Can we start a conversation? One about how long it takes to make what should otherwise be a simple decision? I’ve been on this trajectory for a while now, the one where I’m trying to simplify my life. This isn’t to say that I’m in any way a minimalist (though it does sound semi-appealing) but what I am saying is I’m tired. I’m tired of having too much stuff. I got a real taste for this when I moved into a little brick townhouse. It was smaller than anywhere I’d lived in and so I could only keep my favourites. It was such a breath of fresh air to have so little. It was a healing of sorts.
Well I admit that the desire started before the townhouse, in fact it started in 2010. I created photos of what clothes I loved that I already owned and a list of what I would really like, the investments I would eventually want to make so that what I wore would eventually feel like an expression of me and what I wanted out of a wardrobe. I started to shop around… Enter huge life drama… Everything fell apart and the whole thing ended there. I stopped in my tracks.
Now fast forward a little bit and I’m traveling every month between Canada and France and as any of my friends and colleagues knew, I was on top of it. My Evernote app was full of images, as it has been since 2010, but now with what was in the house in France and in Canada so I could make good decisions when packing my suitcases and also so I wouldn’t have to buy more stuff. Having said that… my closet grew, though that was exactly what I was trying to avoid but life happens and it did. What I learned in 2010 though, was to take stock. I had an awareness of what I had and just how much it really came to be, which in the end made this easier to start back up again (sort of.)
But now that I’m entirely based in France and because I have the power to choose where I go from here I want to get back to the original concept. Less is more. Freedom is not having lots, it’s loving what you have in the best quality you can afford no more, no less. So I’m doing a trial for the month of September to feel this whole thing out. I haven’t bought anything new, it’s still same old wardrobe for now, which honestly isn’t so exciting. This will be a time to assess and learn and when I feel able and equipped I might eventually buy those long-life items that have been on the list for way too long and part ways with the low-self-worth-but-kept-me-decent items.
But if you’re anything like me, September brings with it a certain sense of new beginnings. There’s that cool air in the morning that captures this and I want to run with it. So I’m starting now, regardless of how unprepared I sometimes feel. I’m also going to create a morning ritual starting today. Not just an uncomplicated wardrobe but also the act of being thankful. I’ve got a new journal where I’ll start by writing out at least three things I’m grateful for at the beginning of my day. It’s my way of bringing more joy and simplicity into my life and remembering the small pleasures and perhaps the big ones too. What I have is enough. There is so much I want out of life but if you can’t choose joy now, you’ll forever be chasing it.
Now before I present you with my month of clothes I’d like to say that this was, in fact, much more difficult than I imagined. As I tucked away what I wouldn’t be wearing this month I did feel a sense of loss knowing I can’t fall back on just anything. I can also say that as I went through my clothes I realized just how much of what I own does not work together very well and it isn’t as versatile as my life demands and that was frustrating. I’m sure I’ll bump into that hurdle as the month progresses even more. There was such a mish-mash of styles in my closet and it made me feel entirely confused so I’m hoping I can find some clarity through all this. So now begins the journey of growing into my own skin a little more and of eventually getting to a place where what I wear makes me feel like the best version of myself. I also hope that with a smaller closet I can get rid of some of the sense of “I have so many clothes but nothing to wear” feeling. In doing this I will also create a kind of accountability for myself to no longer purchase just because I have an immediate need but to really make thoughtful decisions in the future that align with my goals.
I’d love it if you would join me. If you’d like to share a comment below or attach photos if you’re participating I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the #thecapsuleexperiment.
I love this idea! This inspires me to give it a try someday too! I’ve lived out of a suitcase for a year (but wasn’t working so that simplified things a bit), and at another time had only a handful of things after a fire. It made me realize how little I really needed, and yet somehow I can’t bring myself to narrow my permanent wardrobe into something simple.
Oh you should totally try it. I have to say yesterday I was a little worried how it might go but this morning I woke up, I knew it would be hot out and I only have two bottoms that are lighter weight and then I picked a lightweight shirt and it was just too easy. I actually really enjoyed it which I don’t usually. Sounds almost silly but I guess I would just rather think about other things and enjoy the rest of my life a little more but it’s true that when you’re forced to have less you experience it in some way or another too. I did find narrowing it down the hardest part too though, that was less fun.
[…] It was only a month but it was very insightful (if you missed it you can start by looking here.) I learned a lot about what was in my closet and what was working and equally what wasn’t. I’d […]