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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

7 read-a-long (how I've learned to live with less clothing options)

I'm currently reading the book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker and I've joined this blog read-a-long by Marla Taviano to discuss each chapter on Tuesday's. Here is a bit of background on the book (from Amazon):

"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
This week's prompt is (I kinda picked my own):
Tips on how to live with less clothing options
I cured myself of having 50 billion clothing options in 2006 with a 4 week trip to Asia in January. I was somehow convinced I needed 6 sweaters (bulky, heavy luggage) and of course a giant winter coat and 10 pairs of pants with all sorts of various other stuff to keep self entertained for that long. I.WAS.MISERABLE! Every airport was a struggle to get 3 bags checked in, every hotel stay was not made happier with more clothing options, in fact I found one solid warm sweater and stuck with that every day as outer wear. At the end of this trip, I was given the voluntary option to return to the states through London with a few days stop. I will never forget my first entrance into Heathrow airport with a giant suitcase and 2nd one tethered on top (by this time I had 3rd bag mailed back to the states). Heathrow has astonishingly massive escalators and you walk miles just to reach the train and then miles just to reach cab area all the while dragging massive bags that make you want to cry and kick them down the stairs leaving all that weight behind.

Travel for 5 weeks and you will re-plan your entire thinking towards clothing.

I now travel with a carry on for 2-3 week trips. I am not joking! I literally fit enough clothing options into a carry on that I take onto the plane with me for 2-3 weeks. I consolidate purse and laptop contents into one bag that fits neatly on top of carry on and I have only 2 bags for the entire trip. How often did this come in handy? 3 trips to Asia last year!

Traveling with limited clothing has proven to me that I'm perfectly satisfied with less clothing options. While home, I've found that I gravitate toward top 10 favorites with a few accessories to change it up.

Now buying clothing for my 3 year old daughter? Oh that's a struggle, I love seeing her in cute clothes. I have to constantly remind myself to maintain control!


Hislove Endures said...

I spent a year in Canada, sharing a room with 3 other people and only brought the bare minimum. (My luggage included a pillow, bed sheets, some clothing items, a pair or two of shoes, my giant Bible and stuff to do with the kids we were working with there). We wore a "uniform" of sorts 5 days a week, so that drastically cut back on the need for many clothes. After seeing how much I was able to live without that year, I got rid of loads of clothes once I got back to the States. But, in the past several years, I've again accumulated too much! I wish I could hold onto that thought and lifestyle that I don't need a closet jam packed full of clothes (that aren't worn) and shoes!

rubberbacon said...

I hear ya! It's so freeing to live that lifestyle when it's necessary. So easy to go back to more choices when the option is available.

Marla Taviano said...

I love this post. Cracking up at you buckling under all your luggage. ;) When I went to Japan in March 1997 (holy cow! 15 years ago!) to student teach, I had a backache for weeks from carrying so much stuff!

Brooke F said...

my father was the lone man in a family of 3 women - our family car was a small one so he always encouraged my sister, mother, and i to pack light. even as a kid he'd say "only pack what you can carry yourself" so i started lifting weights :D

Amanda said...

I too have done the ridiculous amounts of luggage pile, and that wasn't even for a long trip like yours. You never wear as much as you think you will. I have yet to be able to get my travel options down to a single bag for a long trip like that though. I have been trying to purge through my closet...each season I got through everything.

Natasha said...

When my husband and I moved back from Haiti we had it out with our closet. I have to admit that I've gotten lazy about it over the past little while... will have to work on that next! Thanks for the encouragement to weed out and simplify.