19 May 2018

Reverse Mimimalist Packing Party - In English



[Minimalist packing party]: To pack all your things away, and then only unpack what you need when you need it. After a set period of time, you give away everything, you didn't unpack.
I thought the idea was great, but impractical in my everyday life, where time and energy is limited, as well as space to pack away everything to. And as a mother I wouldn't put my son through this rather extreme exercise.

So I invented the 
Reverse Minimalist Packing Party

Concept
The idea is as simple as the original packing party: You pack away the thing you HAVE used. What is left you become forced to look at with new eyes.
You can do one category (clothes, kitchen utensils, garden equipment) at a time, or your whole dwelling. I chose one category because it was easier to overview, and to fit into my everyday life.

Would I rather go without, than use this annoying food container with the ill-fitting lid? Would I not be caught dead in what is left in the closet, and would rather buy something new? If that is the only board game left, would I rather go sort my sock drawer instead of playing it? Is this sports equipment useless for my needs, and the only reason I still own it, is that I practically forgot, I had it.

And allow yourself to part with the things you don't like, don't care about, which are broken, ill-fitting, or just don't work for you. Or if you discover that you have way to many duplicates of this item.

Experience
I tested the concept on my wardrobe. You can see the posts here Reverse Packing Party.
I packed away the clothes after they had been worn and washed.

In the course of the RPP I decluttered 100 pieces of clothing!  (No, I don't have 33 or 56 items of clothing now. I blog about refashion, clothing is my hobby). Now I only have clothes I like to wear.
When I open my closet I sometimes catch myself thinking, that I have to spend mental energy thinking of, what I don't want to wear. And then I discover that I don't have to: I like all the clothes in the closet. YAY.

The RPP took me three months. Not as fast as a packing party, but easier to fit into my everyday life. And at a pace where I had time to think about what I really wanted to do with my wardrobe.
It did help me to get rid of what I didn't like, what didn't fit or was the wrong size.
But the biggest difference to a regular declutter was, that I looked with new eyes on the nice, good, wellfitting clothes that just always got bypassed because I liked the rest better.

Discoveries
- I have a my "uniform": Tight fitting long sleeve T-shirts, A-line skirts and tights. Which is fine. But now I am more aware of choosing the rest of the clothes, which I like too.

- I will NOT run out of clothes. Several times I surprisingly thought that I might have nothing to wear, if I get rid of this garment. Honestly, that will not happen. And if I do, the thrift shops have plenty of cheap clothes, and I am not too poor to buy it.
It feels a bit like subconsciously being afraid to starve, and therefore buying the bulk goods.
But honestly, I live in a rich country, with good social security, friends and family, and shops that are open until late at night every day. I might not be rich, but I don't ever have to starve. 
And I will never have nothing to wear.

- I really like 3/4 sleeves. But they don't like me. I always end up with freezing underarms. I love them, but I never wear them. I got rid of every single item of clothing with 3/4 sleeves.

- I don't care about fashion. Well I do, but not fast fashion. More the long lasting trends. Even if I have this season's fashion in my closet, I don't use them. So no need to acquire them.

- I need dresses. What I nice surprise. I love wearing dresses, and I thought I had many dresses. I do, but most of them are very light and flowy summer dresses. Not the kind you can transition with a sweater and thick tights. And summer is short here.
I need dresses! I have already begun to sew myself new dresses.

- I hate trousers and jeans. The don't ever fit me (I am S/M in my waist and L/XL in hips). I might be able to find ones if I look far enough, but I just don't care.

- If something isn't used, because it is not quite right, but with small changes could be, I should put them in my refashion cabinet right away. Or they will hang unused forever in my closet.

Someone somewhere have probably made up the term Reverse Packing Party before me. Everything has already been invented. But I haven't been able to find any reference to the concept online.

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