Good Restrictions

by littledodogirl

“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.”

— T.S. Eliot

All the thinking I’m doing about decluttering, I’m mostly overwhelmed by my clothes. The waste of space and money is not something I enjoy thinking about. Now with a mortgage to pay, I cringe at the amount of money I spent on things I don’t use.

I came across the quote above during one of my net-surfing marathons and it struck home in a way I don’t T.S. Eliot ever imagined. He probably would roll his eyes at the insignificance of its application.

Here goes. When I was pregnant, after around the 4th month, my entire wardrobe became the contents of exactly two small drawers (not including socks and shoes). My expanding belly set a restriction on what I can wear. The fact that I would be pregnant for only another five months set a restriction on the I-need-more-clothes area in my brain. So I only bought very few things to get me through the next few months.

And it was glorious. I think it was the only time in my life I was happy with my body and my clothes (the bane of most women). It was liberating. Every morning I had only a few items to choose from, and the thought “I really should buy XYZ” stopped rudely intruding on my morning routine. The best part, I suddenly became very creative with my dressing (a few compliments from friends comforted me that I was not getting too creative). I find it hilarious that when my body fits into most of my clothes, I spend my days in the same outfit (jeans + a weather-appropriate top). When I was physically restricted to a few items, I was mixing and matching my daily outfits with more creativity than I thought I had.

Eventually, I had my little Lily and I went back to where I was. Back in my jeans uniform. I miss the freedom. I want it back! How liberating it would be if I only had a few high-quality pieces that I love and actually use! It is so frustrating knowing it is all in my head and yet so difficult to get a grasp on.