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June 17th, 2015:

Day 17/90 – Starting my Day Before Sunrise

Day 17 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I hit the ground running and got work done before sunrise.

Photo by Steven Shinn from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Photo by Steven Shinn from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I’ve always been an early and easy riser. If I sleep in too long (meaning passed 7am), I feel like I’ve wasted half my day. I love how quiet and peaceful the world is during the early morning hours.

On most days, I make a to-do list. Whatever doesn’t get done on one day most likely gets carried over to the next. Anyone who knows me probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that my daily to-do list has more items than I have time to accomplish during my waking hours.

One of the things on yesterday’s list was paying bills and balancing my business checkbook. I was too tired at the end of the day to do it so I opted to set my alarm clock for 5am and get it done before I went to work.

I love how productive I am first thing in the morning – fewer distractions and I’m probably too tired to do anything besides the task at hand. I felt satisfied to get so much done before breakfast, and it sets the tone for the rest of my day. I’m a big fan of the U.S. Army saying, “We get more done before 9am than most people do all day.” That’s my kind of life.

In case you missed it: Day 16 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Running in the Sun!

Closet Clean-Out 2015 Update

At the beginning of the year, I started my annual closet clean-out and I reversed all the hangers in my closet. The idea is that when I wear a garment, I’ll flip the hanger back when I put the item away. At the end of the year, anything that is on a reversed hanger is something I haven’t worn in the last year, so it’s an item that should be given away. This is something I’ve been doing for years, and every year I have fewer items and it’s easier to let go of things I don’t use anymore.

Part of my Closet - June 16, 2015

Part of my Closet – June 16, 2015

Last year, I thought I cleaned out a lot of my wardrobe, but when I moved last October, I challenged myself to replicate Ryan Nicodemus’ “packing party.” By the end of it, I had 10 boxes of stuff to give away and probably 2 of those boxes were filled with clothes.

A few days ago I stepped into my closet to assess how this year’s clean-out was going. The first thing I noticed is that most of my hangers have already been flipped back, which is a significant difference from past years. This is the smallest my wardrobe has been since becoming a minimalist. It might be the smallest it’s been at least since I stopped wearing a uniform to school. And I’m not going out of my way to wear things just because their hanger hasn’t been flipped yet. On most days, I decide what I want to wear before stepping into my closet.

I looked at the top of my closet and I noted that I have 6 pullover sweaters. This is a lot less than the 12-15 sweaters I used to have, but still – 6 sweaters?! What do I need with 6 sweaters?! Remember, I live in Phoenix. It’s pretty warm here most of the time. I took a quick glance through them and moved 2 to the charity pile.  It wouldn’t hurt to go through my jeans (I got a few new pairs for speaking engagements) and my accessories (which I rarely wear).  I definitely have more t-shirts and running shirts than I need, and I’m ok with that.

My annual clean-out isn’t about shrinking my wardrobe as much as possible. It’s about getting rid of things that don’t make me happy. I never want to feel uncomfortable in my skin, in my clothes, or in my home. When I get dressed, it makes me feel good because I feel comfortable and pretty in my clothes and I value myself enough to treat myself to fabrics that are super soft and garments that complement my personality.

I thought about challenging myself to do a capsule wardrobe – limiting myself to 33 items for 3 months – but I don’t think that would be much of a challenge compared to how I dress myself now. Instead, I’m going to continue my clean-out process and be honest about what brings value to my life when it comes to clothes.