Thursday, October 7, 2010

simplify: a wardrobe of 12 items or less

So, remember how I organized my office to help bring some order to my life? It was great; it's still organized; and I was inspired to let that momentum carry me.

I was also inspired by the Six Items or Less project, which encourages people to see what it would be like to pare down their wardrobes considerably.

reasons the idea appeals to me
1. Simplify. It's a thing I want to do everywhere in my life.

2. Focus. I love clothes (and shoes and scarves), but my dresser tends to look a bit ... war-torn. I interchange going-out clothes and work clothes and lazy-day clothes. No piece of clothing is assigned any particular meaning or purpose, and then I find myself with a huge mass of fabric and colors to sort through as I try to figure out what to wear.

3. Quality and care. That huge mass of fabric? I treat it like a huge mass, like an amorphous heap. In other words, I don't treat it very well, and those clothes I have get to looking worn quickly. The vision I have for my ultimate 12 Items: that it be a collection of carefully crafted, quality pieces of clothing that I'll be able to hold on to and look good in for a decade if I want to. And how much easier would it be to properly care for only 12 items?

so i did it
I dumped all my clothes onto our den floor ...

the mass

... sorted through them, and came up with these piles:

giveawaysbaking clothes
giveaways / baking clothes

exercise clothesloungy clothes
exercise / loungy

and my 12 items
1. gray wrap dress2. pearl cap-sleeve blouse
3. gray pinstripe skirt4. black crew-neck T
5. gray cap-sleeve T6. gray long-sleeve scoop neck T
7. gray tank8. black billowy tunic
9. purple skirt10. black skirt
11. high-waisted jeans12. cowl neck sweater

so many possibilities
My 12: neutral colors, simple cuts, easily accessorized. I'm a scarf and shoe girl. I'm gonna start taking photos of my outfits to see just how versatile 12 items can be.

And then those other piles ... exercise and work clothes are absolutely necessary. And loungy clothes? I wanna make sure my 12 items stay nice, which means not wearing them around the house while I'm cleaning, watching TV, napping, cooking, etc.

next up: phases two & three
two. As I was staring at those exercise and lounge piles I thought I could whittle those down to 12 items or less each, too. But I'll live with my current setup and see which clothes I gravitate to ...

three. And then ... I like the clothes I have in my 12 items, but very few of them are good enough to hang around in my closet for 10 years. As I get in better shape and need to buy smaller clothes, I'll use it as a chance to replace my 12 items, one by one, with higher-quality pieces.

and this relates to food & do how?
Like I said when I reorganized our office, a cluttered space is a cluttered mind is a weak foundation for making good decisions. I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the overfilled dresser looming in our bedroom.

I feel like I exacted control over it, and that I've crossed one more thing off my list of things to worry about.

So now I have more energy to worry about tracking my food and exercise ...


  1. Tidy home, tidy thoughts? Yes! I completely agree. Cluttered spaces definitely stress me out and can affect the way I feel. I definitely see the connection between tidiness and keeping yourself feeling good and positive.

    Sidenote-I love the look of your blog: straight lines, great font choice. *Makes* me want to read it even more.

  2. Mela, you say all the right things :)

    And the more I de-clutter, the more I realize there *is* to de-clutter around our house. Even just little things, like the bathroom closet. Now that I've tackled some of the bigger projects (office, clothes), I think I may be looking forward to those smaller ones instead of feeling purely stressed by them.

    And I'm glad you like my lines & font!! I have a feeling that my header image will be replaced by something custom (photo? design?) one day, but until then I'm in love with the bright pop of those flowers.