America is one of the most fortunate countries in the world, we all know that.
We have excess galore.
We have options out the wazoo.
Practically at every corner, we have the ability to attain whatever it is we are looking for.
People from all over the world would literally do anything to get into this country because of the amount of opportunity and safety and wealth.
If you have ever have the privilege to travel overseas, one of the first things you will notice is the lack of options.
It’s a much more simple way of life.
There’s just not an overwhelming amount of variety to choose from or the opportunity to constantly obtain. So in my opinion, they don’t really struggle with excess the way Americans do.
They buy for quality – how long will this last?
If they want groceries, they walk to their local grocer or farmer’s market.
And from what I have seen, they prefer to have less things so that they can spend their money on what they feel is even more important.. ie. traveling, trying new restaurants, experiences, education, family, helping others.
Bradley and I wholeheartedly feel the same way.
But it hasn’t always been the case.
Bradley loves sports and collecting rare items. I love thrifting and finding treasures.
When we got married and combined all of his things with all of my things (YIKES), we had a whole house full of things.
The first year of our marriage, we moved into a three bedroom home and started filling our home with even more things.
Do you see where i’m going here?
We were living a certain way of life and we spent a lot of time and money investing into that way of life.
Then a trip to Costa Rica, a month of living out of a suitcase, 300 conversations about life and what we really desired later – everything changed.
We looked at what we were doing and realized, there has to be a better way.
We have been pairing down, donating, selling, and letting go of things now for a solid two years.
We have made so much progress, but still have some work to do.
Even though this is definitely not the “norm” or an “easy” path to take, it’s something that has always resonated deep within our hearts.
We have always known that was right for us.
Minimal living, tiny dwelling, having just right amount of things.
Now we know we want less so that we can have more.
More time together, more joy, more ability to say YES.
On a small scale, I don’t want to wake up every day and look into my closet, just to get overwhelmed with choices. I want to have exactly what I NEED and LOVE and be able to feel good about it all.
I don’t want to carry the mental load of excess around.
I know for some, it’s not really an issue for them.
But for many, it truly is.
It’s a source of stress and anxiety.
Simplifying my life is one of the most important decisions I have ever made for my mental state and well-being.
It has helped me to experience a new level of freedom.
I don’t feel guilty when I spend money because when I do, it’s intentional.
I don’t feel pressure to wear the newest fads because I only buy things that will last and are quality and are purposeful.
I don’t need to always get more, so now I can focus on people around me.
This past season, I have really been focusing on my closet.
I am hugely inspired by capsule wardrobes.
One of my all time favorite capsule wardrobe companies is called Vetta Capsule.
(If you don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is, in a nutshell, it is a small amount of items of clothing that you can interchange into many outfits to meet different occasions. Here is an example from Vetta of thirty outfits with six pieces of clothing.)
Isn’t that the best?
I love it. It’s so simple. So easy.
Another fellow minimalist and huge inspiration of mine is Courtney Carver, who is the founder of Project 333.
(You should take time to read her testimony about how living a more simple life literally helped save hers.)
Here Are 6 Steps to Help You Design Your Very Own Effortless Wardrobe:
Make a full inventory list of all you have.
– 15 short sleeve shirts
– 2 blue jeans
– 1 black slacks
2. Make a list of what you practically need.
– winter coat
– blazer for office
– swimsuit (one piece and two piece)
– yoga pants
3. Try on each item of clothing and get rid of anything that makes you feel uncomfortable (not your best self, beautiful, good).
– If it’s ill- fitting, donate or sell.
– If it’s attached to a bad experience or memory, donate or sell.
– If it doesn’t portray who you are, donate or sell.
4. Choose which items are worth the cost of alterations.
– Is it worth the money/time/energy to have taken up or fit to my body?
For example, I bought this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind gown that fits me beautifully everywhere but in the sleeves. I kept the gown despite being ill-fitting, because to me, it is worth the $25 for alterations. However, if it were any of my other dresses, it wouldn’t have been worth the time and energy to get done.
5. Only keep items that you are completely obsessed with.
I think that most people feel anxiety when they look in their closet because they don’t invest in this step. They look into their closet and see what they own and they don’t even like those items. Of course, it’s a gift to just have a closet full of beautiful clothes. But if we are in a position to start transforming our closet, than I think that we can take baby steps towards building a wardrobe that clearly expresses who we are. A wardrobe that we are proud to wear. I think there comes a point in life, where we need to give ourselves permission to figure out what we like. It has definitely been a journey for me, but I can honestly, 100% truthfully say, I value every single piece of clothing that is hanging in my closet. Every single piece of clothing makes me feel great. Every single piece of clothing is my favorite. There is not one garment that I feel iffy about wearing. NOT ONE.
But you have to realize, that comes with having less.
Here is a current picture of my closet:
I know, there’s not a lot. But I feel very rich and full.
I have a few shirts, a few dress shirts, one pair of black jeans, a few pairs of blue jeans. I have a few skirts, a few shorts, and jumper. I have a dress for formal events, I have a few for causal events. I have a warm coat, a dressy coat, and a rain coat.
I am not lacking at all but I don’t have any excess.
I am not overwhelmed with options.
Getting dressed in the morning is a joy because I get to wear put on something that i’m proud of, and all of my items get used.
Now, the fun part is I can look at my wardrobe and see a thread throughout it. I see textures and a color palette that I have been unintentionally buying all along.
The next step is a FUN step,
6. Figure out what you need to add to your closet.
– What’s missing that would add value?
I don’t own a jean jacket and I recently decided I want one. I know that I will wear it constantly this fall and it would add value to my life. So this is an item that I feel like I need to be on the lookout for.
That is intentional living.
That is intentional buying.
It really is not as hard as it seems, I promise y’all.
If I can do it, anyone can do it.
If you have been feeling inspired to minimize and simplify your life, I hope that you make the time to take steps in that direction.
Take it one day, one step at a time.
Let me know if you need any help at any point in this process.
Cheers to a more purposeful life!