Live with Less (and love it)

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Hello Lovelies,

Last week we marked the start of spring with an extra dollop of snow! Nevertheless, our side garden gave the gift of spring with some fresh, bright crocuses.

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Last weekend, Bill and I celebrated 6 happy months of marriage. To mark the occasion, I took a much-needed vacation day and we brought the dog to the beach. Watching her chasing seagulls was just what the doctor ordered.

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I finally got back on the yoga-class bandwagon. It was amazing to have a teacher push me to do all of the asanas that I avoid.  Then we spent the rest of the weekend decluttering our house.

We have a little extra motivation this spring, since we’re planning to move to a new home by September. We want to get rid of as much “stuff” as we possibly can. Our theory: the less stuff we own, the less we need to pack.

SPRING CLEANING

I used a modified version of Marie Kondo’s method, from her book. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  We brought all of our coats and put them on our bed, then we decided which ones had a purpose and “sparked joy.”

Marie recommends that you hold each item in your hand and reflect on it. What was it’s purpose? Has it served that purpose? If it has, you should thank it and let it go. If it’s not done and it sparks joy and makes you happy, you should keep it.

Bill and I got in a pretty heated debate about a pretty soft, white, all-purpose blanket (can you tell what side I was on?). We ended up letting that sucker go, since we never use it. Then we did the same thing with our winter accessories, linen closet, and our books. There’s still plenty to go through, but it was a nice start.

SPRING IS A GREAT TIME FOR CHANGE

I decided that since it is officially spring and I am itching for some new clothes; it was time to refresh my capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a limited set of clothes that you can mix and match to make outfits. I’ve used a capsule for about 2 years now. I came across the 333 project and loved the idea. Basically, you narrow down your wardrobe to 33 items, including shoes, and you only wear those 33 items for 3 months (hence 333). You can have as much leisure or workout clothing as you want/need, but your day-to-day clothes have to be under 33 items.

I take lots of shortcuts with the 333 rules.

Here’s how my capsule wardrobe works.

Step 1 make your bed

This will be your landing space for all of your clothes. The floor around your bed should also be available for overflow.

Step 2 bring all of your clothes into one room

Since I’m from New England I have two types of clothes: warm and cold. During the winter my warm clothes go into storage and in the winter vice versa. Spring is a tricky time because some days are frigid in the morning, warm in the afternoon and cool in the early evening. A good rule of thumb for this type of season is to make sure you have layers.

Step 3 try your clothes on

Go through each item of clothing. If it has been a while since you’ve worn it, that might be your hint that it doesn’t bring you joy. If it’s hard to tell, put the item on and look in the mirror. I always ask “is it comfortable?” And “do I like how it makes me feel?” If it’s not comfortable or it makes you feel any uncomfortable emotions, chuck it in the donation pile. I also tend to ask myself Marie Kondo’s question, “does it spark joy?” Unfortunately my right-size-wrong-muffin-top shorts didn’t spark joy. Neither did my former-favorite dress, now just a little bit over worn. Time for a new favorite dress.

Step 4 pick your capsule

You can do this however you want. I usually start with pants then do other bottoms, then tops, then dresses and sweaters, and last accessories (scarves & shoes).

Pick out 33 items. Full disclosure: I cheat.

  • I count a pair of shoes as one item
  • I don’t count my casual shoes
  • I put some basic tees in my ath-leisure drawer to make sure I’ll have something for every occasion.

Step 5 rock your #OOTD

Bill: What’s an OOTD? 

Kayla: It means “Outfit of the day”

Bill: Did you make that up? 

Kayla: No, it’s a pretty common hashtag.

The thing I love about a capsule is that it forces me to be creative. If I want to have a fun look for 3 months, I need to dig a little deeper to find different outfits.

Step 6 embrace your uniform

Sometimes it’s good to pick a uniform. You can decrease the pressure to decide on an outfit by selecting a consistent wardrobe (e.g., dress pants with a different button down shirt Monday to Thursday and jeans on Friday). Sometimes this simplification can be all you need to relieve some of the pressure we feel from decision fatigue. Lots of men wear a glorified uniform. For Bill it’s khakis, a button up, and a brown belt. I’m sure he doesn’t even think about his outfit more than 5 minutes each day.

Bill: You think I think about my clothes for 5 minutes? Try one minute. I just choose what color pants I want and pick a shirt people won’t remember from a couple of days ago. Done.

By my count (and remember, I totally cheat), I chose 25 items this time around. I’m expecting my stitch fix tomorrow, so maybe I’ll add something fun from that. If not, I need to find some kind of drape or throw to wear over my cute springy blouses with short sleeves.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FIRST FIX

I’m obsessed with Stitch Fix. I signed up for regular deliveries, every couple of months. It’s like Christmas, once a season they deliver a box of five items to my door and I get to pick and choose if I like them. It costs about $20 to get styled, but if you keep an item the money goes toward your clothes. I’ve had the same stylist for a while now and she gets me. Every single box has something with stripes and something maroon. If you feel like trying it, your first styling fee is waived. It’s almost risk-free. I highly recommend trying your first fix and committing to a couple. It gets better over time as you give more feedback and your stylist starts to get a feel for your likes and dislikes.

SERIOUSLY, GET YOUR FIRST FIX

 

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2 thoughts on “Live with Less (and love it)

  1. Ali says:

    I love this. I am very much a de-clutterer, and like to live with less. I love that tip about wearing something or holding something in your hand and seeing if it brings joy. Wonder if you could apply this to other possessions?

    Like

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