Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Twenty Pieces?! Are These People Crazy?!

My dear sister Kate knows me well. She knows that I:

-love simplicity
-am easily inspired
-probably have too many clothes for my own good
-am always up for a challenge

Thanks to her, I have a new project. Simplifying my closet.

Now, its not really all that bad. I had a four-drawer Rubbermaid "dresser" that I store exercise clothes, socks, t-shirts, shorts, and unmentionables in. My hanging clothes take up only half a closet, since I am 24 and still share a room (yes, by choice. I think having my own room gets lonely!). Oh, and did I mention my "dresser" fits in my closet, too? Yeah.

But Kate turned me onto the 20 Pieces Project. In their own words, "The Twenty Pieces Project is the newest endeavor of Julie Barrios and Cate MacDonald, two writers, spiritual directors, friends, and SoCal girls looking to live outside the siren song of materialism and consumerism." "The basic premise of the project is this: live for one year with only twenty items of clothing and no shopping."

Sounds crazy, right?

Apparently I am crazy. I figure, why the heck not? I'm all for living outside the siren song of materialism and consumerism. But I really do love clothes. I love fabric. The way it feels, the way it falls on a particular garment, the way that my favorite pair of jeans have been worn into one of the most perfect textiles on the face of the planet. I love the nostalgia that comes with various pieces of clothing. I still have a pair of khaki Bermuda shorts from Old Navy that I bought when I was a sophomore in high school (yup, that was 9 years ago). Then there is my often-coveted brown tweed coat that my friend Taylor told me she claimed dibs on if I were ever to bring it to a clothing exchange or give it up. I have a Boston Red Socks shirt from one of my college roommates, Danielle, who wore it the first week that we lived together and told me that she was going to move to Boston right after she graduated. And she did. And as she was packing to move, the shirt was in her dump pile. How could I let that one go? Does parting with these treasures mean parting with the memories associated with them? Am I sounding like a packrat yet?

Thankfully, the 20 Pieces Project is, much like the rest of my life, a process. I think that I would go crazy if I tried to cut my closet cold turkey. Anyway, I did my first clean out this week. Phase I looks like this:

(By the way, that is my favorite pair of jeans hanging out at the top of the pile. I figured I should probably keep ones that were in better shape and would actually last me a year.)

Believe it or not, there are 40 items in that pile.

6: t shirt
5: dress
4: each of jeans, tank tops
3: each of shorts, work shirts, over-sized t-shirts, skirts and longsleeve exercise shirts
2: workout pants
1: each of vest, PJ pants, jacket, sweater

Wow. I find it amazing that I am tossing out 40 items, and it wasn't nearly as hard as I anticipated the first round to be. I don't know if I can really bear down to the minimum of 20 items, but I would at least want to have the same number of clothes remaining in my closet as a final number be the same as the first round cleanup.

Goal: 40 items (or fewer) in my closet at the end of March. Updates to follow.

In the meantime, onward to simplicity.