Wouldn’t it be great to be able to wake up every morning with a sense of purpose and meaningfulness? I believe that I am not the only one who often ponders about how to live a meaningful life. And while I haven’t come up with a satisfactory answer yet, I have found out that excess prevents me from living the life I want to live.
A while ago I started to declutter my house. I have found out that there is always something to get rid of and, surprisingly, I very rarely miss the things I throw away. I feel that my space is better organised and it gives my a great pleasure to be surrounded by things that I truly like and that add value to my life.
The same goes for other aspect of life. These days I am rather picky when it comes to the books I read and the films that I watch, which might not be easy with such an overwhelming choice. But I know myself quite well and I base my choices on what I truly like, and I always consider the value a book or a film can add to my life. Obviously, I count pure pleasure as one of the top values.
My social life has changed dramatically after having a child. Not having much time to meet my friends made me think about the quality of all the relationships I have had. Nowadays I prefer to spend time with people who are very dear to me. My family is the most important to me, then come some close friends. I often say ‘no’ to social gatherings because I make a choice to be with the people who I value the most. To me, excess of people in my life would distract me from being with the ones who are the most meaningful.
I have discovered that having focus is extremely important to me as this helps me to weigh options and make better choices. I am not a hedonist; I just like to feel that I live my life intentionally. I like to have a goal, or even better multiple ones in various areas. Having goals helps me steer away from any form of clutter which allows me to accomplish my aims sooner.
What is your excess? What prevents you from living a more intentional and more meaningful life?
There are a lot of books and articles out there offering a variety of methods on how to limit your wardrobe or change your shopping habits. I don’t think there is one perfect method that would suit everyone; we are all different and what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for the other. I find a great value in coaching, especially in the GROW model. This model can be applied in a lot of areas, so why not use it in decluttering one’s closet?
The GROW model in coaching
The GROW model was introduced by Sir John Whitmore* in 1980’s. It is a simple four-step method for finding solutions and setting-up goals. This method is widely used in both business and life coaching, and can be successfully applied to a lot of fields.
Each letter in the word GROW corresponds to one step:
G – goal
R – reality
O – options
W – will
The GROW model in achieving the perfect wardrobe
When using the word ‘perfect’ when referring to a wardrobe, I mean, of course a wardrobe ideal for you. I don’t think there is a recipe of how to build a wardrobe that would be perfect for everyone.
If you would like to use the GROW model in helping you to edit your wardrobe, take some time and answer the following questions:
How could you describe your ideal wardrobe?
What specific items of clothing should you have in your ideal closet?
Do you know someone who, in your opinion, has an ideal wardrobe? How do you describe it?
How would it make you feel to have an ideal wardrobe?
What does it mean to you to have a closet full of clothes ideal for you?
What benefits of having a perfect wardrobe can you list?
Once you have an ideal wardrobe, how will your perfect shopping day look like?
How would your life be different if you had a perfect wardrobe?
What words do you use to describe your wardrobe?
What clothes do you have in your closet?
What clothes are missing from your closet?
Which clothes do you never wear?
What do you do with the items that you never wear?
How do you feel everyday when you open your closet and choose clothes to wear?
How do you decide on what to wear?
How do you shop?
How long have you been thinking of editing your wardrobe?
How do you edit your wardrobe?
What methods have you tried to edit your wardrobe?
Which of these methods were successful? Why?
Which of these methods were unsuccessful? Why?
What could you do differently?
What is stopping you from having an ideal wardrobe?
What else could you do?
Which options work best for you?
What is the first step you need to take in order to achieve an ideal wardrobe?
What are the next steps that you should take?
What deadline would you set for each of the steps?
When are you going to start working on your ideal wardrobe?
How will you know that you are successful?
How motivated are you?
The above questions are examples and can be answered in any order. It is important to be honest with yourself and to set aside enough time to go through them. I highly recommend taking notes and writing the answers down; this helps not only to see the whole picture but also makes you feel more accountable for your actions.
I hope that you feel motivated to get started. Let me know in the comments how coaching helped you achieve your ideal wardrobe. Good luck!
*John Whitmore is apparently not the only name that appears when it comes to the authorship of the GROW model.
I have always been interested in fashion and I have always liked clothes. However, my relationship with shopping has been a complicated one. I could go through periods of not buying anything for weeks or months, or I would buy a lot of unnecessary items that I would never use or wear.
I have been striving to become a more aware consumer and it seems that I have already become a better shopper. I make better choices, I buy only clothes or accessories that I truly like, and I avoid buying things on impulse. Of course, I make mistakes and have my moments of weakness, but overall I am pleased with my wardrobe.
