In Part 1 of my series on how I reduced my wardrobe, I talked about the inspirations and readiness for this project. In Part 2, I shared logistics and how the process went for me. Now In Part 3 … So what has my wardrobe become and how does it feel now that some time has passed?
It seems like such a long time since we were experiencing one of our hottest summers on record. Now that we’ve already had our first snow of the season, I wouldn’t mind a little of that heat! I’ve had several months to get used to my “new” wardrobe, and have transitioned into my fall and winter clothes.
For my data-loving friends, at the time of my first donation, I got rid of 107 items: 2 pairs of PJ’s, 12 underthings/socks, 16 T-shirts, 13 long sleeve shirts & jackets, 12 tank tops, 11 pairs of pants, 4 skirts & dresses, 6 shorts, 16 pairs of earrings, 5 bracelets, 3 necklaces, 4 pairs of shoes and 2 tote bags.
Even after I gave away all those items, I still found more as I wore things and realized or should I dare say; admitted they just didn’t fit well or annoyed me somehow, so I’ve donated more items. Most of my sandals that I’ve had for years finally went bye-bye (some I just threw out because they weren’t even worth donating), so to hunt down some comfy affordable sandals is now on my spring list!
As I went through my wardrobe and narrowed it down, I actually found that I needed to buy a few pieces to fill in gaps when I discovered that an item I discarded would now be useful in my 2 careers or at the gym. It may seem like I took a step backwards in this process but armed with a new perspective, those pieces needed to be replaced but had to feel good, fit right, and be things that I would wear on a regular basis. Mostly it was workout gear but also some tank tops. My new purchases have settled in nicely to my rotation, and I’m glad that I got them even though it seemed a little counter-intuitive at the time since I was getting rid of so much.
I don’t have any regrets about letting go of so many things. When I’ve had opportunities to buy new clothing like a keepsake from a local island vacation or even fun Halloween shirts (after all it is my favorite holiday!), I’ve been able to quickly remind myself how difficult the reduction process was, and ask myself if I really want to return to the way it was before or go through the complete process again? The short answer … No!
This process is iterative so I will periodically check in with myself and my clothes to see if we are still a good fit ( … punny! 😉)
My spaces are now more open – it’s become a pleasure to put away laundry and I actually rotate my clothes so the recently-laundered items go to the bottom of the pile. I know that may seem a little OCD, which it very well may be, but I feel like I can be honest about the things on top that I might keep skipping and therefore could get rid of, and I am evenly wearing out my clothes! I also know now that anything I do grab is going to look and feel good on me, so it reduces decision-making in the mornings and makes me feel confident in my choices.
I’m still working on acceptance of my body and to release my unrealistic, fantasy images of fit, muscular and thin, which is not my body type and replace them with healthy images of proper weight, good muscle tone, and an authentic smile. At least my wardrobe can make me feel good about where I am at, and not shame me or make me feel guilty because I keep holding on to those “skinny jeans” that will likely never fit me again.
Another wonderful message that came through this process is that my income does not define my value, worth or success. I’m in a very different place financially than I was when I was working in corporate, but I am much more peaceful and content with my life, and the stress is exponentially lower. I know my work is making a difference in people’s lives, and that is worth more than gold to me at this point in my life.
Still on the fence about clearing out your wardrobe? Maybe you’d like to commit to doing it!
Share your experience and let us know in the comments below.