Impetus for Minimalism, part one

They arrived about six years ago, nestled in a huge, lovely basket of hand-me-down baby clothes I received while expecting my eldest scalawag. I washed the baby clothes, then carefully folded my most beautiful, lacy, delicate handknits and stored them in the lovely basket.

Scalawag One was born in August and summer weather lasted well into October. As can be true of a nursing mother, my wardrobe that winter was geared towards being “easy access” and machine washable, so my lovely mohair tops stayed in the basket. I was pregnant again nearly immediately. Another season passed.

Finally, after nearly three years of being pregnant or nursing, I gleefully returned to the pretty basket, only to discover that moths had done irreparable damage to every single one of my handknits. Hours of work and small fortune in yarn had to be discarded.

I thought the damage was limited to that basket, but within weeks I discovered that the drawers of my normal (non-pregnancy, non-nursing) clothes that I was finally starting to imagine wearing again had also been infested. I salvaged what I could, discarded what I had to.

There is nothing quite like a moth infestation to start a clothes horse on the path to minimalism.

I still, to this very day, have a moth problem. I believe that until I whittle down how much stuff I own to what can be used in a steady, relatively frequent rotation of wear and laundering, I will continue to battle those evil little creatures.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy…”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In this post I talked about the treasure stored up in my closet. Long ago I decided that, if it was true that where my treasure was my heart would be too, then I did not want my heart to be found in my closet. This meant I started shopping mainly at thrift stores or swapping clothes with friends, very rarely spending any real sum of money on clothes at all.

My moth problem was a big impetus for my Buy No Clothes Challenge, but it was not the most significant. In tomorrow’s post I will share how reducing the amount of clothes in my closet has helped me process grief, and how it has been a positive turning point for my mental health.

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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