I’m Renee and I’m a shopaholic. Recovering shopaholic mind you. More than anyone, I fully understand the appeal of cute clothes, perfect shoes and not wanting to be photographed in the same shirt twice. For those of you who have also totally gone off the deep end, you know what I’m talking about. There is no denying that I like dressing cute and feeling my best each day but it never occurred to me that I didn’t need a closet jam-packed full of clothes to do it! Since downsizing our house almost 3 years ago, I have become a master at keeping a minimalist wardrobe. It hasn’t been easy living in a cold state like Minnesota, but I’ve managed it. For those of you who can totally relate I’m gonna fill you in on how to keep a minimalist wardrobe year round even when you love your clothes!
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Never did I think there would be a day that I would want a smaller wardrobe. Now that I have one, I can easily see the insane amount of benefits it offers. While each person is going to be different, here are some of the best benefits that I’ve found:
Before, even when I had a closet full of clothes, I tended to only have a few “favorites.” There were shirts that I wanted to wear every day because I liked them so much. Sometimes I would even talk myself out of them because I felt obligated to wear something I hadn’t worn in a while. It’s sad, but it’s true. Enough about me. Let’s keep diving into creating your minimalist wardrobe.
When I tried starting my minimalist wardrobe with the 333 challenge I failed hard core. Wearing only 33 items for 3 months is tough when you live in a state with weather mood-swings. It could easily go from 90 to 50 in the span of a week or from rain to snow to scorching hot sun. Just attempting to downsize gave me anxiety.
Since I live in Minnesota, a place with totally unpredictable weather, I decided to needed to stick to more than just 33 items. If this is the case for you, definitely take your climate into consideration! Don’t go too drastic and leave yourself with unpractical clothing items!
There are several different smart ways to start your minimalist wardrobe. Here are some of the top popular methods:
Whatever method you pick to create your minimalist wardrobe, there are going to be a few perks or setbacks.
A great benefit of the capsule wardrobe is that nothing is permanent. If you are more anxious about completely clearing out your closet then the capsule wardrobe is probably the way to go. The best part is, even though you get to keep more clothing, once you open your stored items you may find there are things you no longer need.
Having a capsule wardrobe can be a great way of “testing clothes.” When they have been stored away for 3 months or so you may find that you have completely forgotten about them. If so, it makes it that much easier to get rid of them for good.
While there are benefits to the capsule wardrobe, there are of course benefits to just straight up decluttering as well. When you take the time to completely declutter your closet, then you have actually created more space. When you are working with a capsule wardrobe, you’re not really creating more space you are just taking up more room somewhere else.
The best way to keep your minimalist wardrobe year round is to set some clear goals or intentions. Maybe you are determined to cut your wardrobe completely in half. Perhaps you just want to let go of your “skinny jeans” that keep making you feel bad about yourself.
Once you know your goals for what you don’t want in your closet, set some goals for what you do want. Do you want only clothes that you absolutely love? Are you determined to never spend more than $20 on one item?
Whatever you goals might be, be intentional when you start putting the final touches on your wardrobe.
Now that you know what you want and have a method selected that you’re going to stick with, it’s time to get started! My personal favorite way to get started is simply by getting rid of things that you know you don’t want. There is no easier way to make space as quickly as possible.
Clearing through unwanted items will make creating a capsule wardrobe easier and if you are decluttering for good, well, then you’ve already gotten the process started.
The best way to organize anything is to declutter first. Otherwise you’re just organizing junk which totally defeats the purpose. Now that you’ve gotten your unwanted items cleared away, it’s time to start thing about how you want to organize your new minimalist wardrobe.
Do you want to hang all your clothes?
Should you just hang shirts?
Will your shoes need a new storage container?
Personally, I have all my pants, workout, sweats, pjs and jeans all folded in my bottom dresser drawer. I store my hoodies in my middle drawer during the summer and store my tank tops and dresses during the winter.
Mixing a capsule wardrobe in with my regular minimalist wardrobe helps me keep my options open year round.
This is probably one of the biggest struggles people face when decluttering their wardrobe. Should you take the time to try and sell things or should you donate them right away?
I loved something I heard The Minimalists say on their podcasts once about how even if you sell an item you’re not making money. When you purchased that item, you made the choice to sacrifice money. You never actually planned on making money when buying an item.
My best advice would be to take any high-quality or designer items and try to sell them at a thrift store. Whatever items are not taken donate them and don’t give it a second thought.
Once you have your minimalist wardrobe in place, it’s just a matter of keeping it simple. Don’t put anything in your closet that doesn’t bring you joy. If you try something on in the fitting room and you’re not sure about it, then just put it back!
The organizing process may take a while to figure out exactly what works for you, but no matter what, don’t over-think it. That would be completely defeating the whole purpose!
Renee is the blogger behind The Fun Sized Life. After downsizing with her family, she also took the time to get serious about he finances. Now she is sharing the wealth with all of her readers.