What to Expect When You’re Expecting… to Participate in Six Items Or Less

To the relief of  at least a few members of this blog’s readership, I finally did some much-needed laundry. This writer is wrinkle- and coffee stain-free once more (at least for now). Still going strong in my blue popover and jeans, y’all. *fist pump*

Looks like the folks over at Six Items or Less are getting ready to unveil their new site and start another leg of the experiment en masse! Hooray! In honor of the occasion — as well as the final three days of my own Six Items or Less stint — here’s a list of dos, don’ts, always-es, definitelys, maybes, etc. to help you prepare for the mission, if you choose to accept it.

1. Stock up on lots of good-quality underwear and socks. You’re going to need them. I suggest getting them in cotton and like colors to cut down on laundry costs (see below) and spruce up your palette — despite my somewhat stark, monastic ramblings earlier, I firmly believe that variety is the spice of life :)

If you’re a man, I kindly suggest you proceed to tip #3.

2. If you’re a woman, now’s the time to invest in one or two comfortable, high-quality bras. In case you didn’t know, a good bra…

  • might require a fitting at one of those lingerie specialty stores (you know exactly what I’m talking about; every town has one!). I strongly suggest that every woman endures five minutes of minor discomfort / embarrassment and get fitted. You’ll be glad you did.
  • will probably be more expensive than you’d like but is worth every penny
  • will make whatever you’re wearing (even if it’s the same six things, over and over) look good and feel comfortable

Remember, a bad bra will make you feel and look unpolished and uncomfortable no matter what you’ve got over it.

3. When you’re trying to decide on your six items, don’t choose anything that needs to be dry-cleaned, washed on delicate, rinsed in rosewater by the light of the full moon, etc. Everything you choose should be able to be washed in cold water and dried in a washing machine. No wasting time here.

4.  Do expect to do laundry more often than you have been. There’s no such thing as waiting an entire month to do laundry again in The Land of Six Items. I’ve had to do it about once a week (gasp!).

5. On that note, when you do do your laundry, expect to only have to do one big load (or maybe two medium sized-ones). I purposely didn’t choose anything white in my six items so that I could throw all of it in the wash without worrying about colors bleeding. It was a big money saver (and good for the environment, too).

6. If you’re not doing it already, brace yourself to wear clothes two, three, four or, in my case, as many as nine or ten times between washes. If you live in Brooklyn, you’re already at an advantage, because no one between the ages of 18 and 34 seems to bathe or wash themselves regularly anyway. If anything, you’ll just fit right in.

7. Raid your friend’s and family member’s closets (with their permission). I feel like the only thing that was really missing from my Six Items or Less experience was a greater sense of community (I’m sure this will be at least partially remedied with the new site!). As I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t have much to work with outside of my six items anyway, so it would have been nice to rely on a few close friends for accessories, scarves, jewelry, etc. It gives you more opportunities to talk about the experiment in a meaningful, constructive way with people you care about, and it helps decrease any feelings you might have to spend money on those things that aren’t included in your six items.

8. Take this opportunity to relish the small things. If you happen to be a lazier, relatively unadorned sixer like myself, you will begin to take a new-found pride in personal hygiene — brushing your teeth, flossing, combing your hair.

9. Similarly, I recommend using your money to buy quality experiences instead of “things.” For instance, pay to get a really good haircut or manicure. Sure, it won’t last forever, and it might seem a little indulgent. But you’ll get to relax as well as meet and converse with the kind person offering you the service. I guarantee buying a bracelet at Target won’t give you that. Besides, I’m terrible at painting my nails; I’d rather hire a professional to do it.

Any fellow “sixers” have good advice that I didn’t mention here? Chime in!

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2 Responses to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting… to Participate in Six Items Or Less”

  1. Alexia Says:

    I’m going to start the siol experiment tomorrow morning and I totally agree with you on the 9. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been wanting to do this.

    (Also, I love the part about Brooklyn, and I dread this, I’m used to change my teeshirt everyday, I’m already putting ideas together to make my clothes look nice and clean…)

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