The inevitable result of lots of travel and upcoming moves has the minimalist in me jumping for joy at the thought of paring down the clutter as much as possible. I got rid of far more than half my stuff at the beginning of 2007 but almost two years later, getting rid of a storage space and moving into a larger apartment has brought the stuff quotient back up a bit. I’ll probably be posting pics and listing crap on craigslist in the near future before giving them away to friends and then eventually bringing things over to people’s houses and accidentally forgetting them there. I’m really trying to stick to the hard and fast rule that if it’s not something I regularly use I don’t need to have it. “What if” takes up way too much space.
One area where I need to change course a bit is back to the clothing world. For years I had a pretty straight forward simple uniform of sorts that served me extremely well. Packing was easy, getting dressed was easy, and replacing things when they wore out was not something I even thought twice about. Last year I talked a lot about reexamining paths and how just because I did something yesterday doesn’t mean it’s something I should be doing tomorrow. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t painted myself into a corner that I didn’t even know about so I consciously started buying things that didn’t fit the uniform.
The uniform, while not a super strict get up had a few simple guidelines that I tried to stick to. Black whenever possible, as it matches everything and is rarely inappropriate. Classic in design, meaning it’s not something that 6 months down the line will be out of style. Multiple copies, in that I could buy several of the same item (now, or in the future) to ensure I had it when I wanted it. Utility, they need to do the job they are designed for. No major branding. Breaking out from that mostly resulting in buying non-black items.
On a piece by piece basis, there’s nothing wrong with that and having the occasional variation has been kind of fun. That said, the stress of getting dressed and more so of packing has gone through the roof. It’s something I hadn’t been able to put my finger on until just the last day or so. It used to be I’d pack for a trip and bring exactly what I needed, but recently I’ve not been able to figure out what that might be. Do I want the brown sweater or the black on? The blue pants or the grey ones? Will the brown sweater go with the grey ones if I decide to go that route? But what about jackets? Ack! Oddly enough, it was standing in Nike’s new high end super designed NSW store in Harajuku when it hit me. There are somethings I like to have choices about, and want many options, clothing isn’t one of those and I don’t want to think about it.
It’s funny that being in a Nike store is what brought that to my attention but in a way it kind of makes sense. At this store, a giant custom built building with 3 floors of show rooms, they maybe sell 10 items. The items they do have are about as spot on as it gets. Solid colors (including black), almost no branding, and every detail designed and attended to. I was looking at a jacket thinking about how perfect it was, and then started thinking how I used to have one jacket that I thought was perfect and worked with everything. Now I have 3-4 that are all kind of different, just slightly, and I regularly beat myself up trying to decide which one to wear, but find myself unable to choose because the differences are so subtle.
So I realized it’s time to cut a lot of the excess in the closet and go back to the things I know I like and I’m comfortable with. Lots of stuff will be going. If you think you are my size, let me know as I might have some stuff for you in the near future.