoes for a full year so I am excited. I am determined to stick with this plan. I am accepting gifts however! My other daughter-in-law Lisa has her own clothing line at http://hackwithdesignhouse.com/ and she makes some wonderful things. I always love when a holiday comes around because I usually get something fun and she does know my style (even before I did!) so I will be okay.
Colossians 1:10 says, "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." My constant goal is to serve Christ in all I do, even if that requires me to get rid of some of the hindrances in my life like this one. Now that I am getting some freedom in this area, I will keep working on the other areas I am focusing on, expecting that this freedom will carry on into those as well. Hopefully this will encourage you to look at the things in your own life that you can simplify and break free of. Blessings as you go down this road with me!