My Journey to 500 (Pt.I)

I’m aware of the hypocrisy that this kind of movement/lifestyle has been receiving. And I know some of you might even think I’m doing this because I’m normcore/hipster.

No. I’m doing this because of only one reason, and that is to sleep longer on a weekday.

For those of you who know me, I only get to sleep for 5hrs from Monday to Friday  – that’s 3hrs less than what medical professionals have prescribed to be healthy. I wake up at 4:15am and leave the house at 4:45am so I won’t get stuck in traffic. My travel time will be 2x longer if I leave anytime after 5:30. I also don’t like being late, that’s why I’d rather be the one opening the office with the security guard than be useless on the road.

Over the years, I have improved on my sleep sched by setting my prep time on hyperlapse mode. I’m pretty confident that I might be part of the top 5% of women who only takes a maximum of 30mins to prepare for work. I’ve mastered the art of taking a bath for just 10 minutes, but what really slows me down is my “dress up” time. I’ve improved on this aspect by keeping my wardrobe in just three colors – black, white, and gray. But still, I can’t be faster than 20mins because of how much I take time deciding and looking for what to wear in my already small closet.

My shitty sleep schedule has taken a toll on my body – I feel it every day. And I’m not getting any younger. I see how this has severely affected my weight, metabolism, my level of concentration, and so much more. Every hour of sleep I miss means an hour less from my total lifetime – I want to live longer and enjoy life more, thus this project.

I will call this my #Journeyto500 as I’m planning to own only 500 things in my life – including my car, toys, books, shoes, underwear, clothes, toothbrush, bags, luggage, toiletries, etc. Basically, everything I have should be able to fit in my 2ft x 6.5ft x 3ft cabinet.

I’m planning to do this purge in 3 phases – 1st would be for my wardrobe, 2nd for my shoes (huhuhuhuhuhuhuhu I caaaaan’t), and 3rd for the rest of my stuff (books, toys, CDs, and other miscellaneous stuff).

First off, as mentioned, will be my wardrobe. I took a photo of my closet pre-purge. As you see, I already don’t have much as I’ve been incrementally letting go of stuff for the past years. It was just yesterday that I’ve finally had the courage (and time) to decrease my wardrobe by 50%.

I have ~400 items in my closet. My goal is to half it by the end of this purging session.

I thought of only 3 things while I was removing items in my closet:

  1. There should only be one color theme so it’s easier to mix and match pieces. Obviously, my main color theme will be grayscale, aka white, gray, and black. There will be exceptions though wherein I’ll have to leave bright-colored items like orange because my job calls for me to wear my brand colors whenever there are events. Other than those plains and stripes, you won’t see any floral/hawaiian/aztec prints in my wardrobe. I used to wear those all the time, but not anymore now. I want to sleep longer.
  2. There should only be classic-cut pieces. This means no off-shoulders, fringes, plunging necklines, etc. Aside from the fact that I’m a “winter dresser” in a tropical country, I’ve decided that leaving out those adventurous pabebe clothes will give me less time to think if I’m showing too much skin or whatever.
  3. The items should look professional enough for the office, respectable enough for a presentation in business school, and casual enough for a weekend walwalan in Black Market. I hate bringing extra clothes whenever I have to go to multiple events in a day. To address this, I’ve decided to stick to my white/black/gray v-necks or even my band/festival shirts and partnering it with cardigans/blazers and signature black skinny jeans. It’ll be easy to transition from formal to casual as I only have one piece to put on/remove.

Taking these 3 things into consideration, I was able to trim down my closet from 390 items to just 175. I’M SO PROUD OF MYSELF. Here’s what’s left:

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 12.20.16 PM

I had the hardest time letting go of my underwear because yeah – I wouldn’t feel clean enough if I see myself wearing the same thing every week. Sorry TMI – but I’ll totally work on this aspect. But yes. I’m down to just 175 items in my wardrobe from a *whopping* 390. This is how it looks like now:

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 12.26.22 PM

I freed up almost 70% of the clothes hangers, 100# of the drawers, 25% of my bottom shelves. It’s so fre$h and so clean, clean!

While I was going through this process, I can’t help but feel so light and free. Now that my closet is almost empty (and I’m planning to keep it this way, and probably even purge more now that I get to assess which pieces I use most often), I feel it will be finally easier for me to decide what to wear since I basically have not much choice anyway. Financially, I already feel it’ll be a huge help for me to control my Zalora addiction as it will force me to thoroughly assess first if that item I’m eyeing fits the 3-point criteria I set early on.

So there. I’m finally done with Phase 1. Next phase – and I feel this will be an emotional one – is to trim down my shoe closet. I’m already crying inside, but if it means getting an additional hour of sleep for me and more savings for me, then game on.



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Fatima Espineda

A brand manager by day, a business student by night, and a music lover forever and ever. My day job fuels my passion for business, marketing, and advertising. As a bonus, it also pays for my insatiable thirst to discover and experience good music. As corny and cliché as it may sound, I believe music is the ultimate escape from reality. In my case, it's my way of keeping my creative juices flowing. It fuels my imagination, gives colour to my life, and keeps me in touch with my emotions -- all of which, I believe, are important for me to become a better marketer. This will be my own online space where I will share the things I care about -- brands and bands.

6 thoughts on “My Journey to 500 (Pt.I)”

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