Let it go, let go (of non-serving restrictions)

If you’ve read my previous posts, you might have noticed my “wear everything at least x times per season” rule. I started doing this in January, aiming to surpass the “turn the hanger” method and obtain more information about which garments currently work for me and which ones have to go.

(I have no illusions for keeping “heirlooms” for children I’m not having, so very few items hang around for sentimental or artistic reasons. Currently that shortlist comes down to few highlights from my formerly extensive flashy earring collection and few garments I received as heirlooms. But that’s a whole another post…)

My spring favorites. And the spreadsheet knows it.

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I still think that my daily check-in with a spreadsheet is a valuable practice and I enjoy doing it. However, for last few weeks I’ve had to ruminate about the dark side of complex rules: what do I do when life gets in the way?
Current tension comes from a clash between two self-imposed rules: (a) I’ve set the end of this “season” on May 28 and (b) I’ve decided to strive towards the same number of wears-per-season as in winter (10), despite the fact that this one is few weeks shorter. Being me, I was ridiculously methodical for the first half of this season, but then life happened:

a gift,

a trip,

rain,

an attractive hand-me-down.

So my excel is out of balance and there is no way for all items to reach the magical number of wears. Well, unless I wear nothing else for next week but winter boots, short shorts and bird headband. And – guess what! – I’m not doing that. In your face, obsessive-compulsive personality!

What it could’ve looked like for next 10 days.

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I know my wardrobe in and out, including the reasons for each of the “failures”. (Thankfully, Google sheets do not provide info on time spent on each document!). And my spreadsheet still serves its purpose beautifully: it identifies items that have to find another home. At the end of this season – at May 27 Swap – I’m saying bye-bye to several things that have accompanied me for years and that I could still make myself wear. Yet, the spreadsheet doesn’t lie!
While for some people it is enough to hold a garment and ask if it sparks joy (hi, KonMari!), I’m too prone to rationalization. With around 30 serious garments left in my Barcelona wardrobe, I can find reasons to keep any of them. So spreadsheet data serves as counterargument to this scarcity mindset. Every time I feel prone to panicking about the shrinking size of my wardrobe, I just remind myself that with the current quantity I have difficulties wearing each of those garments 10 times in 3 months of appropriate weather. So, zero reasons for panic.

Lessons learnt from having had to convince myself to let go:
1. Relax the self-imposed rules when compliance would go beyond the utility. I.e., remember the reasons and evaluate your obsessions on that basis.
2. A seasonal capsule of almost 40 items at the end of the season feels too big and overwhelming. My wardrobe is like a baby, it sleeps better with a little straitjacket. Keep that in mind for summer!

Luīze

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