Healthy Minimalist

Going Minimalist: What I Learned During My Closet Clean-Out

MinimalismAnnie CannonComment

So, a few weeks ago, I was determined to pare down my overstuffed closet to a 30-piece wardrobe of my most loved pieces that would all work together perfectly and eliminate the make-me-late stress of picking out something to wear every morning. Yes, my goal was to end up with something out of an IKEA catalogue.

I tried, I really did, here are my before and after pictures:

                                     Before

                                    Before

                                      After

                                     After

I know what you're thinking, "Umm, did you take ANYTHING out?" It doesn't look like much changed but I donated two garbage bags of clothes! I promised myself I would be ruthless but I just kept getting caught in thought patterns like: "But I've hardly worn this! I can't get rid of something that's in perfect condition!", and "But it fits me perfectly! Why don't I wear this?" or "Maybe if I tweak it a bit, it would fit better and then I would wear it all the time!".

So, why do I want to get rid of my clothes?

  1. I'm not wearing half of what's in my closet! A large proportion of my clothes just hang there, but when I think about ditching them, they suddenly become valuable to me.
  2. I spend way too much time deciding what to wear in the morning, yet always go with the same items.
  3. My closet is a mess to look at, and that stresses me out.

It's well known that any kind of clutter causes stress, anxiety, and procrastination. And people clearly want relief from their clutter, shown by books like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (http://tidyingup.com/) becoming international best-sellers. I have yet to read it but it's on the list.

I've already become much better at only buying well-thought-out pieces that will work with the rest of my wardrobe, and I do so very infrequently. My problem is not shopping, it's removing.

I've read many articles on the subject of de-cluttering one's wardrobe, but the following tip was interesting to me. From the blog Becoming Minimalist by Joshua Becker: 

Embrace the idea of one. When one can be enough, embrace it – one black dress, one swimsuit, one winter coat, one black belt, one pair of black shoes, one pair of sneakers, one handbag… insert your own based on your occupation, lifestyle, or climate. (http://www.becomingminimalist.com/a-practical-guide-to-owning-fewer-clothes/)

Don't we already do this? We get so caught up in having many options for different specific scenarios, but only end up wearing our go-to favourites all the time anyway. At least I do.

I decided to take out most of my clothes just to see what it would look like with the amount of clothes I was hoping to go down to. Here's what it looked like:

 
 

Ahh, isn't that a breath of fresh air? And so much more aesthetically pleasing.

Something that has helped me continue to remove items after this "purge" was to define my style, and my colours. I am OBSESSED with the minimal classic look (check it out on Pinterest). For me, this is a casual, yet polished look, with colours like black (obv), white, grey, navy, and other neutrals.

When you know what your style is, it's a lot easier to hold up a top and think: " Does this piece fit into my style? No? Goodbye." And feel good about donating a great piece to someone who doesn't have the luxury of choice in what they wear.

I've also learned that living somewhere where there are distinct seasons may mean needing a summer and winter wardrobe and getting a storage bin to keep under the bed for whatever wardrobe you're not wearing. Does anyone do this?

Do you have any other suggestions for me to let go of clothes I think I need but never wear? Comment below!

 

In health,

Annie