I recently discovered what is called a “capsule wardrobe” from reading a blog called “Unfancy” by a lovely woman named Caroline.
Her minimalistic approach to life is displayed in this incredible and exciting way through her wardrobe. She creates 4 “capsule wardrobes” each year by allowing only 37 items (tops, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, etc.) into her closet each “season” and, thus, her wardrobe. Each season lasts about 3 months and every 3 months the 37 items are updated and swapped around.
Only 37 items. That’s 15 tops, 9 bottoms, 4 completing pieces, and 9 pairs of shoes. And you should see this girl’s outfit combinations…seriously…so cute. All of them.
It inspired me. You know this stupid “resolutions” phenomenon that happens each year. New Years rolls around and you get all these ideas about bettering yourself. I’m going to exercise more. I’m going to eat clean. I’m going to read 30 books. Whatever. Give it 6 weeks and you will have found some way to convince yourself that not doing these things is actually better for you. Dumb.
But 2014 gave me way more insight than any other year of my life has. I went to Zambia this year. I lived within incredibly joyful and simple means. And it was so dang refreshing. I came home and was instantly stressed by all of the distractions America has going on. It frustrated me and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. How do I implement simplicity in a more lasting way?
Downsize my wardrobe. That’s how. That’s a start. I started by packing some clothes away to be worn in another season. I still have more than 60 pieces of clothing now waiting to either be sold or donated and only about 45 items hanging in my closet. No, I didn’t hit Caroline’s admirable 37-item mark, but I got rid of over half of my closet. Not haphazardly. Not absentmindedly. I realized that many of the clothes in my closet don’t get worn and that I need to stop spending my resources on a bunch of stuff I’m not going to use.
I might be talking about clothes but I am also talking about so much more.
Downsizing my closet was really refreshing. It made way for more room. And I think I am in need of more room in various different places. I don’t want to create room so that I can replace the things I get rid of, but I want to make room for the things that matter more to me. Things that are already there that don’t receive enough of my time, resources, and attention. I want more room for friends and relationships. For intentionality with people. For me to discover myself. For Jesus. I want to reclaim the space that was being taken up by unnecessary excess.
I aim to downsize areas of my life this year. I aim to downsize my insecurities through deepening my relationship with Jesus. I aim to downsize my schedule so that I can make more room for people. I aim to downsize my expectations of myself and others. I aim to downsize my ignorance by reading challenging words and asking hard questions. I aim to downsize my view of myself; I seek to make Jesus more. I seek to make Him increase.
If Zambia taught me one thing it was that you really don’t need that much to be content. And that perhaps having less can allow you to experience Jesus in even more abundant ways. Welcome to 2015.
And be well.