Day: 21 June 2013

Best Tip for Clearing Closet Clutter: Hell Yeah!

“No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no. .” – Derek Sivers

If you don’t love it, don’t keep it. It really is that simple. But when you first embark on a simplicity quest of your own and you get to your closet, nothing seems simple. What about that dress you are going to fit into again someday? Or the skirt your mother bought you but the color looks terrible with your skin tone? Or that awesome, expensive designer shirt you found at the thrift store for only $2 that does not fit right? The shirt you wore to that special event that has a hole it in now?

To help you start out, check out this blog post by Derek Sivers (super cool guy who started CD Baby). He’s talking about the bigger picture of time commitments and hiring people but I apply it to my wardrobe (and life and minimalism) all the time. It makes culling and shopping so much easier.

Take an afternoon and go through all your clothes. Rate each item on a scale from 1 to 10 on how much you love it. Not just like it. LOVE it. It fits and flatters perfectly, is in good condition, and you love to wear it. Keep all of your 9s and 10s in your closet and put all of the 8s and lower on your bed or the floor. Now go look at your closet. It now contains only clothes you LOVE. The colors and fit and style that you want to represent to the world as you. Unique, beautiful you.

Here’s the fun part (and where I probably part ways with some other minimalists): do whatever you want to do with the stuff on the bed. Get rid of it. Hide it in you closet. Pack it up in boxes and hide it in your attic like I did. It’s your call. You don’t have to decide what to do with your dad’s old T-shirt today. You just need to see what it’s like to live with a wardrobe that you love for at lest 40 days.

You will be amazed how you feel about yourself and the world around you with this seemingly small change.

When you go shopping and you are in the dressing room with your pile of maybes, apply the Hell Yeah principle. Even if the price is amazing and you’ve always wanted one. If it doesn’t make you say Hell Yeah! about it when it’s on your body, forget it. There will be other bargains. Other treasures along the way that you will wear and wear with pride because you love everything about it.

Slowly. Very slowly, I am applying Hell Yeah! to other areas in my life due to the fact that it works so well in my closet. It feels good to have even a little bit of control and contentment in a life. It’s addicting and I want more of a Hell Yeah! life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I wish you an amazing, Hell Yeah! journey…

PS Use the above tip to help you decide what to keep for The Closet Countdown. 🙂

Math, Minimalism, and The Closet Countdown

The Closet Countdown = 55 items. Not 49.

Wow.

Lessons in humility abound.

I have so much more to say but my awesome friend Nelda from another lifetime told me that I shouldn’t apologize so much…

(Thanks Mama, for your keen eye and loving correction. I treasure your wisdom and love more every day…)

The Closet Countdown: T-10 Days

001

I could have just decided to start The Closet Countdown right away. Jumping right in stands as a great way to get started in something that seems a little intimidating. But I’ve never tried to live with only 49 articles of clothing before and 100 days makes the road ahead seem even longer… So I opted for a little calculation before I leap. I’m glad I did. It gives me a chance to pay attention to my daily and weekly needs in light of weekdays and weekends.  I’ve made my working list and set the “chosen” aside in my closet. I put everything except underclothes and socks on hangers. So nice to see it all hanging there when it’s time to get dressed. Might become one of my personal rules of minimalism down the road.

Here is my current list:
10. Tops
9. Pairs of shoes
8. Bottoms (skirts, leggings, skorts, shorts)
7. Pairs of underwear
6. Dresses
5. Bras
4. Light Sweaters/Jacket
3. Pairs of Socks
2. Sleep Items (big, comfy sleep shirt and some lounge pants)
1. Swimsuit

I might reduce the shoes. In the heat of summer, I pretty much live in sandals. I’m out of the corporate rat race for now so I probably won’t need my basic, black pumps. I’m wrestling with some questions about the things I keep “just in case”. Like a pair of three inch spike heels that I haven’t worn in at least a year, hurt my feet, and present quite the balance quandary for less-than-graceful individuals such as myself. Yet I flinch when I think about tucking them out of reach for 100 days. Crazy stuff along my minimalism path…

Went to snag my jeans to do yard work and realized they are part of the unchosen. Instead of rethinking my countdown list, I grabbed my Lily Sleeveless Dress and an apron, pulled on my rubber boots, and got to work. Not the same. I might rethink the deal but for now, I’ll stick to my original decision just to see if I can do it. That reminds me…I need to decide if I’m going to count my rubber boots and apron. Minimalism on seven acres is a whole different ballgame when it comes to stuff like that. (I see a post about rural minimalism in my future…)

For a treat, I’ve included a picture of my third bucket of pulled weeds. And my rubber boots, of course. 🙂

These are notes on my current experiment in minimalism titled The Closet Countdown. It begins on July 1. Feel free to join me in this path along my quest for simplicity!