22nd February
2011
written by Randy

I’ve been home for 10 days now, which is the longest I’ve been in one place since November. For more than two full months, now, I’ve basically been living out of a backpack.

I had two brief stops at home in December, which allowed me to make changes to my packing strategy, before spending 30 days overseas. Each time I was able to apply things I had learned, and improve my experience.

The experience has been immeasurably helpful in understanding what I’m getting into with my 100 things challenge. I’ve got a much better idea what’s necessary, as well as what’s simply not necessary at all.

I had packed an additional pair of pants — gray dress pants, in case I decided to attend something fancy. That never happened, but I did wear the pants one day, half way, just because I found it necessary to launder my jeans after two weeks.

I did get more use out of the one dress shirt I had packed. I chose one in gray, which was a good versatile color choice, but the shirt itself was too “stylish”, making it less versatile overall. Also, having one dress shirt and one pair of dress pants, I should have chosen them in different colors. Gray with gray wasn’t good planning.

In getting down to 100 items, I think the most versatile solution is going to be pants in gray — most likely as part of a suit — along with one or two pairs or jeans. I’ll probably stick with just two dress shirts, one black and one white. And I’ll probably make use of one or two sweaters as layering options, to turn those few garments into multiple outfits. I’ll need a couple of shirts for warm weather as well, but I’m going to wait until it warms up before worrying about that.

I’ve already described my strategy with undergarments, though I’ve found REI brand t-shirts, underwear, and socks all to be higher quality and more comfortable than the Under Armour brand products I started with, so I’m cycling the UA stuff to my workout gear, and any new purchases will be REI brand. Granted, I probably won’t be making any new clothing purchases for quite some time.

Every day I remove at least one item from my closet. A this rate, I’ll reach my minimalist wardrobe pretty quickly. I had a lot more than I ever realized, but it’s finally getting notably empty. I expect that within a few weeks, I’ll be ready to do a count of my clothing, even if I’m not yet ready to do a count of everything else…