Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More Than Enough Stuff

I enjoyed reading about this family who has declared they have more than enough stuff and they are working to not buy any more stuff this year. I can relate to them in so many ways.

  I also have more than enough stuff. I mentioned way back at the end of January that I was going to try to wear through all of my clothes and shoes before repeating things (Other than how I rewear something another day because it isn't truly dirty yet AND once I ran out of underwear and things like that I did start going through them again even though I had more skirts and dresses to wear 😀 ). I was able to do that religiously from the end of January to March 10th. At that point I still did have 4 church outfits left but they weren't really ones that I want to wear for every day so I decided I would just wear them the next 4 Sundays. Anyway, I obviously have more than enough clothes. It is actually kind of staggering that I can go a month and a half without rewearing (other than wearing them longer because they aren't dirty yet) any Shirts/Pants/Skirts/Blouses/Sweaters/Dresses/Skirts. I also went right around a month without rewearing any pairs of socks. I did have to rotate through underclothes and leggings (to go under skirts - which I have a lot of) pretty quickly.

  This was a pretty fun exercise for me and I enjoyed making new combinations of clothes to wear, to be observant of things that really didn't fit me well or look good on me (and I did get rid of quite a few things) and to enjoy dressing up a little more. It worked to help me feel more content with the things I have. I also was able to let go of my somewhat hoarder mentality of feeling like I needed to hold on to something "just in case" even though it might be stained, very worn and fit me horribly.

  I didn't however truly become a clothing minimalist. For me it didn't make sense to make a rule that I needed to get down to a certain amount of outfits or anything like that. In fact I think I will keep all 22 skirts that I own (unless I run across somebody that needs some). At this time all of my clothes fit very easily in our (big) closet and they are not overwhelming to me. They are clothes I wear (my family noticed that I never really came out wearing anything that they had forgotten I owned) and I don't see the sense in getting rid of them and then have to go get more clothes sooner. This way I am good to go with clothes for quite a long time. Actually I have rarely shopped for clothes much at all for me for many years. I have some items that I have owned since I was around 16 years old (23 years ago!). I have bought a couple of pairs of good quality, somewhat expensive shoes in the last few years (which should last me for years) but I generally spend less than $25 a year on clothes (other than shoes) for me. Also because I do have somewhat of a prepper mindset I like to know that I won't run out of clothes should the stores shut down for the next 25 years or so. 😉

   For me living simply concerning clothes is not having to do much in the way of shopping (by the way - the majority of my clothes have been hand-me-downs from sisters and friends), having plenty of storage space for what I have (I don't like to have my closets crowded!) and to have things that fit my personality and lifestyle. Ones that I don't feel out of place wearing nor do I need to constantly be tugging one way or another to make sure that they cover me properly.

   I have become pickier about the tests that clothes have to pass before they become a part of my collection however. Here are some things that are important to me:

  • I am striving to have clothes made out of natural materials just as much as possible. I didn't get rid of everything that is not that way yet but that is something I will definitely be looking add before I add something. So the things I prefer would be cotton, wool, linen and then of course real leather shoes.
  • I want to look feminine. So I want clothes that look that way.
  • I want to dress in a way that is not going to show of my body in such a way that I or my husband think is indecent. I also try to be thoughtful to how what I wear could affect others.
  • I don't care to be a walking billboard. So generally I won't wear things that have words on them. When I feel passionate about something and feel that it could help a cause then I will sometimes compromise on this but mostly I don't like to wear things with words on them. I do have a couple of t-shirts with words saved for dirty work around the house.
  We have more than enough stuff in many more areas than my clothing. In my goal to live more simply I am still working to find a balance with to much (and chaos) and the amount that God wants us to have. I believe that God blesses us abundantly. He said ""The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." in John 10:10. I believe that He was primarily talking of spiritual abundance but I also find Him to so often give us physical abundance.

  We have received physical abundance in so many ways through the years - gardens that produce well, berries abundant to be picked, an abundant honey harvest, abundant gifts of clothes and so on. My job, I feel is to use it in the best way I can to glorify Him. Sometimes our family simply enjoys it, sometimes we share it with others, sometimes we can sell it to use the money in another way.

 1 Timothy 6:17 says: "Charge the rich in the present life not to be high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us all things richly to enjoy, " So God gave us things to enjoy but we should never count on them or trust in them but rather trust in God who owns all things and has given us all things.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts lately on this subject. :-)

It has been 5 weeks since my last simplifying report so here goes:
I have gotten behind some and have been working to catch up but still progress is being made and things are a lot better than other years.

I haven't had my e-mail inbox cleaned out every day but probably more days that it was than that it wasn't. My desk and office are still staying clean the majority of the time and that is so lovely for me when working there.

As far as stuff gotten rid of: Week 1 - 30 items, week 2 - 25 items, week 3 -34 items, week 4 - 34 items and week 5 - 25 items. 

As far as cleaning out spaces: Week 1 -5 spaces, week 2 - 5 spaces, week 3 - 5 spaces, week 4 -3 spaces and week 5 - none (actually I recorded them on earlier weeks in my attempt to catch up but I didn't manage to completely catch up.

 I am about 2 1/2 weeks behind on cleaning out 25 picture computer files every week.

We are going to keep pressing on. I am so thankful for the progress that has been made!

How are things going at your house?



SpicingUpIdaho said...

Wow, that is quite a project! I have no idea how long I could go without wearing an item in my closet again. The problem here is that we have 4-5 seasons (this in-between mud season being the extra one, lol) that we have to keep clothes on hand for the different changes of seasons. I too want to downsize & minimalize as much as possible. We live in a 780 sq. ft home, and I have to be VERY careful what comes through the doors. There just isn't room to store things anymore. Moving in was the most difficult part, and now I've adjusted to the idea that less really is more. I find I try to keep things that are multipurpose, such as a coat with a fleece layer than can be zipped out or in, and so on. Your minimalizing journey is going awesome, way to go!! I liked your list of what to wear and why. I totally agree with you about being careful to dress in a way that does not show off parts of my body indecently, and the "billboard" one is awesome too. I wish more people realized how just those two things could really improve a godly woman's appearance. Appreciate your blog and your posts are always a blessing :) Hugs to you today!

Amy and Mark said...

I LOVE this idea!! I clean out my clothes at the end of every summer and every winter so it's a project I have been working on this week. As always, I have lots of items that I didn't wear (again) all winter. I usually try them on, see that they don't look "too bad" or think "I might wear this..." and then put them back. This year, I pulled them all out and put them into a hand-me-down bag right away. I was able to part with 15 winter items and still have a few of those "maybes" in the closet.

I often find myself keeping nicer items "just in case" I have to return to the workforce unexpectedly. Now I can stay home full time but if Mark were to become sick or injured and unable to work we would need me to return to work within 6 months or so. I want to have a nice looking wardrobe in case that would happen.

Abbi said...

We deal with some very changing seasons also. It does make clothing issues more interesting. I did fail to mention that I didn't wear my swim clothes nor one pair of capris either. But mostly with layering I wear much of my clothes year round.

I love hearing about how you all deal with this challenge!


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