Keeping it Simple: Capsule Wardrobe Experiment

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I’m sure you’re all shocked that the author of a blog called “Kinda Crunchy” jumped on the minimalist wardrobe bandwagon. I just couldn’t help myself. It was just too awesomely crunchy to pass-up. There were a few factors that contributed to my decision. One of them being that I felt like every morning I stressed over what to wear because I had too many clothes that didn’t really fit or weren’t really “me.” I started reading about de-cluttering and clearing out space in your life and how it creates more inner peace and all that good stuff and who doesn’t want that? No one doesn’t want that. (My mom just vomited in her mouth.)

So, I kinda started clearing stuff out. Tiny understatement. I went from filling half of a walk-in closet plus three stuffed-to-the-brim drawers, and then maybe also some boxes of stored stuff from a past pre-parenthood (aka pre-Jelly Belly) life to now requiring only one row of the walk-in and half-empty drawers. I used this method. Check-it out. It’ll change the way you view your stuff forever. It empowered me to be BRUTAL when de-cluttering. Sweater from {insert relative here} from {insert holiday here} that doesn’t really fit? You will guilt me no more into taking space in my closet. That one shirt that was my favorite forever but now has a little hole and is faded? Peace out, your glory days are like dust in the wind. How about that other thing that I bought because it was kind of what I needed but not really but was irresistibly on sale? Gone. Wait, but not that other thing that my husband says is cute on me but isn’t really my style and I feel awkward every time I wear it? This ain’t your home Mama, bye. If I don’t feel good in it, if it doesn’t “bring me joy,” if I don’t feel happy that I get to wear it then there is no space in my closet or my heart for this item.

You guys/Y’all, this was incredibly difficult. I’m trying to sound all BA (that’s how Christians say “bad ass” without actually swearing) about it, but it caused me physical pain. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that. Crunchy people: you know that feeling when your recycling bin is full and it’s trash day so you just toss that cardboard box which is CLEARLY recyclable into the normal land-fill destined garbage bin? AGONY. Squishy people: you know that feeling when you toss that generous serving of leftovers knowing you could totally have it for lunch tomorrow but you don’t really want to so you hastily shove it down the disposal, hoping your family never knows? THE HORROR. It’s that, “I’m being a wasteful selfish jerk” feeling. Uckgh. It feels slimy.

So how did I cut through the slime and embrace this process? I followed this blog post like it was an IKEA assembly guide. I held tight and I BELIEVED that in the end, this would all work out. The author, in her glorious simplistic way said this in a nutshell, “Your stuff served its purpose. You can thank it for what it did for you but now it can no longer serve you and needs to move on.” Make peace with saying good-bye, you’re only hurting yourself by keeping it because it’s cluttering your space. I don’t know that I really believed it, the stuff I wasn’t wearing a lot, was in my way though. For this reason, I appreciated the step that had me sort out my items into 4 categories:

1. Love it

2. I want to keep this but I’m not sure why

3. Donate it (these items are still in good condition)

4. Trash (these items have holes, stains, etc.) I chose to take these to H&M where they will accept bags of used clothing and then recycle them.

{I want to pause here and say that I have also been really convicted about donating items that aren’t in good condition. If I wouldn’t give it to my best friend, then it doesn’t need to belong to anyone. People deserve respect, you know? I don’t want to give trash to people when they are fighting to preserve their dignity already as it is.}

This process was very precise and really was like a nice hand hold during this “purge” phase. This was a great place to start the Capsule Wardrobe Experiment. Once my closet was cleared, I was able to focus more clearly on the items I liked. I started noticing trends. There were certain cuts, fabrics, and colors that I could sink into comfortably without much effort. My favorite part of this phase was the feeling of being free to not hold on to things that I didn’t actually like. My wardrobe was beginning to feel like a true expression of who I am.

Is it weird having so much less? Absolutely, and sometimes I still feel a little panicky about it even though it’s working. What I just described was the first step to developing my Capsule.

Now that I have my Capsule, let me tell you what it feels like:

Say you have a craving for Cherry Garcia Ice Cream (because you’re awesome and that’s the best flavor of ice cream EVER). So you go to the store to get some. Upon arriving in the ice cream aisle, you see that there is a Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt. Oh man, should I get that? It’s healthier, right? But then next to that you see that Chunky Monkey is on sale. Dang, it’s like half the price of Cherry Garcia. THEN you see an off-brand cherry ice cream that is also sugar-free…. What do you do??

Now, imagine you walk into a different grocery store and there are three flavors: Chocolate, Cherry Garcia, and Vanilla. You open the refrigerator door, grab good ‘ol Cherry Garcia and walk out of there. Done. 

This is exactly what it feels like to have a Capsule Wardrobe. You cut out the fluff. You don’t have any other pieces that aren’t what you really want vying for your affection. You just get what you want and go.

I’ve been amazed how it’s now effected many areas of my life. I want to cut out the fluff everywhere. It’s just a waste of time, energy and space. I’m really excited to share this journey with you and I hope that you’ll consider taking the challenge too. This won’t only bring you more inner peace but it’s also contributing to a better environment. Will you join me?

Resources to Consider:

The documentary “The True Cost” available on Netflix

Follow my Pinterest Board: Capsule Wardrobe

The book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

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