Monday, March 16, 2015

To Simplify & Frenchify--S & F Series Introduction

I'm so excited this morning, because I just received Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style and Substance by Tish Jett. I've been wanting this book for a long time, which is geared toward the 40+ woman. I've also had an idea for a blog series brewing in my mind, and spring is the perfect time to get down and dirty in the pursuit of a simpler, more meaningful life. Ladies (and gentleman if you are reading), it's time for a merciless decluttering! But we aren't going to think in terms of "spring cleaning" or getting rid of stuff. We are going to pull focus instead on the idea of keeping in our homes and our lives only those things which bring us joy.

The weather is supposed to warm up to the low 60s today, so windows may be opened! I have both my front porch and upstairs balcony already cleaned out and ready for sitting. It's time to live al fresco, but with the protection of screened spaces. A porch can serve as an outdoor cafe. The cafe, in Paris, is the place to see and be seen. In my case, the passersby may not be incredibly chic, but I can be a role model nevertheless, and so can you. Bring up the chic factor in your own neighborhood! This includes walking to as many destinations as possible. Walking is tres French.

Spring is wardrobe transition time. Before you put your winter clothes in storage, go through each piece of clothing you own, actually touching it meditatively in the way of Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I began with the tops and bottoms in my dresser drawers and have moved on to the closet. After tops and pants will come sweaters, skirts, dresses, and jackets. Right now I have enough transitional pieces that I don't need to pull my warmer weather clothing out of storage yet. When I do, I will immediately pare down to only those items that warm my soul. We are going to declutter by categories, and categories within categories, as Kondo strongly suggests. And you start with your own belongings. So your own clothes first!

If you don't have good feelings when you handle a particular item, no matter what the reason or for no discernible reason at all, off to charity it goes! If you are currently a size 12 and believe that you will soon be a 10 but know that you will never realistically see a size 8 again, get rid of the too small clothing. Those pieces that you love but that don't fit quite yet can be tucked away for a time but should not remain with the clothes in current circulation. Sentimental items are sorted last, so put pieces that you don't wear but that tug at your heartstrings aside for now. (That's a relief, huh?)

Voila! You have a place to begin. But you must begin it. Today. Throughout this series, I will share with you where I am at in sorting my categories of stuff, and we will explore Tish Jett's Frenchy wisdom. We will be chic--simply, beautifully, and substantially chic--in every area of life. Are you ready to finally meet the real you?

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