All About Clothes!

First things first: Watch this video that Grist.org posted on their Facebook page this week.  It talks about clothing waste and how to be more responsible when it comes to purchasing (and getting rid of) clothes.

If you have clothes to donate, consider using freecycle.org or donate to a local charity.  I’ve been making donations to a local organization here in Portland called the Paying It Forward Store, which is a monthly pop-up shop where people who are down on their luck can come and pick up anything they want or need for free.  It’s such a great way to contribute to the community.  I’ll talk more about this on another blog soon. 🙂  Anyway, here’s the video.

 

I mentioned earlier this week that I’m going to be stepping up my game with a Capsule Wardrobe.  I’ve been donating clothes, but I still have a ways to go.  This isn’t something I’m taking lightly.  It’s both a big undertaking and significant change in lifestyle for me, the latter point being exciting and, if I’m honest, a little scary.  But I’ve been thinking about it for about 6 months now, and I’m ready to commit.

Now… this project is easily one of those things that could keep getting put off until the cows come home.  After all, life is BUSY!! I’m a work-from-home mom with a toddler, so my weekdays are jam-packed, juggling those responsibilities, and I’d much prefer spending my free time  (AKA the time when my son is asleep) doing something I love, like spending time with my husband, watching a movie, drawing, painting, listening to music, writing… *Le Sigh* So many hobbies, so little time.

Nevertheless, I plan to start the Capsule Wardrobe Challenge TOMORROW.  I’ll be counting all of my clothes, tallying up the numbers and then breaking down the specifics of what my new and minimized closet will look like…  I know the procrastinator’s catch phrase is “I’ll start tomorrow”, but seriously… I will!  STAY TUNED!!!

 

 

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Decorating with Meaning

I don’t know about you but I love me some home decor.  Whether it’s a vintage find at the local antique store or a distressed frame at Home Goods, I often find myself feeling like I’d be missing out if I didn’t buy it.  This, of course, is the typical mindset of the weakened consumer, it’s exactly where retail companies want you… We’re lost souls trying to find our way home.  We come across Aisle 27 and suddenly our eyes light up.  We still don’t know the way home but we could definitely use that 2-tiered mid-century modern candle holder… on sale for $12.99?!  YES.   *places item in the cart*  Wait. Where will you even put that thing?  Ahh, who cares, you’ll figure that out later!

Here’s the thing:  Purchasing home decor isn’t bad.  Loving to decorate isn’t bad.  The slippery slope comes into play with mindless purchasing.  How many times do you go to Target intending to buy laundry detergent, and leave with WAY more than that?  (I’ve even seen memes about this!  It’s almost everyone’s battle.)  We’ve become victims to sales, to great deals (I’m looking at you “BOGO”), to everything shiny and new.

We end up filling our houses with stuff that only gratifies for a little while, stuff that has very little meaning to our lives.  Many homes across America are filled with a ridiculous amount of clutter, and it’s because we aren’t more careful about what we bring into our homes.  We might not qualify for the the TV show “Hoarders”, but in a sense, that’s what a lot of us are.

How can we overcome this issue when it comes to home decor?  I’m still figuring that out but here are a few basic tips that have helped me:

  1. Try decorating with items that hold more meaning.  Support local artists at craft fairs or on Etsy.  Purchase decor when you travel.  Make your own home decor.  These items will bring you so much more happiness than any mass produced items you can buy on the shelf at a big retailer.
  2. Don’t purchase anything unless you have a specific plan for it.  Don’t buy that frame unless you already have a photo to put in it.  Don’t buy the wall painting unless you already know what wall it will go on.  Don’t just buy things because they look nice.  I know this is hard!
  3. Ask a family member or friend for help.  If you need to decorate a room, but feel like you struggle with interior design or can’t decide on specifics, browsing Pinterest might just overwhelm you.  Ask someone with “an eye” to help you come up with a plan, and be specific, write every item down.  Maybe even make a sketch so you can visualize where things will be going.

I hope those tips are helpful!  Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with a few photos of the decor I used in my son’s nursery.  I wanted a simple and clean look that still had lots of meaning and character, and I’m pretty happy with these details.

 

Vintage piggy (bear) bank, artwork from LittleLow on Etsy, gifted frame (the colors happened to go perfectly!) and a coonskin cap from a vacation to the woods.

 

Sometimes a few items is enough. Our good friend Katie painted that fox for us, and that pinecone I found on a walk.  I’m guessing Michael’s sells something like this for $5.99. Nature gave it to me for free. WOOT! 

 

There are so many talented artists out there! Supporting them by buying their artwork also allows you to decorate your home with more meaning. Those adorable deer are courtesy of my good friend Jyll of Lost Between Lands, and that gorgeous wall weaving was handmade by Leeleeyazz, a Native American mother in Arizona.  It was a birthday gift from my cousin Stephanie, who is ALSO a talented fiber artist herself! (Check out her work HERE.)

Most of these items were gifts to us.  Some are vintage, some are handmade.  The owl is from our trip to Big Bear before our son was born.  That green ribbon ring was a gift from one of my best friends Christine who is now teaching abroad in Vienna.  She found it on Etsy, and it’s a toy to encourage imaginative play!  (I may run around the room with it from time to time.)