Death & Decluttering

Death & Decluttering

I'd started a blog post on Death a few months ago, but said no...that's too dark, don't go there on a public forum. 

Then July happened.  

Uncle Phil, gone. 

Kelly, a high school friend, gone.  

Uncle John, gone. 

So we're talking about death, decluttering and our past.  I promise they are related. 

A few months ago I started going through the last of the sentimental stuff I'd been holding on to, snug in my parent's shed for 18 years, not bothering anyone.  Except me.  It was always on my mind, taunting me, calling my a hypocrite.  I mean, how can I tell you to downsize your sentimentality when mine loomed large?  

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What I Learned from My Capsule Wardrobe

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Capsule Wardrobe.  

Project 333.  

A uniform.  

These were all buzzwords in 2016 and being as I suffer from a healthy dose of FOMO, I thought I would try one and see what all the fuss is about.  

The basic premise is that rather than buying the skinniest hangers possible so you can cram more clothes in your closet, you clear the damn thing out and only put back a few items.  It could be 33 items every 3 months in the case of Project 333, or just 5 shirts and 5 pants, all the same, for The Uniform.  The mellow choice was a generic Capsule Wardrobe in which you just choose a "limited" amount of clothing. 

After attempting Project 333, and landing closer to Project 666, I decided to just call my attempt by the generic name: Capsule Wardrobe. I pulled out all the clothes from my closet, put back the ones I loved and put the rest in two bins in the garage. 

Here's what I learned:

1.  Having 1 pair of pants a la The Minimalists would only work for me were I willing to do laundry every day.  I get dirty working in peoples homes and, do to health issues, need to wear a new pair almost every day so that I'm not marinating in allergens.  That would add up to a lot of washing and I just don't have the bandwidth right now for that. 

2. Ditto for shirts.  On top of the allergens, I'm just a rather sweaty, smelly person.  For the sake of those around me, I stick to a single use of a shirt, and even then, my hippy-dippy non-aluminum deodorant leaves a bit to be desired.  If a weekend with my horse is involved, that also necessitates a change of shirts (and pants).  I think he smells wonderful, but I get looks when I go to the store after visiting him. I could feasibly stick to just 2 or 3 shirts, but that too would lean towards a ridiculous amount of washing each week.  That leads us to the next point...  

About 25 shirts and 5 pairs of pants make up my fall/winter wardrobe.  Half the shirts are for really cold days and half are for just slightly chilly days.  

About 25 shirts and 5 pairs of pants make up my fall/winter wardrobe.  Half the shirts are for really cold days and half are for just slightly chilly days.  

 

3.  Although I default to wearing black tank tops while at home, I realized I actually enjoy having a bit of a choice in my work shirts.  This was a surprise as I really didn't think I cared that much, but some days I feel like a blue shirt, others a purple one.  The key was keeping the choice to a minimum.   

4.  Getting dressed is SO much easier with a smaller collection. I haven't had a single "OMG I have NOTHING to wear" day since the big clean out. 

5. Moving is easier.  If you have to move to a new home, only needing one little wardrobe box is a huge perk.  We found that out in November. 

My fall/winter shoes.  The sandals and 2 pairs of high heels live on an upper shelf until summer.

My fall/winter shoes.  The sandals and 2 pairs of high heels live on an upper shelf until summer.

6. Co-habitating is easier.  If you move and wind up having to share a closet with your partner, you will have fewer fights if your clothing is staying firmly in your half of the closet.  At least, that's how it went down in our house. :)

7.  Sometimes the biggest act of self-love is letting go of too-small clothes or buying a size larger.  Not with the attitude that nothing can be done about your weight, but an attitude of compassion, i.e. "due to XY and Z, this is the weight I am right now".  I let go of some old pants, bought a couple pair of pants I could wear right now, and ironically lost a little weight.  There might be something to this self-love and acceptance.  Another bonus, in letting go of the too-small clothes, and a few that I just wasn't in love with, I was able to whittle down my 2 boxes of clothes in the garage to 1.  

 

PS If this article helps you, please consider hitting the <3 or share button.  Thanks!  

PPS What I Learned from my Capsule Wardrobe and Simple Luxury

Fighting Clutter with eBooks

While I am a huge fan of library books in the traditional sense - go to library, check out books, save $20 vs. going on Amazon - they still bring the same amount of clutter into our homes as purchasing said books.  

The fix?  Borrowing eBooks! They are sent directly to your Kindle, Kindle app, or Nook.  If you live on the peninsula, you have access to the entire Peninsula Library System.  If you don't live here, well I'm assuming there is a similar program in any metropolitan area.  

So let's head to the Peninsula Library eBook page hosted by Overdrive.  If you don't live in the area, check Overdrive for libraries near you.

Are you there? 

Here's how to check out a book in 8 easy steps:

1. Sign in with your library card number (or an Overdrive or Facebook account).  

2. Search for the title you want.  

3. If it's available, click "borrow"; if it's already checked out, click "hold".  

4. The "borrow" button, once clicked, will say "read now".  Click that and it will allow you to read it on your computer through your browser.  

5. To download to an eReader, click on the "My Account" button at the top right.

6. Click "Loans" from the "My Account" dropdown menu. This will take you to your loans page. 

7. Click "Choose a Format" and then either Kindle, ePub or PDF eBook.

8. Clicking "Kindle" will take you automagically to Amazon and download it to your device.