Praying for peace and healing for the people of Boston, and all those affected by yesterday’s tragic events. Here’s a great resource for how we can help the victims of the senseless act of hate.
My recent weekend in Brooklyn inspired me to embrace a couple of new initiatives.
1. Walk more
Clearly, this is easier said than done when one lives in a small, Midwestern town where people look at you funny for walking in public. Still, I’m going to work on adding a few more steps to my daily total.
Confession: I used to wear a FitBit, which boasts a pretty amazing pedometer feature, but took it off as it was making me depressed. Working from home means days with fewer than 200 steps are a common occurrence, and I grew tired of a tiny digital activity monitor being all snarky about me being a lazy pants.
While walking to appointments and events in Smalltown may not be the easiest feat, I’m going to try my best. (Once all this god-awful snow melts, that is.)
2. Be less fussy
Everyone in Brooklyn has amazing style. The most aspirational aspect of their look? They all appear as if they aren’t even trying! Brooklynites possess this cool, casual vibe that seems so incredibly effortless. Then there’s me, who’s stumbling around like a baby cellulite-giraffe in her four-inch heels, constricting mini skirt and overly hair-sprayed sock bun.
I’ll give you one guess as to which “look” came across as more stylish.
Image via Brooklyn Blonde
A weekend walking the streets of Park Slope showed me that high fashion doesn’t always equal high heels. Sometimes, an easy, casual and comfortable ensemble is much more hip and on trend than a ridiculous dress or pair of liquid leggings. My life in Smalltown is much more conducive to laid-back attire, and I’m going to try to adopt the casual cool countenance I observed in Brooklyn.
And yes, this totally means I’ll be investing in more hipster wear.
3. Own less stuff
This was easily the most important takeaway from the weekend in Brooklyn. Obviously, New York apartments aren’t the most spacious living quarters in the world. A life in the Big Apple must be efficient and organized…there simply isn’t room for six boxes of Christmas decorations or 300 pairs of shoes.
(Unless you’re SJP…in which case, why the heck are you reading this blog?!? I mean, I’m flattered and all, but shouldn’t you be drinking Bellini’s at Bergdorf’s and spending 20,000 on a sofa while your au pair teaches Tabitha and Marion how to say “Are those chicken nuggets free-range?” in French or something? )
I must say that I’m generally a pretty minimal person. And Scott? He’s even more extreme than I am. I’m assuming this is due to both being raised by semi-hoarders* with an affinity for knickknacks and other useless paraphernalia. Scott and I joke that the decorative theme of both our childhood homes is “stuff”.
Today, we both take pride in having a home that is relatively clutter-free and streamlined. The same goes for our garage, our vehicle…even our “junk” closet. It’s certainly helped that we’ve moved five times over the last seven years, which I believe is the best way to ensure you’re regularly getting rid of items you don’t need. Still, there’s one area where I may be a tad bit hypocritical in regards to my minimalism.
Fine. My closets.
(Yup. I’ve taken over the guest room closet, too. It’s dedicated to cocktail dresses and ski pants.)
While I reside in the land of homes with eight bedrooms and walk-in closets that are larger than a Manhattan studio, there’s no reason I need to fill these mammoth closets with hundreds of garments I may or may not ever wear. My love of clothes (not to mention addiction to online shopping) has recently created a closet that could at best be described as ‘bursting at the seams’. Owning so many articles of clothing is completely unnecessary and a tremendous waste of money. And let’s face it — there’s nothing worse than having a closet full of clothes yet feeling like you have absolutely nothing to wear. Scott’s been harping on me for months to get my clothing addiction under control, and this trip to Brooklyn was just what the doctor ordered.
I returned to ‘Sota with a renewed sense of motivation. The time had come to trim down my wardrobe– reducing it to a much smaller collection–pieces I adore that can be mixed and matched to create fabulous, practical outfits that fit my lifestyle.
Last weekend, I put my money where my mouth is.
Sheila looks on in approval at a small percentage of the items I eliminated.
It took several hours, and lots of trying on, but I was eventually able to sell no less than 108 items to the local consignment shop. I’ve worked with them twice before, and have collected over $300 dollars for my unwanted items as a result. I’m hoping this larger-than-life haul of stuff will bring in an extra $400…but I’m honestly just happy to have the extra breathing room in my dresser and closet.
I’m also proud to say that I donated 98 additional items to a neighborhood thrift store that supports victims of domestic violence. It was deeply satisfying to support a great cause while also de-cluttering my apartment and simplifying my life.
In addition to getting rid of nearly half of my clothing collection, I’m re-reading A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style by Tim Gunn. It’s a fabulous book that teaches readers how to dress, shop, pick a fashion mentor, and maintain fabulous personal style all without having a closet capable of producing a deadly avalanche of sweaters. Tim’s less is more approach encourages readers to ‘make it work!’ without compromising one’s inner-fashionista. It’s a great reminder that a simple closet with fewer options can still produce a modern, chic wardrobe.
My cleaned out closet has made me feel light and carefree–as if a weight made of faux fur collars pastel leather jackets has been lifted off my shoulders!
But don’t’ worry. I still have 18 cocktail dresses, my Kate Middleton-inspired Easter bonnet, and the spiked shoes I nearly killed for.
I’m not that Brooklyn, you guys!
*Someone who has a hoarding problem, but isn’t bad enough to be featured on the TV show. (At least not yet.)
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