I thought the clothes week would be easy...then I reminded myself that easy would defeat the purpose.
In 7, Jen Hatmaker wore only the same 7 clothing items for an entire month. We tossed around that idea, but honestly, it wasn't going to be a challenge for us. I have about 15 maternity items that I actually wear, so cutting them in half for a week or two would be no big deal. Zac wears a uniform at least half the week, so even if it counted as two items, he would still have five others to choose from.
So instead we decided to jump forward to the possessions experiment (give away 7 possessions a day) and apply it to our clothes. For two weeks we had to get rid of 7 clothing items PER DAY (and since I can't deal with weird numbers we rounded up to 100 items each).
In all fairness, I must tell you that this really came about because Zac called my bluff. When I originally made the suggestion Zac was hesitant, so instead I suggested 7 items per day for one week (rounded to an even 50). Of course I proudly followed it up with, "I already know which 50 I'll get rid of." So in his true competitive nature he took back his comment and agreed to the full two weeks. I think I looked at him and said, "crap."
Once we got started, it actually felt pretty good. All in all Zac ended up getting rid of around 120 items and I came out around 130. No, the purses and socks didn't count.
Here's how the elimination worked.
Round 1: Anything you've been intending to get rid of anyway. This totaled around 40 items.
Round 2: This one required a trusted friend (TF). Go section by section and get rid of anything that hasn't been worn in the last six months. Then have TF evaluate what is left in each section.
TF: Are you keeping all of these jeans?
TF: No, you're not.
This round totaled approximately 75 items.
Round 3: Do laundry. For every clean item you put away try to get rid of one. Let's be honest, it's usually all the same stuff in your laundry basket every week anyway, so that's the stuff you really wear. This round was harder and came in around 15 items.
But look how nice our closets look!
I'm kidding. Our closets never look that nice on a normal day. Now is probably a good time to mention that two days prior to this "closet clean out" we decided to put our house on the market. These pictures show our closets in their "staged" states. We had agreed on the 100 items each prior to deciding to list the house, so the challenge wasn't entirely determined by that, but it certainly helped us get ready for showings.
We've been tossing around the idea of downsizing for quite some time now. In fact, we've been preparing for it by slowly getting rid of our stuff over the last year, whether we realized it at the time or not. It started with an uneasy feeling about how much we had, so we started eliminating extras and duplicates, trying to evaluate what's enough. We are beginning to see that more isn't always better. I certainly found this to be true for my closet, the less choices I had the simpler my mornings became.
We met with our realtor one year ago and told her we didn't want to list the house until all of our credit cards were paid off. Well...now they are, so we are putting a little "yes" on the table, taking a step off square center for God to move in our lives and we can't wait to see what happens next.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."