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UGH! Laundry day… *insert sigh here*
I’ve said it more times than I can count.
I can’t think of too much that’s more of a bummer than realizing you’ve slacked on your washing, drying, folding, hanging, putting away. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
The average person wears approximately 6 articles of clothing- every single day. That’s at minimum 35 pieces of laundry for you to wash each week; or let’s be realistic- week and a half. Hold on…
Most households have an average of 3 people- that’s now 105 articles of clothing. Throw in your towels and bed sheets and well you’ve got a full day of work at the end of the week when all we really want to do is to be relaxing.
After a long day at work, you come home- there’s dinner to make and homework to help with, baths to give, oh and that never ending pile of laundry that’s been staring you in the face for way too long.
The amount of laundry we build up over a busy week is so daunting that we want nothing to do with it. So it sits and we head to our closet for a new article of clothing because grabbing a new shirt is easier than washing a load of laundry, right?
The argument for minimalism
We live in a society where material possessions are a ranking. The more things you have the richer you are, the cooler you are…but after so many things collect we begin to feel overwhelmed.
It’s almost impossible to walk into the average household and not find random piles or boxes of well, stuff.
‘Stuff’ is normal. “Stuff” is all those things that we really don’t know what exactly it is- but it’s everywhere. We just like to rearrange it and make it look a little prettier.
It wasn’t until I discovered minimalism that I realized just howout of control my closet truly was.
There were shirts I’ve had since junior high, jeans with holes the size of the Grand Canyon, bras with missing underwires, tank tops with broken straps (really?!), a mountain of socks with quarter size holes and we won’t even get into the ungodly amount of underwear I hoarded.
But I kept them- just in case.
After all, I paid good money for those clothes. Maybe I’d wear them again, you know, after I lose the 30 pounds I swore I’d lose for the last 6 years, or once I learn how to sew or maybe I’ll turn them into something crafty *eye roll*.
I could come up with endless excuses for why I had, or kept, so many clothes but the truth was none of them were real and I just couldn’t admit that I didn’t really need them.
I spent countless mornings running late because I couldn’t find a certain shirt because it was hidden under the other 37 slightly different shirts. Hours upon hours of endless mounds of laundry when I could be spending time with my kids. Hundreds of dollars on laundry detergent to keep up with all the washing. Nothing good came from the ridiculous amount of clothes in my closet.
So why did I keep them?
In an article published by Lifehacker, researchers at Yale recently discovered that there is a legitimate pain caused by having to let go of an item you have a connection to. Both spending hard earned money and allowing an item real estate in your home is enough of a connection to trigger certain areas of your brain. These areas affected are the same areas that are triggered when we hurt ourselves physically.
But even so…
The amount of clothes that I couldn’t keep up with eventually ended up staying wrinkled, in a ball and on my floor in a clothes basket just for me to get up and dig my way to the bottom all over again tomorrow morning. It was tiring.
I always said, the bedroom should be a sanctuary- a place to relax and find your peace but mine was anything but. Instead, it an overwhelming feeling of stress every time I entered. I knew exactly what I wanted it to look and feel like but I couldn’t make it happen with so many clothes, so many ‘things’.
It was time I had my sanctuary. Time for me to actually relax at the end of the day in my own bedroom. The day when I don’t have to worry about spending half of it doing laundry was on the horizon.
I was ready to see the things I loved and less of what didn’t. No more ripped, stained clothes. To open my closet and see every article of clothing I truly loved. I wanted a sense of calm when I looked for my outfit in the morning. To wake up every day, put the first thing I see on and say to myself- “damn I look good”. I wanted that.
Time to declutter
I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t just the act of getting rid of clothes I never wore or spent money on. I realized I had memories that I associated with those outfits, that’s why they felt special to me.
The flannel shirt was the one I wore when I found out I was pregnant with my first son. Ripped jeans reminded me of the evening one summer that my husband and I spent running from a thunderstorm in a Jeep with the roof down and windows off.
I didn’t want to lose those memories.
Giving up an item that we connect with really did cause pain, maybe not physically but it struck a nerve.
I was holding onto my clothes for all the wrong reasons. They were tattered jeans and stained shirts- not memories. The memories were and forever are in my heart. It was time to make room in my life for new memories and less laundry. More time for playing with my kids, date nights with my husband, a long hot bath- things I truly wanted.
Purging my closet was a process. A process that brought up more than old smelly sneakers.
I put priority to my clothes. Ditched the ones with stains and rips. Donated those I’d never wear. Hung the ones that make me feel good when I wear them. You read that right. I hung the ones I loved. Folded those that make my butt looks nice. Coupled the socks that actually had a match…
Those were the clothes that made me happy. I could see myself wearing them and not feeling ‘blah’. I started to find myself again through the style of clothes I kept.
It’s true when they say if you look good, you feel good.
This was way more than less laundry. It’s about a sense of internal happiness. Having a true love for the things you do own. Room to breathe. Less white noise and most important to me, more time for new memories with my family.
So do yourself a favor and look deep into your closet. You deserve it.
Thanks to Courtney from The Crunchy Minimalist for that awesome guest post!
She talks about all things crunchy, minimalistic, how to live life to the fullest, parenting, food, natural remedies, her favorite non-toxic products, how to declutter your home and ways to truly enjoy the things that matter the most!