Simplifying. What, Why and How!

Cheers, Oh Simple Thoughts readers! My name is Rachel and I write at Our Yellow Door about amazing grace, joyful marriage, intentional care, the humble home, and

simplicity

. When Rachel asked me to write for Oh Simple Thoughts about having a simplified wardrobe, I literally got giddy.

That’s

how much I love simplifying.

My heart behind this post is to help you see why simplicity is so important, how it can lead you closer to Jesus, and how to carry that out practically in one of the most complicated areas of our lives: our closets.

Ready? Let's go!

The heart of simplicity is removing whatever distracts us from Jesus.

The discipline of simplicity is the process of eliminating the excess in order to focus on the important.

Excess gets in the way of what matters most. Namely, God and the things He has called us to.

In his book, "

Celebration of Discipline

", Richard Foster says, "The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. Both the inward and the outward aspects of simplicity are essential...To attempt to arrange an outward lifestyle of simplicity without the inward reality leads to deadly legalism."

Simplicity says, "I depend on and am satisfied by Christ, not my possessions. I do not need to try and impress others, because God's opinion of me is enough. I am not anxious about having more "things", because I know God will provide for me."

It is an attitude of the heart,

not a list of decluttering and organizing tips. And a great place to start is the closet.

Many of us only wear a fraction of what we own. Our drawers and hangers are stuffed with clothes we don't like, that don't fit, or don't go with anything else we own, and we struggle to put together outfits that we feel comfortable and confident in.

As women, I think our clothes can bring about an awful lot of anxiety for us, too.

Anxiety about clothing can distract us from God's providence and the natural beauty He has given us.

The anxious heart doesn't trust Him to provide for her needs, does not believe His approval is enough for her, and does not believe He has made her beautiful. The anxious heart isn't focused on the kingdom of God and His righteousness, but on itself.

Matthew 6:28-33
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither spin nor toil, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we wear?". For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Clothes can also distract us from loving others well.

If you're trying to judge whether or not your friends are impressed with your newest top, check your heart. Are you wanting them to serve your ego? Are you more focused on yourself than them?

Before you get all huffy and march off in your cropped pants and patterned peplum top, hear me out. I'm not saying it's a sin to want to look nice. But if you are looking to other people to validate your worth based on the clothing you wear, check your heart.

We can eliminate closet anxiety and distraction by building simple wardrobes that are functional, well made, fit us well and make us feel good.

A wardrobe that has been carefully planned (pieces that we always feel confident in, pieces that can mix and match effectively, etc.) can eliminate SO much anxiety in our lives, leaving room to focus on things that are far more important.

So, how do you build a simple wardrobe?

1. Have a Plan

Know your style, the purposes you need your wardrobe to serve, and the colors you feel most comfortable in. Your wardrobe should serve and support

your

lifestyle, not the lifestyle advertisers think you should live. As purge your wardrobe and decide what "gaps" you need to fill, focus on buying clothes that work together well.

2. Quality, not quantity

Invest in pieces that are classic and well made. You will get more mileage out of a simple black dress from J. Crew than five flouncy clearance frocks from Target. (I'm guilty of this, believe me.) Buy less clothes so your closet is less cluttered. Make your clothes work for the space they take up.

3. Focus on fit

We don't wear the size labels on the outside, so if something fits better in a 10 than it does in an 8, leave your pride in the dressing room and buy the 10. Because, you know, a sweater that rides up like a frolicsome pony every time you move a muscle is annoying and will probably make you feel self-conscious.

4. Buy Ethically

Jesus is against the oppression of the poor. Unfortunately, our modern clothing industry does just that. Many of our clothes are made in sweat shops by underpaid (sometimes enslaved) people. Buying less clothing means you can invest in ethically made pieces. Check out companies like

Everlane

,

Tieks

,

FasionABLE

,

Noonday Collection

,

Better Life Bags

,

Fair Indigo

and

Raven + Lily

. If you need more ideas, here's a great

Ethical Shopping Guide

.

5. PURGE Everything Else!

If it...

- hasn't been worn in the last year

- is torn/stained beyond repair

- is poorly made

- doesn't fit your life/style

- has four identical twins

- makes you feel self-conscious

...get rid of it! If the clothes are in good condition and would be a blessing to others, consider donating them.

My hope is that you can create a simple wardrobe that ultimately leads you closer to Jesus. I want you to be confident in His provision and love for you, and to feel comfortable in the body He has blessed you with. If you want more thoughts on having a simple wardrobe, check out

this post

!

Under Grace,

Rachel

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Thanks so much Rachel for sharing about this subject that I know is so dear to you! It means the world to have you here today and I am so grateful for all this truth and encouragement! 

ALSO*** There is a flash giveaway happening on my IG account from now until 10pm EST. Go check it out and enter, and use code OST15 for 15% off any item in the

HalfPintPrints

shop until the end of the month. ENJOY!