I simply want everything I do to be an act of worship to God. ********************EVERYTHING******************** like a spider's web, intricately woven, the threads of our lives are entwined, making us who we are, where we are, at this time in history.... here's a small record of one family's journey to love God

Thursday, April 12, 2007

the 39-piece wardrobe

I read somewhere recently (can't remember where sorry) about someone who limited their entire wardrobe to 100 pieces. I've also been reading about the 100-mile wardrobe where you try to buy all your clothes from places within 100 miles of where you live (just like the 100-mile food thing)....and while I'm not quite ready to make that jump, I warm to the concept (in fact I like the idea of MAKING *all* my own stuff, but I'm not quite there yet either).
We are thinking of travelling a bit round the world in the next few years. And that means taking only what can fit in a backpack. Having already travelled with Far Too Much Stuff and barely been able to stagger through London from one lamp post to the next, we will take far less next time. If we were only going for a few months, we'd stick with a couple of pairs of pants, three tshirts and a sweatshirt each......but I'm hoping we'll be gone for much longer than that and so we will take more. But when I itemised everything I thought we'd need, I was surprised to find it only came to 39 pieces.

01. skirt
02. skirt
03. trousers
04. trousers
05. jeans (heavy and slowdrying, but I love them!)
06. short-sleeved buttoned shirt
07. short-sleeved buttoned shirt
08. short-sleeved t-shirt
09. short-sleeved t-shirt
10. long-sleeved buttoned shirt
11. long-sleeved t-shirt
12. long-sleeved t-shirt
13. fleece vest
14. handknit woollen cardigan
15. fleece jacket
16. rain jacket
17. undies
18. undies
19. undies
20. undies
21. undies
22. undies
23. bra
24. bra
25. bra
26. handknit socks
27. handknit socks
28. handknit socks
29. ankle length sports socks
30.thermal skivvy
31. thermal skivvy
32. thermal long johns
33. handknit winter hat
34. handknit mittens
35. sunhat
36. togs
37. crocs
38. sandals
39. leather hiking boots

Today I packed it all into my pack and discovered it only weighed 12kg (including sleeping bag, towel etc). I could carry that on the road....especially as I would actually be wearing some of the clothes!
This is very encouraging because I have been wondering how we would manage the little kids' gear....now I know I can fit two little kids' clothes in my pack (they'll carry their own sleeping bag, toiletries and eating utensils) and I'll have both hands free.

So the next step was to work out if what I have chosen is a sustainable mix. So I went through my wardrobe and set aside the items I want to take away and then just worked with what was left and tried to pare it down to the above list to use this winter. I had to make some substitutions (I have lots of skirts and only one pair of trousers), but I've essentially ended up with what's on that list....minus the thermals and hat coz it doesn't get cold enough here...plus a denim jacket, corduroy jacket and full length woolen coat, any of which can take the place of the as-yet-unbought-goretex jacket while we're still here. I don't have my hiking boots yet, but I've got a pair of brown suede boots....as well as my pink No Sweat hi-tops, a pair of fancy sandals I only ever wear to weddings, running shoes, "nice shoes" and a pair of slippers, none of which would come on the road. Falling into this category are also PJs and a dressing gown! Even still, my item count remains below 50. (I am guilty of holding on to a little pile of "just in case" things until I'm convinced that what I have is plenty).

As an aside, I find it intriguing that I should consider having 50 items of clothing to be "limited". To many people in the world it would be an inconceivable extravagance to have so many things. I am reminded of Jesus telling us to give away our second coat if we've got two......my extra gear is off to the op shop....and hopefully the just-in-case items will make their way there too soon.


Jen and family said...

An interesting exercise
I wonder how many pieces of clothing I own
I really should do this too
Jen at http://jenz.wordpress.com/

nova_j said...

oooo must go count my clothes! i really don't think it will be many, since i have no dress sense! lol but admitedly my wardrobe would certainly not be suitable for multiple climates!

i'm always impressed with the ideas & concepts you have! and the sheer bravery! :D

nova_j said...

i turned off the computer, made lunch, had an AHA moment, and had to come back here! i have THREE dresses, that i may never wear, that i have been keeping 'just in case'! i lovely ball gown thing (unworn - might keep that for when i get married), a sparkly ball gown (unworn - and i really doubt i ever will) and a black strapless dress (worn once, but i just don't fit it well enough for it to stay up without me clamping my arms to my sides! how stupid!) so they are going on trade me!! thankyou for making me realise how utterly silly that was! :D lol

blackpurl said...

I have way too many clothes to count... although for our trip from Russia to America I only brought a pair of jeans, two skirts, 4 pairs of undies, a t- shirt,two blouses, two sweaters and two pairs of shoes! And we will be in America for five months...you can imagine how often I am washing clothes!