Brent moved in just before Christmas, and can I just say?
The boy has a lot of stuff.
In fact, I think he has more clothes than I do! Which is fine, because I really don’t have very many clothes. I teased him a little about it, and he got rid of a few more shirts, but the fact of the matter is, I have a minimalist wardrobe, and I didn’t even realize.
Do you also want to start a minimalist wardrobe? Awesome. Read on for my tips.
How to Start a Minimalist Wardrobe
Step 1: Take Everything Out of Your Closet (and Dresser!)
Shoes, coats, rain jackets, umbrellas, slippers, socks, pajamas, unmentionables, everything. Take it all out, and put it on your bed. If your bed won’t fit all of your things, that’s okay. Do this in stages. It might take a while, but I swear, this is worthwhile.
Step 1.5: Make sure all your hangers match.
This sounds absurd, and silly, and it might be both. But seriously. Get some hangers (like these lovelies) and throw out the rest. However many hangers you buy = the number of items of clothing you’re allowed.
Step 2: Take Care of the Low-Hanging Fruit
You’ll see right away that there are items you can get rid of. Anything that has dust on the shoulders means it hasn’t been worn in quite some time. Put these clothes in bags or boxes and get them out of your bedroom. If you want to sell your clothes at a consignment shop, more power to you. Seriously. But get them out of the bedroom. If you put “clothes to sell or give away” in a corner of the room, it’s very likely that they’ll stay there, continuing to gather dust and get in the way of your zen.
Step 3: Stop Being Sentimental
You know what I’m talking about. That dress brings back 100 happy memories. I know it does. But get rid of it. Keep your prom pictures or your wedding pictures, but get rid of the clothes. You’ll never wear these special pieces. In fact, I bet you only wore them once in your life. It’s time to get them out of your house. Give your wedding dress to a worthy cause. There are nonprofits who will take it. Look it up! Same goes for your “I climbed to the top of Pike’s Peak” t-shirt. You don’t need it.
Step 4: Now, The Beautiful Pieces
I had this coat that was very Audrey Hepburn. It was one of the most beautiful pieces of clothing I ever owned. The problem? It was a long coat, and it didn’t flatter me. Not even a little. I kept it in my closet because I just loved looking at it. “Oh look!” I’d think, “I am a person with beautiful things! Now, where are my jeans?” I got rid of it, someone else liked it and got a lot of use out of it, and that was that. I’m still here, and I’m still okay.
Step 5: Does it fit, or is it a Goal Item?
I’m guilty of this. I have two pairs of jeans in my closet that simply don’t fit. They’re awesome, and they’ll look so good once I’m a wee bit less squidgy, and I’m keeping them. Until September. If I’m still too squidgy in September, someone is going to be very happy with my donation. My point is, don’t keep all the stuff that doesn’t fit you. It’s bad for morale. I’ll allow one (okay two) pieces that are goal worthy, but no more than that.
Step 6: Have You Worn it Recently?
Right now, it’s sweater season, so go through your sweaters first. Ditch the ones you haven’t worn this season. Even that one your aunt bought for you that makes you feel connected to her. Call her instead and tell her about your life. Saving space in the closet AND connecting with family? Win-win.
Now, put everything back in your closet and dressers.
See how much more space you have? Aren’t you ten thousand times happier? I feel lighter than air when I go through my closet. I’m always surprised by how much I can get rid of, and I’m very rarely wishing I had something I donated. Plus, it gives me street cred to tell Brent that he must be “such a fashionista” because he has more sweaters than I.
Repeat the whole process in three months.
Stuff accumulates even when we’re not paying attention. Scratch that. ESPECIALLY when we’re not paying attention. Host a clothing swap quarterly. Arrange for a nonprofit to pick up the stuff that doesn’t get swapped. Reap the tax benefits.
You start a minimalist wardrobe by a simple process of elimination. Keep the things you like, and get rid of the rest. Sounds easy, but it isn’t.
Read the next installment in this series: the essential items in a minimalist’s closet.
Are you shopping for a minimalist who’s getting married? Read what to include in a minimalist registry.