Photo: beccaberry via Flickr

Photo: beccaberry via Flickr

It was over a year ago now (but it seems like just last week) when I noticed it.  Piles everywhere. Clean clothes, dirty clothes, outfits tried on and off and discarded for a more preferable option before leaving for a morning meeting.

Piles and piles and piles.

And at once, I was over it.

Enough was enough, and I had too much.

It was on that day I legitimately took half of the clothes I owned and put them into garbage bags.
Many of the items I still wore.  Many of the items I still liked.  In fact, I intentionally gave away a few favorites, just to show myself I could – in fact – live without those things.

I stashed the bags in my attic, a little afraid of getting rid of half of my wardrobe flat out.
But after a week or so, I didn’t miss it any more.  In fact, I kind of enjoyed having less laundry to do and more motivation to actually fold it and put it away.

Ben noticed the change and axed half of his wardrobe too.  After a couple months we worked up the guts to fully let go and take our bags of clothing down to the Rescue Mission.

After that, we implemented a “one in one out” rule for clothing.  If we buy a new (which usually means new-to-us) article of clothing, it means either:
A) the one we had was worn beyond being wearable or
B) we are choosing just to update something, so we give the other one away.

We try to only buy what we need, and we buy consignment, vintage or fair trade whenever possible.

Our clothing choices are one of the ways we practice simplicity in our every day lives.

************************

This week during Lent I’m focusing on the discipline of simplicity, and how I can further practice it in my day to day living.  One idea I saw the other day is to give a small amount of money (quarter or dime) to a church or charity each time you see a commercial on television.  Wow!

I love the thought behind this one. Advertisements are always feeding us the lie that we need more, more, more!  That we are, at our very core, meant to consume.  The discipline of giving something for each commercial reminds us that we are something more than a consumer, it reminds us of the bigger Story – the true Story to which we all belong.

What about you?  What are some ways your practice simplicity in your everyday life?
How can you deepen your practice of simplicity during Lent?

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3 thoughts on “That Time I Gave Away Half of My Clothes (and other ideas on how to practice simplicity during Lent)

  1. This will sound weird, but I menu plan. Part of being a good steward of what you have is actually USING the food that you purchase. I plan two weeks at a time and I make sure we use up what I purchase at the grocery store. Wastefulness when it comes to food really bothers me. So many people without.

    • I love this! So true! It’s easy to think about simplifying by giving away and clearing out, it’s so important to make good use of what we have as well!

  2. I love this! A few years ago when I moved apartments I had to store all my old clothes – this also coincided with pregnancy, so it was a really long time before I looked at them again. Once I did, I realized all the things I thought I had loved so much…weren’t really “favorites” so much as just familiar.

    Since then I’ve been able to practice the one in one out method myself, and am able to remind myself how there are so many clothes in the world (at the thrift store, vintage and beyond) that it’s silly to get too sentimental for anything. The hunt for something new-to-me is also a lot of fun too.

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