My journey toward simplicity began with my closet.
Brimming with dress shirts, khakis, dress pants, polos, t-shirts, graphic tees, flannels and jeans, my closet and dresser had enough clothing for me to go two full months before needing to do laundry.
Laying it all on my bed I began to shuffle through it finding items I had either never worn, hated wearing or only wore when I was too tired to put them through the wash. I spent the next two hours shopping out of my own closet, looking for items I really enjoyed wearing and that actually fit me.
Throughout this process I asked several questions: Do I actually wear this? Have I ever worn this? When was the last time I did wear it? If I do wear it, does it fit me right? If it does, do I really need seven of them? Do I like this piece of clothing? If I don’t, is there someone else who would?
When all was said and done, my wardrobe was reduced to far less than where it began:
- Several dress shirts
- Two polos
- Two pairs of dress pants
- Two pairs of jeans
- Enough t-shirts for one week
- two suits
- Underwear for eight days
- Socks for eights days
The rest went into five (yes, 5) 30 gallon garbage bags and stored in my garage for one month.
After a full month, my closet reduced even further in the items that I owned. The clothing I did not wear or would wear ended up in the donate box next to my closet (something that is still there today). I was on the path of determining what it meant for me to have enough clothing. I was down to only doing laundry once a week, with clothing to cover the warm and cold seasons.
Over the next several months my wardrobe grew increasingly simpler by being reduced to primary colors. Getting dressed in the morning took less time, opening up more to cook breakfast and contemplative prayer.
Determining what it meant for for me to have enough and simplifying my wardrobe was only the beginning. It was not until I began asking the question of where my clothing came from that I began to take real action and accept the cold reality of how deeply connected we all are to suffering.