It's a normal day, which means I'm in a rush to get ready. I cautiously open the wardrobe door, it's dark in there, rolls of heavy black fabric sprawl in every direction; hangers of clothes are so tightly packed i can barely get one down without another twelve others aswell. The lower wire drawer (storing the go-to-everyday t-shirts) is bulging, they were possibly once folded in drawer-height piles but are now a swamp of cotton fabric. I decide to go in for the kill scouring for a grey t-shirt. I rummage, i find one. Okay, it wasn't the one i was after but it will happily do. I also find a pair of jeans (in the same drawer) again not the ones i was aiming for but are a true treasure in the clothes swamp. Oh yea, i did it, i conquered the obese wardrobe... i'm a warrior, it can't beat me.. on fire.
This was me a year ago. every day. I knew no other way.
I don't know if it's because it's 'on trend' right now or I am alone in this ( i think probably not) but the idea of LESS is fascinating isn't it? I'm certainly not at the destination, that's for sure, BUT the rewards i have experienced since the wardrobe diet i performed last autumn (including my daughters' wardrobe and a few other lucky spots around the house) have been note-worthy. It's like it's created this NEW sense of space, inspiration and more play-time in my life... weird, i know! Believe me, if you were to walk through my home, you might not even notice a difference from last year, but these baby step changes have turned me into a BELIEVER in whatever this is!!
the WARDROBE diet process:
If you're anything like me, the scene described in the first paragraph can become quite the norm for many months, EVEN YEARS on end. Some how, there's always something better to do than detox the bulging wardrobe.
Problems: the TIME it takes for a good ol' gunge! It's not a half-hour event, at least it's not for me anyway! The other problem is, i actually HATE the process, i hate the lack of creativity, it takes so much discipline because i'm overwhelmed by how much i have to do and also sheer bored and stressed by the decision-making, then there's the storm of physical and emotional devastation if i don't see it through to the end. Not a fun time. Selling it?? BUT AGAIN, i say, the rewards of my seasonal wardrobe culling have def been outweighed by the new freedom and clear-headedness felt afterwards. It's become quite simple. Less stuff = less choice = more space = more playtime.
A friend reccommended this book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Apparently, it is possible to permanently tidy your home into a clutter-free space that will last forever. I'm eager and also hesitant to dive in (because i don't know if i've the time or energy to devote to it) but having read just over half of the book so far i have been particularly inspired by at least two things that i think are worth sharing. 1. When you commit to get going on this journey and you are trying to decide what to keep and what to toss, she suggests, "take each item in one's hand and ask: 'Does this spark joy?' If it does, keep it. If not, throw it out."She's not joking about the handling of each item! She says,"When you touch a piece of clothing, your body reacts. It's response to each item is different. Trust me and try it....Keep only the things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle." 2. The other wee tip I've benefted from over the past month is organising the hanging clothes in my wardrobe from heavy to light (in weight and colour.) I wonder why i haven't done it before actually.
Once the wardrobe has lost a bit of weight, uniform dressing becomes so much easier. I'm such a 'uniform dresser.' This summer i lived from a half-filled suitcase for one month and it felt great dressing from this minimal palate. Most days, i threw a different version of same uniform on. I challenge you think about how you felt on your holiday (or staycation) this summer when you were living from your carefully curated vacation outfits. Did the limited choice liberate or stifle you? Were you refreshed or frustrated by your packing choices? I wonder if applying the same basic principles of uniform dressing, (your everyday-wear and a few alternative pieces for say, more formal affairs) could be something you might think about for your wardrobe at home?
Uniform dressing is another post in itself, but here's a quick look at my summer uniform. There's nothing fancy here. I swapped in my cut-off shorts for the jeans depending on the temperature and of course wore the HENNING sunnies EVERYDAY without fail along with my minimal accessories. (You can buy them and the ODA ring & ELSKA necklace at the SHOP.)
Finally, i just love what Drew Barry more says when talking about her 6 simple steps to putting her 'closet' on a diet. You can read the whole article HERE, but in her sixth tip she said something interesting that resonated with me,
My closet seemed to be clean. But, no longer eclectic or wild enough. It actually seemed like I had no clothes. It got too sparse! I was sad. Had I gone too far? I was missing my old funky self and felt like I had become some conservative, boring woman — but not even in a cool, J.Crew way. I was more like, I don’t know…just not me.
But, then something happened. There was such a noticeable lack of chaos that I could actually start playing clothes Jenga in my mind before I reached the closet. This was different. Normally, the inner dialogue was defeatist and avoiding. Now, I was looking forward to a minimalist curation that didn't overwhelm me. Holy crap! This closet diet is working!
I love what she says here about how she felt AFTER her closet diet because it's kinda the concept of what Lines & Current was based on. The idea of 'working hard to keep it simple,' establishing your "lines," your staples/basics so there's enough headspace for "play" and the "flourishes"- i also personally believe this is when the generous spirit comes alive too... when it's not pounded down by chaos and your self-preservation walls are not high. Creating physical space is good, but oh boy, the sense of liberation we can get from mental SPACE is an even happier place.