Confession: I’m often overwhelmed by the contents of my closet. And dresser. And bins under my bed. And the shoe cubbies that my TV sits on. And then figuring out how to make any of these items into an outfit I like. The truth is, I have way too many clothes (and shoes!), and in an effort to live more minimally, it’s time to start whittling my wardrobe (which just so happens to be the next installment in my Living With Less series)!
Today I want to discuss my very loose plan for tackling this next step toward minimalizing my life. Shall we get started?
First, there are many blog posts and magazine articles out there with tips for how to go about sifting through your clothes, deciding what to keep vs what to give away or sell. Some of these methods require months of evaluation, turning hangers backwards only to turn them the right way once you wear an item so as to see what you continually reach for (and conversely what you ignore). I have no doubt that these methods work, but I really don’t want to take that much time. So I am going to trust my memory (if you know me IRL, you know this alone is a risky prospect), and be honest with myself about what I actually wear.
Of course, it’s not that simple. Nothing ever is. I don’t see life as black and white, it’s grayscale. It’s not just keeping what I regularly reach for vs giving away what I don’t. It’s evaluating why I don’t reach for something, and figuring out if there’s something missing in my wardrobe that would make me see it differently. So the next step will be to try those items on and figure out the why, and then make the decision.
The main reason I won’t reach for a particular item of clothing is that it no longer fits me. I know, Captain Obvious. I think this is a universal and understandable obstacle that many people face. Most people will have weight fluctuations in their lives, and the reason for and time period of those fluctuations will vary from person to person. So what do you do with the clothes? Personally, I don’t want too many reminders of sizes past hanging around, but I also don’t want to get rid of everything. Just in case, ya know? I am planning to keep a small collection of items that I truly loved and think I would actually wear again, if I can ever budge that pesky scale from my seemingly new normal. I will stash these items away in the meantime/forever.
In the same vein, I don’t want to keep items that don’t fit properly. I may like it on the hanger, but maybe it never looked quite right on my body. Sometimes trying a garment on in a fitting room just isn’t enough to truly evaluate how it feels. Sometimes we make concessions. Or maybe you buy online and the hassle of a return isn’t really worth it because it’s not that bad, is it? Or if I’m being honest, it was a cute, cheap-o top and the washing machine brought out it’s true colors and now it’s just not the same. You learn these things over time, as you wear the pieces and discover that they’re not quite right for you. Time to say goodbye!
This same principle also goes for items that just aren’t comfortable. I don’t have time for that.
And maybe I just don’t like it anymore. Maybe it no longer fits my style. It’s okay to evolve.
Besides reducing the number of items in my closet, I also want to make getting ready more streamlined. I want to simplify. I want to eliminate the stress of picking out an outfit, only to find it doesn’t fit right or that I don’t like the way it looks. I think that evaluating my clothes against this simple set of criteria will help that daily getting ready process immensely.
In terms of my everyday, I think that creating a capsule wardrobe will also help make getting ready a breeze. I want to curate something that has a tight color palette, and that I can mix and match and look put together without too much effort (or fear of clashing). So while I’m culling my wardrobe, I want to keep those parameters in mind too. I’ll talk more about the specifics in next week’s post all about the outfit formulas and color schemes I plan to use to overhaul my closet, and my life!