Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

Last month, I wrote about applying the “Goldilocks Principle” to your life and I introduced three exercises you can use to help you determine which areas are either over-represented or under-represented in terms of your time and attention. I shared my personal lists of things I’d like to either increase (sleep, reading books, eating vegetables, etc.) or decrease (staying up late, screen time, self-criticism, etc.). My subsequent post was on the topic of wardrobe size and “closet churn” , where I asserted that addressing the amount that comes into our closets may actually be more important than working on paring things down. Today I’d like to basically “marry” these two topics and consider how the “Goldilocks Principle” of just right can be applied to our wardrobes.

Too Much Focus on Numbers

I have mentioned this many times in previous posts, but it bears repeating. There is no absolute right number of items a person should have in his or her closet. There are many variables that are included in such a determination and I won’t repeat them all here, as I have covered them in depth in posts such as this one.  Today’s essay isn’t about the numbers, but rather more about how we feel about our wardrobes. For years, I was very big into tracking and statistics, but that is less of a focus for me these days. While I still track how often I wear the items I own, my attention now centers more on determining the types of clothing pieces that will best serve me rather than on achieving an optimal cost-per-wear number or having zero wardrobe “benchwarmers.” Yes, I still care about both of those things, but my main emphasis now is on having a wardrobe that works for the body and Iife I have today.

just right wardrobe

I actually think that focusing too much on numbers can get us into trouble. While I believe that wardrobe challenges like Project 333 and the “30 for 30 Remix” can be beneficial, there is a danger in getting too wrapped up in having a “perfect” number of items or the perfect items for a given season or purpose. Those challenges were not intended to have such an outcome, but shopaholics can easily bend such experiments to our will and use them as an excuse to shop rather than on better learning how to wear and use what we already have.

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A key reason why I stopped writing my previous blog, Recovering Shopaholic, was that I had gotten burned out on continuously exploring the topics of wardrobe management, shopping, and personal style. I was also tired of being a sort of “poster child” for compulsive shopping. I needed a break from the spotlight on me and my shopping behavior, plus I wanted to write about other things. Although I would periodically publish essays on alternate subjects on Recovering Shopaholic, when I decided to return to blogging, I thought a fresh start with a new site would be the best approach.

I like the fact that Full Life Reflections has a much wider scope, but after taking some space from wardrobe-related topics, I have a renewed interest in writing such posts again. I still plan to keep this blog fairly balanced in terms of subject matter, but since the goal is to explore happiness, peace, and fulfillment in today’s chaotic world, writing about managing “closet chaos” fits in quite nicely. After all, if one’s closet is bursting at the seams and they still feel like they have “nothing to wear,” that doesn’t lend itself toward feeling calm and happy, does it?

A Topic Not Often Addressed…

In today’s post, I’m going to look at wardrobe size and closet churn. When I wrote about applying the “Goldilocks Principle” to our lives last week, I mentioned that I would do a follow-on post about how this concept relates to our wardrobes. I still plan to do this and have been giving it a lot of thought, but what kept coming up for me is how one can’t really look at wardrobe size honestly and authentically without considering the degree to which “closet churn” is an issue for them. These topics are closely related, but I think there is often far too much focus on the former and not nearly enough on the latter. I have been guilty of that phenomenon myself, which is why I want to come clean today and commit to doing things differently.

closet churn

Have you pared down your closet only to have the size creep up once again? 

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It feels like a long time since I last posted an essay to this site – and it has been a full month. The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me with my move and starting an intensive educational program (I wrote about both of those changes here). Also thrown into the mix was a trip to visit family and attend my brother’s wedding, which was a nice break but stressful both leading up to it and afterwards. We’re now doing some remodeling to our house and while we’re excited for the end result, there is a lot of upheaval involved in the process.

In the midst of all of this, I haven’t forgotten about this blog and I have a lot of ideas for things I want to write about. I’m still working on the productivity “hacks” I wrote about last time that will enable me to better accomplish what’s important to me while minimizing stress and overwhelm. I will write more about that soon, but I have something else in mind for today. I’m going to apply a principle from a children’s story to life balance and looking at the various aspects of our lives.

Too Much, Too Little, Just Right

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? It’s a popular children’s tale in which a young girl wanders into a cottage and finds three bowls of porridge, three chairs, and three beds. Upon testing out these items, she finds that two of each are “too” something or another (hot, cold, big, small, hard, soft) while the third one is “just right.” There are various philosophical implications of this simple story, but I want to focus on the “too something or another” aspect of it.

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Time management has long been my Achilles heel despite the fact that I have done extensive reading on the subject. Over the years, I’ve tried various productivity strategies, yet I continue to feel like I never get enough done and am always behind on my tasks. While I’m frustrated that I have yet to become a master of productivity, I don’t want to give up, so I will keep exploring different avenues and adopting new approaches.

productivity hacks

What productivity “hacks” have you learned over the years?

Natural Rhythms and Productivity

One topic that I’ve given more thought to lately is the concept of natural working styles. We all have our own unique rhythms that point to the times when we have high versus low physical, mental, and creative energy. One of the keys to increased productivity is tapping into these rhythms and using them to our best advantage. Of course, we can’t always get things done at the absolute optimal times for us, especially if we work for someone else, but most of us can tweak certain aspects of our lives to increase both our productivity and life satisfaction.

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It’s now been a month since I moved and started my new educational program. Things have settled down enough for me that I will probably be able to post more often. One thing I didn’t mention in my last post is that I now live just a few minutes away from my favorite mall! Since it’s been a long time since I’ve written about shopping issues, I thought that now might be a good time to revisit this issue. Additionally, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS), which has been a big shopping occasion for me for many years, starts tomorrow. Since I started Recovering Shopaholic in 2013, I’ve approached that sale in a variety of ways, some of which were more productive and successful than others. In today’s post, I’ll share about my 2017 NAS experience, as well as what I plan to do differently this time around.

sales shopping strategies

What tips and strategies do you have for successfully shopping sales?

Blogging about my compulsive shopping issues was kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it helped me to stick to a shopping budget for the first time in my adult life, as well facilitated my paring down an oversized wardrobe and refining my personal style. However, it also kept my focus firmly directed toward what I was buying – or not – and what I was wearing. In the beginning, that was beneficial, but I later felt that blogging on these topics hindered my recovery in some ways. For that and other reasons, I took a hiatus from my last blog and decided to shift focus when I began writing again. While I no longer want to write about clothes and shopping all the time, I’d still like to delve into these issues from time to time.

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