As a project in the vein of decluttering and voluntary simplicity
, I have started toying with the notion of cutting my wardrobe down by half
The motivation for setting this particular benchmark is basically as follows: There is a large swath of my clothing inventory that I just don't need or wear that much, but am loath to part with because it's basically still good or I might eventually need/want it again.
But a different way of breaking it down is: if I had to choose between A and B, and could only keep one, which would I keep? And when I frame it that way for myself, the answer is almost always stunningly clear.
The funny thing about it, though, is that much the same dynamic plays out on the local level of choosing what to wear every day. If I could wear either A or B today, which am I going to wear? And if I can acknowledge the truth that I would rather wear A on six occasions out of seven, how many B's do I really need to hold onto? Couldn't I retire six B's and replace them with one more A, which I will love six times as much in the long run?
The corollary to this is: If I didn't
have this piece, and saw it in a store tomorrow, would I even try it on? and if I did try this particular garment on, would I like it enough (in terms not just of style, but of fit and of my current needs and habits) to buy
it? Very often, if there's a garment I own that I pull out and then decide against wearing over and over again, it's because the fit is not quite right or even downright unflattering. Sometimes, especailly when trying to get dressed for a special occasion, this even leads to the realization that there is never
a time when I would choose to wear B in favor of A -- usually because of the fit -- and that's when I definitely send B to the giveaway pile.
Sidebar: When I first mentioned the idea to justom
, he said "Ah, great! Then you'd have room for a whole bunch of NEW things!" I said "I like the way you think, but I don't think that's my goal here." :-) Admittedly, it's kind of like the notion that you should lay off a certain percentage of your workforce each year, in order to "cut the deadwood"... thereby freeing up space/resources for new growth. But I think the idea of reducing the total mass is also essential to the plan -- at least, for me, at this time.
Now, it's tempting to try to stage a one-day blitzkrieg where I would pull every stitch of clothing I own into one giant mountain and force myself to divide it into two giant mountains, In and Out. While this would be tremendously satisfying in some ways (and could make a great promo episode for Jerica Life Counseling
), I don't think it's practical. So I'm thinking I might make it into a longer-term smaller-bites project by (1) first taking a complete count and inventory of my current wardrobe and (2) tracking gradual reductions by the numbers. This would allow me to prune the low-hanging fruit all at once in a few early sessions, and then get gradually more ruthless as the weeks wear on.
Mind, this means I would probably claim in my initial count the handful of items that are already sitting in a giveaway pile on the floor of my closet, just to give myself a head start. :-}