There are so many freedoms when travelling but there are also many restrictions. One of the restrictions I love is living out of a suitcase.
Don’t get me wrong, the first thing I do when I arrive anywhere is unpack, as I can’t stand not being able to find things in my suitcase.
But I love the notion of living out of a suitcase – this is the amount of belongs you have for the duration of the trip.
You wake up in the morning and getting dressed isn’t an ordeal, you don’t need to put much thought into what to wear that day, as you already made that decision when you packed the suitcase in the first place.
Living out of a suitcase at home
I learnt the idea of living out of a suitcase at home when we decided to purge most of our belongings and declutter our house.
I enjoyed the new space in my wardrobe. Not that my wardrobe was overflowing in the first place. But there were still so many items that I never wore or that I kept, just in case – that polo shirt that I can wear when I play golf once every year.
Clothes take up more than just space in our wardrobe
I looked at my wardrobe and realised that the 80/20 rule was alive and well - I wore roughly 20% or my clothes 80% of the time. But the other 80% of my clothes, that I hardly ever wore, were taking up so much space.
But it wasn’t just the space in my wardrobe they were taking up, they were consuming so much of my headspace each morning.
I would open my wardrobe and my brain would scan all possible clothing options. I would end up wearing the same handful of clothes each day but I would still spend the time and decision process each morning sifting through the potential options.
Our brains are processing so many decisions each day that we are suffering from decision fatigue, which refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making.
By eliminating the decision making process of what to wear each morning we are freeing up mental space.
Less clothes = less stress
If your household is anything like mine used to be, it is like herding cats as everyone is trying to get ready and out the door on time.
Family morning time is really broken into two sections - Eating and dressing.
Fuelling your body for the day is super important, but dressing really isn’t.
Think of the time you spend deciding on what to wear each day, multiply that by seven and that is the time you could save each week.
What could you do with that extra time?
Would your mornings be a little less manic?
Could you squeeze in that walk around the block?
People won’t notice
We are already only wearing 20% of our clothes and nobody has come up to us asking why we are wearing the same shirt today as we wore last Wednesday.
People really don’t care.
You don’t care or notice what others are wearing or when they wore them last.
Karl Stefanovic, the TV host of the morning Today Show in Australia, wore the same suit for a year, every day on national television and no one noticed.
5 ways to turn your wardrobe into a suitcase
1 – Donate one item of clothing a day to charity
Yes this method might be slow, but it is a start. You will feel great as you know you are helping someone in need, and over time you will start to realise you don’t need as many items.
2 – Follow the Project 333 method
Courtney Carver has created an amazing minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. As the seasons change you change your wardrobe and pack everything else away.
3 – Create a uniform
Alice Gregory, a 20 something, Brooklyn based writer describes her reasons and benefits of creating a personal uniform. Matilda Kahi, Art Director for New York based ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi wears the same outfit to work every day.
4 – The 12 month rule
Look at your wardrobe, each section at a time, and if you haven’t worn it in 12 months then it is donated to a charity or tossed in the rubbish. A year is a long time but it covers all seasons. You will be amazed at what you haven’t worn in a year and as time goes on you can bring the 12 months down.
5 – Pack your bags
Pretend you are renovating your one and only bathroom and you need to live at your in-laws for a fortnight. Pack your suitcase, put it in your car, come back into your home and put everything else in your wardrobe in a box, tape it up and put it in the garage. Go and get your suitcase from your car and unpack it into your empty wardrobe. You will feel amazing as you have made a huge step forward in saving time and mental space each day, and you realise you don’t have to stay at your in-laws for a fortnight.
There is no need for the extra baggage
We have all been there, we return from a trip and plonk our suitcase on the bed to unpack, and we notice that we didn’t even wear most of the clothes.
Even when we limit our belongings we still don’t use (need) them all.
Embrace a suitcase wardrobe and cut the excess baggage.
Win back your mornings and calm your mind with less decisions, less stress and more time to enjoy.
Unpack and Live immediately.