I read the book, Seven, by Jen Hatmaker, and I was so inspired that I decided to live the “seven” life too. Well kind of. I mean I decided to pick an area a try to live my life as “seven” as possible. Nothing too crazy. Just more aware of what I am buying and where there is excess.
For a while I’ve been convicted about how much my family has. Seriously so much. It’s a little embarrassing sometimes. Specifically when I look at the clothing and shoes in our home. It looks like Nike and H&M threw up.
I know where some of that comes from. When I was a teenager pregnant with my oldest child, people constantly told me, in love, that I would never be able to provide enough for that child. I know they were correct. I wouldn’t have been able to provide a lot of things. But I things aren’t everything. Later when her adoptive parents (you can read about her adoption here) sent letters and pictures, my family would point out all that she had and insinuate that I’d never have been able to give her all that on my own.
Later when my husband and I were ready to start a family, even though I was in my mid-twenties, I associated a closet crammed full with clothes and shoes with being a good mom. A mom that provides. That concept has been difficult to break. And difficult for my family to embrace as they’ve grown accustomed to lots and lots of wardrobe choices.
So I decided to start with me. And while I didn’t feel like I could go full Jen Hatmaker, I did decide that I could do with less. A lot less. I decided that I would separate my clothes into categories. And then choose seven items to keep in each category.
Admittedly I did create a few extra categories. For shirts, for instance, I chose seven each of tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, and college team shirts. Because I live in Oregon where there are climates. And climates that change daily and sometimes hourly. Temperatures can change by 40-50 degrees some days. And we get a lot of rain. Layers are essential. Also I didn’t want to limit myself to only wearing college shirts so they needed their own category so I could wear something cute out to dinner or to church and still have something to represent my kids’ teams.
I have to say that besides making my small closet (we live in a 1970’s house – when apparently people had a lot less clothing) look more organized, and things being easier to find, it is actually easier to have less to choose from each day. There are only so many combinations that can be made with seven of this and seven of that, and it takes the stress out of deciding. I was also able to give away a lot of clothing. And that felt good. Now I think twice about buying anything, knowing that it would have to replace something at home. And that makes me decide if I really want/need it, or if it’s just an impulse buy.
I fully recommend reading Jen’s book, and then I recommend a closet clean out plan. It doesn’t have to be like hers, and it doesn’t have to be like mine. Choose a plan. Choose a number. Choose to be aware of what you have and what you need vs want. And live your seven life!