Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Holy self-denial, it's Lent in my closet!

How can Lent be used in your closet, even if you are not Catholic?

Lent is not just about denial about about re-evaluation. It is, in practice, a sober period without the distractions of, say, alcohol, chemicals, parties, chocolate, caffeine or electronic/technological applications whereby one can discover new purposes or chart new paths.

So in other words Lent as a practice is great for your closet/drawers re-evaluation. For 40 days/nights one could:
  1. Initiate a no-spend pledge for Lent: no clothes, accessories, cosmetics or appliances for 40 days and nights.
  2. Initiate a buy one/give one pledge: only bring a new item in if you donate/discard something of equal value (no throwing out a pair of sox when you buy a cashmere sweater, for example)... although you could go the other way.
  3. Initiate a decluttering practice of the closet, each drawer and the storage boxes where one keeps all one's clothes, shoes, and accessories; implement a keep/toss/repair/donate system for each site and vow to make a 50% reduction in gear based on that system... unless you're already wearing everything in your house completely and fully (sure, you are...). Spend 15-30 minutes every day on this, and you'll have a lean, mean wearable wardrobe in no time.
  4. Look over your summer clothing in preparation for keeping/repairing/donating/tossing, and plan a smart and cost-effective and flattering summer wardrobe... on the basis of a 1:2 ratio (keep one/toss and donate 2)
  5. Donate your unused/ill-fitting/never worn work clothing to Dress for Success (or the local equivalent), where women just moving back into the workforce can find affordable and decent office wear. Including shoes and purses.
  6. Instead of going to the mall and spending (or sitting on the computer and spending) -- take a walk, ride a bike, donate your time at church or a food kitchen. Figure out how many hours you spend weekly shopping, and transfer those into your health and well-being.

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