Here are my own shopping rules (in no particular order):
I avoid going to the shops during the sale season. I don’t want to be tempted and manipulated into buying something because of a lowered price.
I always check the composition label before making my final decision. I only buy clothing made of cotton, wool and viscose. I also check the washing instructions and I don’t buy anything that would require too much care (i.e. dry cleaning – I know I don’t have time for this).
I only buy items that go with the clothes I already have. If consider an item but realise that I would need to buy another piece of clothing or an accessory to go with it, I put back on the shelf.
If I hesitate, I don’t buy. I only buy an item if I am 100% sure.
When I buy anything, I try it at home and make sure that this is something I really want. I usually don’t cut off the tags for a while and keep the receipt for another few days, just in case I change my mind.
I know my ‘uniform’, i.e. clothing I like and that I feel good wearing. I know my colour palette, and the patterns and shapes that I like. I don’t even look at anything else (unless it is exceptional, then I can give it a try).
I have decided to limit my clothing choices to five brands (yes, just five). It saves my time and energy to only check the clothes that these brands offer, and I can be sure to usually find something that ticks all of my criteria.
Do you have strict rules when shopping? What are your criteria?
How much do you enjoy receiving items which you don’t like or have no use for? How much more do you enjoy receiving used items you don’t like, from a member of your family or a close friend?
Yes, I know how it feels. You get something and then you feel obliged to keep it because it was given to you by a closest friend. You think he or she might be sorry to find out that you got rid of it.
But don’t you do it yourself?
I was there before. A nice sweater that I didn’t wear any more but felt I should not throw it or donate it because it cost me quite a sum. How about giving it to my sister? And so I would. It made me feel good, and it made my sister’s closet full of garments given by me. She would’t wear them (her style is very different from mine), but she wouldn’t throw them away, either – they were gifts!
Now my sister and I have these two rules when it comes to exchanging things: one – we only accept the items that we really like and intend to keep, two – none of us should feel guilty about getting rid of the items we no longer have use for. These two simple rules help both of us have more control over our closets.
An interesting article on things we can live without. The author mentions eight categories of items which do not seem necessary. I could not agree with her more! And I can proudly say that so far I have got rid of all of my CD’s and a lot of my books, and I am inspired to keep on decluttering.
We are nearing the middle of winter and it is still about six weeks till the first day of calendar spring. My impression is that most of us have already started to think about spring instead of enjoying the moment we are living in.
Instead of focusing the here and the now, we have already started to check spring clothes collections and to plan summer holidays. As much as I understand the longing for the sunnier days, especially in a Nordic country, I wonder why we are so impatient and why we cannot live in the moment and appreciate what we have.
I remember that when I was a kid we would chuck our Christmas tree in mid-February. I remember how lovely it was to come back from school and just lie there, under the tree, and admire the lights and the decorations. These are one of the happiest moments from my childhood. I actually feel a bit disappointed with myself that I started to follow the trend of throwing away all Christmas decorations early, a few days after the New Year comes.
It all makes me think about why we often look forward to something newer. Why do we tend to live in the future while the most important moment is NOW?
My conscious journey towards simplicity started about two years ago when two major events took place in my life: I moved house and then my child was born.
Seeing all my life belongings packed in boxes wasn’t as bad as unpacking them and considering whether I would really need all those items in my new home. My attitude towards all the things changed even more after the birth of my child. I realised that the fewer things I owned, the less time I would spend on keeping them in order and the more time I would have for my child.
I think I had always been inclined towards simplicity but I would never call myself a minimalist. In the past months I have really started to enjoy the feeling of lightness that comes with having a less cluttered home. And, what comes with it, a less cluttered mind.
What steps towards simplifying your life have you taken?
Feel no guilt when you want to get rid of something you don’t like. Would it be an item of clothing you bought, a birthday gift you don’t like, a book you started to read and don’t enjoy. Free your space to welcome things that you do like and do enjoy.
I have no problems with re-gifting or donating the unlucky gifts to charity shops.
What are the unwanted gifts that clutter the shelves at your home? Have a proper look and get rid of them as soon as possible.
It is natural to be afraid to leave your comfort zone but if you want improvements, you have to make changes and adapt to them. It takes a while and it feels uncomfortable at first. This is how I am feeling now when writing my first post.
I considered a lot of topic for the first post and read advice from some well-established bloggers. And I was getting more and more confused so I decided to just go for it.
I started my journey with coaching over ten years ago. I have always been a good organiser and a passionate declutterer. I am not saying my life is perfectly organised but I strive to make it more enjoyable by limiting the number of things that surround me.