beginning

The Closet Countdown: Day 1

20130701-142756.jpgIt has begun. The Closet Countdown is on. Wow. Feels like I’m about to embark on a great journey. I have no idea if this will work. Just like all my experiments in minimalism – I don’t care. I crave simplicity. I love the adventure. I love the excitement of a new project. I love the perception that I am possibly freeing up some time and brain space in an otherwise cluttered life. I love learning new things about myself – positive and negative.

20130701-131748.jpgTo give myself a fresh start, I washed my clothes and wore some of the “unchosen” items around the house yesterday. Since I’ve been preparing for this for over a week, I didn’t sort anything. I just made sure I had everything on the list, snapped a pic, and then hung out with friends over some chips and a mean crock pot of queso. No “ickyness”. Just peace.

For my morning walk/run (the first since a 10K in April…) I wore leggings, and a tank top. When I got back to the house, I wasn’t really sweaty so I put my tank top aside to wear tomorrow. As I considered what to wear for the day, I found myself thinking about the week ahead because I don’t want to get something dirty that I might want to wear in a couple of days. I’m already becoming conservative in my choices. I won’t be able to put off doing laundry very often. Especially if I’m going to start running again. I kept the leggings, added a solid, black shirt, my sarong (pictured above draped over the closet rod to the right of my clothes), and some sandals. So far so good.

To continue my battle with perfectionism, I decided to make a chart by hand. Perhaps someday I’ll get on the machine (my computer) and make a prettier one. For today, I just wanted something to help me keep track of my choices and how long I’ve been doing it. I tacked it near my closet and I’ll cross off days as they go by.

20130701-144619.jpgThank you for stopping by. It fills my heart with joy that you read my words. Cheers to you and I’ll keep you posted!

Experiment 2: The Closet Countdown

“All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m feeling that nudge again. That need to try another experiment and see how I feel about increasing the minimalism in my life. I call it The Closet Countdown (ta da!). Here are the basics (with personal commentary to follow of course!):

Who: Me (Ginny Love Moore), and you if you want to try it.

What: The Closet Countdown.

When: Starting July 1, 2013. Ending October 8, 2013. 100 days total.

This project is great because it can begin at any time, really. Just pick a start date, add 100 days and there you go. Jump in any time!

Where: My Closet, My Life!

Why:

  • To see if having fewer clothes helps clear some brain space to get more done on my “Big Goals”. Less time taking care of/thinking about things = More time for people
  • To get a different taste of minimalism without actually getting rid of things.
  • When I see that I made it one hundred days without a certain piece of clothing or pair of shoes, perhaps it will be easier to get rid of it.

How: Begin with the number ten and choose a category of clothing (shirts, tops, dresses, underwear, etc.). Gather ten of those (favorite pieces are recommended). Then continue with the process with different item categories until the number one. Hide away the “unchosen” articles. Use only the chosen 49 items (another chance to bypass my perfectionism because I really want to bump it up to 50) as the working wardrobe for 100 days. New shirt? Then tuck away (or get rid of) one of the current shirts. Do this for all chosen items.

My Hypothesis: I’ll be just fine. I might miss a top or pair of shoes but I’ll manage. I’ve been culling and reducing and experimenting for years now. The Closet Countdown is certainly more constricting but I like challenges. They keep me sane.

Some background information on the idea behind The Closet Countdown

Many years ago I heard about a woman who went to Sears and bought seven of the same dress and it struck a chord in my pre-minimalist soul. I honestly don’t remember why she did it. I’m pretty sure it was for some higher cause. But what higher cause do we have but to shake off society’s fashion shackles and live in freedom? Whether we choose the craziest wardrobe or the same dress seven days a week, we should do it, do it boldly, and feel good about doing it.

My inspirations include Project 333, The One Dress Protest, and 100 Thing Challenge. I think quantifying our things helps us realize how much we have. It helps our brains understand in a concrete way just what we are responsible for. So I decided to try The Closet Countdown as my own little minimalism project. The idea seems fairly simple and doable. I’m excited about what I will learn on this part of my quest for simplicity.

More soon with updates. 🙂

In Love with an Idea

The process of preparing for this experiment has already revealed a lot to me. Mostly about myself. A little bit about humans in general.

I have these moments where I’ll take a break from my computer work or phone calls and I imagine my world without all of these things taking up space in my life and in my mind. I think “oh how grand it will be to wake up in my sparsely furnished bedroom, choose a simple outfit from almost-empty closet, and go to work in my uncluttered home office.” Like a character from a fairy tale, I expect someone to whisk away my belongings while I sleep.

I’m very much in love with idea of a minimalist lifestyle…but not so much in love with all the work it takes to get there.

There are people who just “chuck it all” and head out to the woods to embrace the writings of Thoreau. With nothing but a journal and peaceful spirit, they walk away from all their possessions and embrace the simple life. Must be nice.

I think part of taking on the responsibility of a simplified life is accepting the work that must be done to get there.

There are days I would LOVE to take everything I own, put it in a big pile, and set it on fire. But this too, is a romantic notion. A fairy tale. Because I would hate to watch the burning of the poetry book my mother gave me when I graduated from high school. It was hers in college. It is my favorite book and I hope to pass it on to my daughter (or son) someday.It’s one thing to say “let it burn” and another to scrape up the ashes of your grandmother’s music box.

I’ve actually been working very hard to reduce my collection of things. It’s taken years for me to get down to the many things I currently own. What I’m learning is that in the end things don’t matter. But this isn’t the end. And we must decide how we feel about our things. Well…you don’t have to but I do.

That’s what this quest is all about. I’m not quitting. Besides, I’m a sucker for a good story and I want to see how this one ends…