Clothing Challenge Reflections

Happy New Year!  Welcome 2011.

Three months ago I joined the 333 Clothing Challenge.   The challenge was to wear only 33 items for 3 months.  I have to confess, I’m glad it’s over. FREEDOM! I don’t suppose that is the reaction most minimalist would expect.

Honestly, wearing the same pants and shirts over and over again wasn’t a problem.  It was the rare occasion that I wanted to wear something not in my closet.  I found that even with the limited number of clothes I did have, I still didn’t wear all of them.  One purple top was worn maybe once or twice before I concluded it just didn’t fit right and I didn’t like wearing it.  Thus it was pushed to the back of the closet.  Two red sweaters were donated to the Goodwill after about 6 weeks because I never wore them either because I didn’t like how they fit.  I replaced them with one red top that I pulled out of a box.  I wore out my belt and finally replaced it after the challenge was over.

Surprisingly my struggle was with jewelry.  Jewelry was included in the total 33 items and I had let myself wear only two earrings for 3 months.  Normally I only ever wear a few select jewelry items, I thought, so this part of the challenge would be a walk in the park.  It wasn’t long before I found myself longing to be able to wear something different and that feeling never let up.  Since the challenge I haven’t worn either of those two earrings and have looked at my jewelry collection with renewed interest!

Obviously I will not continue to wear only 33 items for the rest of my life.  I don’t like to be limited by numbers like that.  It’ll stress me out in the long run and a simple lifestyle is suppose to reduce stress.  The experience did give me an idea.  What if for a certain period of time (a month?) I only had a small number of clothes in my closet.  In a month’s time I should be able to wear each item several times.  At the end of a month I can decide if I really like this item or not.  Did I like how it fit?  No, then get rid of it.  Yes, keep it. Then try a new set of  clothes or add to replace the clothes I tossed.  Repeat until I have gone through all the clothes I own (which isn’t really that many). Once I reach that point I think the old hanger trick is a good idea to keep on top of those clothes I continue to wear and which don’t get worn.  In case you don’t know the hanger trick, this is what it is.  Hang all your hangers backwards in your closet.  When you wear an item then put it back in the closet with the hanger going the right way.  After a few laundry days you’ll get a good picture of those items that get worn.

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