Saturday, January 7, 2012

January Simple Swap: Clean Closet, Clean Start

We all want to live healthier, more intentional lives, but sometimes it seems overwhelming and daunting to take even small steps toward our ideals because there are so many steps before us.

Simple Swap was born out of a desire and passion to encourage other women on journeys toward living healthier, more inspired, intentional lifestyles through implementing one simple swap per month. 

Each swap will:

1. Take 30 minutes or less to accomplish

2. Be inexpensive to implement or boast overall, long-haul {health} savings

3. Focus on improving health/eco-friendliness, being good stewards of our resources and/or fostering a creative and intentional life.

Some weeks, all three will be accomplished in 30 minutes or less!

My creative cohort Robin from Diet Coke on the Rocks already made her January Simple Swap! Check it out!


Hello, closet. Look at you. You've really let yourself go. 

I think for your New Year's Resolution, you should really think about shaping up. And I'm going to help; I'm not leaving here without having unloaded a lot of dead weight.

Oh, my closet: a neglected space that has ended up as more of a junk room than a home for clothing, shoes and other essential gear.

Try as I may to keep things organized and neat, simply it's been impossible because we've just have too many things in there.

Too many clothes that are too big for me.

Too many clothes that are too worn for John.

Even too many shoes that I can no longer wear because apparently feet shrink after losing a bunch of weight.

Also, the random items -- a duck-down pillow topper for a bed, unmatched socks that haven't had a partner in years, junky plastic hangers from newborn clothes -- count among the too manys as well.

Part of the motivation behind Simple Swap was to encourage my heart as well as my friends to be good stewards of what we've been given.

In this house, we have been holding onto too-big clothes, unused shoes, unworn shirts and unappreciated household items for too long.

I long rationalized that hanging onto these items was a practical way to ensure we wouldn't have to buy more -- in the event that we needed them again in the future, thus making us good stewards because of all the money we'd save from rebuying the same things.

But a new definition of stewardship has been pressing into my thoughts -- one that says items are made to be used when they are needed, not saved for the possibility of future use. 

There are bodies that need those clothes now, those shoes now.

Aside from that, I've been thinking a lot lately about how our stuff can start to own us instead of us owning our stuff. 

I've been dodging two baskets of clean clothes settled in the upstairs hallway for days because I've been so busy picking up other things -- the toys, the books, the dishes, the Christmas decorations.

We have so many things that need to be picked up that I don't have time to get to it all, which is one way I've easily become encumbered by our things. 

So, in an effort to be good stewards of our resources and in an effort to simply own our stuff, we are going through a long process of disowning about 500 pounds of our stuff.

We made a big dent tonight with the home base of the bedroom closet, as it's been one of our biggest strong holds, consistently overlooked because it's so out of sight.

We discarded all of the clothes that haven't fit for quite some time and are sending them packing to the Tri County Thrift Store, a local organization that uses the profits from donated items sold to help in our community's pregnancy and parenting help center.

I shall not miss you, cute but too-big shoes since I have not worn you in more than one year.
And we said goodbye to some other items by giving them away and posting freebies on good old Facebook. The result? Cleaner and lighter.

Are you ready to get lighter?

Give yourself 30 minutes and disown, disown, disown!

If you're anything like me, you might actually feel the dead weight coming off your shoulders as you free your stuff and free yourself from it.

If you have to think about an item for too long and begin rationalizing ways you'll be using it, simply send it packing.

Also, this month, Simple Swap and Dress Like a Girl are combining forces! 

While clearing out your closet, kill THREE birds with one stone: Disown your stuff, be a good steward and Dress Like a Girl!

Don't miss Melissa's brilliant method for dwindling a closet full of clothing that doesn't quite do the body justice.

The first step to dressing like a girl, after all, is identifying what's flattering and makes us feel good!

After snapping a few photos of your swap, link up here in the January Simple Swap/Dress Like a Girl Challenge co-challenge! BE SURE to visit at least the person before you to encourage her on this journey!

{There will not be a giveaway for linking up this month because the point is to send things packing, not home new items!}