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In Pursuit Of A Balanced Life In Tempe Simplifying


Round 1: My Closet

Recap: 2017: My Word of the Year is SIMPLIFY. I have many “hats”: Mom of 3 kids, Wife, Bad Ass Chiropractor, Business Owner, Athlete, and a Real Life Wonder Woman at least in my eyes. I chose my word to signify, for me, what I want to accomplish Across The Board. I want to simplify every aspect of my life so that I can enjoy it more. When you have children you realize how fast time is actually going and I, personally, am so apt to be caught in the action of striving that I rarely sit back and coast or enjoy. I need to UNLOAD my life to create a window in my universe to ALLOW me to breathe and enjoy. I decided I was going to look for opportunities to Simplify any and all aspects of my life.

My foray into simplifying my closet & creating a Capsule Wardrobe began innocuously enough. One of our patients, Stacey M., mentioned that she was also a stylist and that in fact she wanted to segue OUT of the mortgage business and do what she really loved full time—styling. It was a no brainer to ask her to work with me. I was not necessarily unhappy with my wardrobe or feeling unattractive, but I was open to improving my Business Presentation since my Business Coach had requested that I “up my game” clothing wise. I always want to help promote our patients’ business ventures, especially when it is IMPROVING their lives and stress levels – a very basic Chiropractic Philosophy.

While I waited for our appointment, I went back to my style resource, aka Pinterest, and I started stumbling upon Capsule Wardrobe Bloggers and Minimalist Closet Bloggers. I had already read the KonMari Method, so I had done quite a bit of eliminating already, but the items left in my closet, did not necessarily spark the JOY that she spoke of. It was more that I had spent MONEY on such and such, or it was a BRAND that I really liked (go right ahead and say it: Clothing Snob)! The clothing that remained was NOT what I LOVED to wear… and it certainly did not all work together into multiple outfits that freed my soul and creativity!

I downsized some more. I left the things that I really liked, OR that I thought were really versatile, and I had a HUGE pile of questionable. I also stumbled on the Stylebook app thanks to one of the blogs. I am not much of an app-er, but I bought the APP and spent TIME taking pictures of what was left in my closet, cataloging, and starting to create outfits. That alone made for more freedom: putting items together “on paper” w/ accessories!! OH YEAHH! It was like I was my own Barbie Doll! Awesome ~ said with a sing song lilt!!

By the time Stacey and I met, I was already morphing. She gave me the reassurance that I was on the right path, pretty much eliminated the whole “questionable” stack of clothing, as well as multiple items I had left in the Keepers, AND most importantly she identified for me the No-Nos and the Spot On Styles. For example: V necks only… no cowl, no scoop neck, and NO ruffles, the “girls” are big enough on their own. Accentuate is good! Hide, expose and/or embellish them… not so much. If you are wearing snug up top (T-shirt, blouse, tank top) make it bigger below (flowy skirt, wide leg pants, etc.) and vice versa. *I should’ve figured that out on my own, I know.* At the end, she also helped me identify what key pieces I was missing: shapes, sizes, colors, necklines etc. so that I could REALLY make my closet work well together.

As a result, I shop differently now.

Speaking of shopping. WELL, part of the reason that I decided I needed to go Capsule/Minimal, was to decrease my carbon footprint, MY consumption-ism, to stop making purchases JUST BECAUSE or just because I could, & to make more (empty) space in my closet, to teach my kids (and self) that More is NOT Better. Well, I don’t think I did so well in this department. I ditched so many things that I went overboard trying to replace them. Some things I really needed and have already worn. SO MUCH SO that my Style Stats (in Stylebook app) says I have 25 items with a $4.37 cost per wear or under.

I started my experiment October 7, 2016, just about six months ago, and my goal is to have my cost per wear to be UNDER a dollar. The only way to accomplish that is to wear LESS items MORE often. So Lesson #1: More is not Better, duh, but more specifically: less is more IF you choose wisely. For example: I still have probably 7 black pants–some are jeans, some are trousers, some are tights. But I absolutely do NOT need that many. Something has to go, working on that.

In each Stylebook category, I have collected too many items. To be honest, I could have gotten by with quite a bit less. I have between 26 and 30 items in each category of Tops, Bottom, and Shoes with an additional 7 dresses and 11 Layering items. I did start this in October, so many of my items are Fall & Winter and will be useless come summertime in Phoenix. I will stash those away: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. I also have 20 Purses and Wallets and 148 Accessories (Okay, confession more than that actually, not all of them have made it into the Stylebook App). Although I did downsize my accessories, I kept quite a few items since they were Family Items or they were expensive enough items that I did not want to just give them away (read jewelry from previous amores). So I decided to ALLOW them and give myself permission to keep sentimental things.

My next Minimalism lesson will be to learn from this past season of Fall/Winter Capsule. (Side Note: you are really supposed to Create the Capsule and then NOT shop anymore… Bit of a temporary Fail on that one!) I am going to try again with more refined expectations of myself and what I buy:

Pick & Choose MORE Carefully: Curating Items that Work Together Spend a Budgeted Amount of Money & then BE DONE ONLY buy things that I feel SMASHING in, & the REALLY hard part, find clothing makers that are fashioning responsibly. I don’t want to wear clothing made by women and children who are paid pennies a day for their labor, EVER. I don’t want disposable clothing anymore: clothes that when I tire of it or it loses its shape, goes into the Give Away bin.

After I clear out the items that absolutely will not handle a Phoenix summer, I will tally up how many items I now have and may try to follow suit based on blogs I have read: challenging myself to stick to a specific number of items. The other challenge that I am having is SHOES. Not much is comfortable for my long days at work and my feet are bordering on wide. I have had enough of heels, and boots are great, but not-so-much in a Phoenix Summer. Sandals are great also, but they offer very little support and open-toe shoes are not really “Medically Professional”. So, Ideas for the shoe department?? I really am not ready for old lady orthopedic shoes.

I am ACTIVELY Simplifying my life in every aspect to create time, energy, and space for more JOY.

Stay tuned for more installments on Simplifying and finding a Balanced Life in Tempe. Please comment if something speaks to you & Share with your friends if they are moving or want to move JOYward!!

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