The benefits of a minimal wardrobe have sat in my mind now for some time. They have followed me because I haven’t been able to execute it 100%.
My wardrobe isn’t large, but it isn’t simple either.
I once filled a three sided walk-in robe all on my own (before the big move down to Tassie with just 5 Boxes and just 2 suitcases) but it is still, well, just not simple, not 100% my style.
I couldn’t put my finger on it, what I was struggling with, so I just kept reducing here and there, but occasionally another piece would slip in.
I acknowledge that in moving from Queensland to Tasmania my entire yearly ensemble has changed. There are only a handful of days each year that my previous wardrobe works here with going from living in singlets and shorts to jeans and jumpers, and part of my struggle has been learning how to dress for the colder climate. But there is more to it.
I acknowledge a big part of it is the values instilled in me to wear out items and to value what I owned, and thus I struggled with giving away good quality items just because they fit me 97%, or I only liked them say 70%.
I have been discussing this struggle with my partner in recent months as he has taken on the challenge to reduce; with probably not having thrown out anything since moving out of his family home, he is now ready to remove all that sits in boxes and is hidden in the backs of closets, unused, just taking up space.
One day as we discussed the closet I again appreciated his ear to listen as I worked through the personal dilemma of getting my closet to exactly where I wanted it, of having items that were still in good condition, that might fit one day or that fitted well but I didn’t quite feel like myself in.
He said to me as I ended my vent that it was about having an all kill no fill closet.
That was it! I was struggling with the ‘fill’.
I had enough killer items to create the simple, joy-sparking closet I sought, but it was clouded by all the ‘fill’ items.
It was the key phrase that brought it all home to me. I knew it would be hard but I again attacked my closet, this time with a kill or fill mindset.
I still struggled with the latest batch of clothes I had removed. Many good quality, hardly worn, some even fitting well, but they were my fill. Whilst I wasn’t quite ready to take these down to the nearest donation bin (actually I would probably try and sell a few from this lot), I did the next best thing. I put them in a bag out of sight to see if I actually missed any of them.
That was almost 2 months ago, and I only missed one item. So I pulled it out, but still didn’t end up wearing it. The rest will go in a week or two. I allow myself to get there step by step.
Living a simple life for me isn’t about a certain number of items, or a house with no knick-knacks; I still have a couple of key sentimental items around. It is about removing the fill so I can enjoy the kill effortlessly. It is about coming in to what matters so I can spend my time reaching my dreams not getting distracted.
I work two part-time day jobs. I write this blog, for other blogs, I write books and create online courses, am a coach, a keen hiker and about to get into mountain bike riding. I also spend quality time with close friends and family. I can do all this because I constantly ask myself if it is essential to the life I want, because anything else is a distraction. And I constantly look for ways to simplify everyday parts of my life so have even more time for these meaningful pursuits.
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