Despite my blogging silence, Seven is still alive and well! In March we tackled the category of Possessions, and the only rule was to give 7 items away every day, for a total of 210 items. I admit I wanted to give more items away to people whom I knew had specific needs, but I ended up taking most of it all to Goodwill.
This next sentence comes from a life of such comfort:
It was actually a challenge to part with items that I knew could bring me even a few dollars at a garage sale. But I don’t want to be Scrooge Blazier, and I don’t want Jen Hatmaker finding out I cheated, so I stayed the course and gave away brand new candles, books, clothing, and other odds and ends. I thought, “Other people need this stuff more than I do, considering I still have shelves and closets and boxes of all these things.”
And come April, Clothing month, I discovered I was right.
For Clothing month, you wear only seven articles of clothing in the entire month. As Jen says, bra, underwear, and socks don’t count because if they did, April would not be a good month for any of us.
After some critique of my wardrobe, I picked the following:
- My favorite pair of jeans (I love you guys. Even when I can barely button you).
- A plaid button down shirt (The first two items were chosen by default as I wore them on April 1st without realizing Clothing month was starting. #whoops).
- A blue and white-striped dress
- A tan skirt with black polka dots
- A fancy schmancy black shirt
- Under Armour gray sweatpants (Still a little ashamed I own these. Sweatpants are sweatpants. You do nothing in them except eat potato chips. Why should I spend more than $3 on them?)
- Aaaand my PJs. It’s actually a matching top and bottom set, but I didn’t really want to consider which I’d hate less: sleeping for a month with a cold torso or sleeping for a month with cold legs. #RallyforRaynauds
To continue with the minimalism theme, I picked my favorite tan wedge-heeled boots and brown boots. I’m also only wearing one cami, which was Seven Challenge Council-approved, so I have no shame about counting this as an undergarment. Okay, a little shame, because it’s starting to smell.
The original plan was to do Food (you only eat seven foods for 30 days) with the rest of the group this month, but I realized I would be at a friend’s house, my grandparent’s house, a work conference, and a wedding, so I ix-nayed that on account of not wanting to be a burden to anyone. Seven is not about making people meet your needs; it’s about learning your needs can be met with way less than you think. (For instance, I didn’t die when I donated my books to Goodwill).
Have You Cheated Yet?
Well, well, well. Wouldn’t you like to know?
Yeah. I did. Last Thursday at 10:30am I sent the following text to the Seven Challenge Council:
- It’s 40 degrees out and raining. I have to go run errands so I am using a coat. *crying face* I’m sorry
- I washed my PJs last night and they have to air dry, so I just had my sweats and no shirt to wear. I used another t-shirt to use only for last night, because I think the point of this month is to understand how much I live in excess of what I need, not to freeze during the night and get two hours of sleep.
I told Kent that if I only did this month, or this was the only month from which I learned a lesson (it’s not), Seven would be worth it. Only 2.5 days in I realized how many clothes I have and how unnecessary 75% of them are. The last time I went shopping was in July at Goodwill, and I still have SO MUCH. How have I ever justified my bursting closet and drawers and dressers and storage tubs?? It’s unbelievable. This month is a total game changer.
Since Kent and I went through FPU , we have drastically changed how we manage our money. One of the things we use is the envelope system. We have an envelope labeled “Kent Clothing” and one labeled “Kelly Clothing.”
These were my thoughts while making our January budget for these two envelopes:
- $25 a month? Will that be enough?
- I mean, it’ll take me 4 months to buy a really nice dress.
- What if I need to buy more shoes? It’ll take me two months just to save for one pair.
- I’m going to be naked and destitute in three weeks at this rate.
These were my thoughts while making our May budget for these two envelopes:
- Do I really need to put $10 in this month? That would get a shirt and pants at Goodwill, and I’m set for probably the next year.
- I really don’t need anything.
- Let’s go with $0 for just one month. If something breaks or tears or fades, I’ll revisit it.
- I can’t even find a spot for one more t-shirt. It would actually be stressful to buy more.
Progress. Minimalism. Thriftiness. It’s more fulfilling. It’s less stressful.
I love getting dressed up, looking cute, pairing new items for new outfits and all that good stuff, but I can still do that by spending a lot less money and having a lot fewer items.
Look through your closet (like I did) and see what items you haven’t worn in the past 6 months. As long as it’s not clearly a summer item, like a swimsuit coverup, you probably don’t wear it more than once or twice a year. Time to ditch it.
Last thing, I promise:
If nothing else, this challenge has made the Bible passage where John the Baptist speaks to the masses come alive:
“And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
-Luke 3:10-11, ESV
I never saw the literal truth to it until now.