stack of sweaters (oatmeal, pea green and red and white colors) on a closet shelf

Make 2020 Useful: Clothes Challenge

Last week: food

There’s something exciting about a new decade, a chance to really do things differently. Instead of treading that well worn path to the gym, how about making 2020 into the year you use things up? It doesn’t have to be all frugal and austere-feeling, in fact it shouldn’t be. The goal isn’t to eke out an existence but to celebrate the abundance you already have by using it. This week, let’s think about our clothes.

Are You Up For the Clothes Challenge?

Challenge yourself to wear a completely different outfit every day this year until you’ve run through your wardrobe.

You’ll stand in front of your closet and yearn to wear the same pair of basic pants and the same neutral t-shirt you always wear. We’re creatures of habit and much of what we own doesn’t actually feel like us. This is an experiment to see if that’s true or not.

So Day One, you wear the red pants and the back silk shirt. If you’re laughing because that’s way too dressy,  ponder the current ratio of dressy to non-dressy clothes in your closet. If you dress up once a week, why are 95% of your clothes finicky items you don’t wear for fear of spoiling them?

Day Two, pull on the dungarees and the floral turtleneck to go underneath. If it feels wonderful, hooray. If it doesn’t, perhaps you’re wearing something that doesn’t reflect who you are these days.

Day Three, how about the rows and rows of dresses you have at the back of the closet? Which one will you wear today? If the answer’s none and never, it’s time to pick a dress you could wear to a wedding, a dress you could wear for a funeral and one more for a special occasion I haven’t thought of. Make sure all three fit you and you feel good in them. Let the rest go to the great dress home in the sky.

See how long you can keep this up before you have a car full of clothes you’re ready to part with. Drop them off and keep going until your wardrobe only consists of things you love, want and need. You’ll notice there’s no number attached. It’s what you feel comfortable with and what you have room for. Remember that sentimental clothes don’t get to hang in your closet, they get tucked away on a shelf of memory clothes in the spare room.

What Else?

Cleaning challenge: use up all your cleaning supplies. If you’re scared of your ammonia and never use it, it’s time for it to go. If those gallon jugs of vinegar were such a good idea but you hate the smell of vinegar, they go too. If microfiber rules, the rag bag gets whittled down to the microfiber cloths you use.

Book challenge: don’t buy another book until you’ve read all the books on your to read pile.

Magazine challenge: cancel all your subscriptions until you’re all caught up. Consider whether you want to resubscribe when you do.

What Challenge Do You Fancy?

Use up all your running shoes before you buy another pair? Call a halt to yarn shopping until you’ve used up your current stash? Drop me a line and let me know what you’re going to use up in 2020. I’ll be cheering you on! And if you want to play but feel completely overwhelmed, I can help.

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