The definition of “Minimalist Wardrobe” varies from person to person. Each minimalist has a different list of necessities. My capsule wardrobe is on its way toward minimal but I’m not there yet. Some minimalists have assigned 36 items as the ‘official’ number of items in a minimalist capsule wardrobe, however that number is perfectly arbitrary. The number pickers might also have picked 35 or 37. My capsule is a little larger: I have about 50 items now – excluding my three problem areas (scarves, bags, and jackets).
One very slow and easy way you can shrink your closet is by turning all the hangers backwards on the bar. After a year goes by, any hangers that remain backwards are items you have not worn so you can confidently donate them, knowing you won’t miss them.
You can adopt a similar year-long method for your dresser. Pretend you are packing a suitcase in one of your dresser drawers. Pick your favorite things and put them in the suitcase-drawer. As time goes by you may miss things in the other drawers and tire of things in your suitcase. When that happens donate the tired pieces and pull the new favorites from your other dresser drawers minding the mantra “one out, one in”. At the end of a year, any items that remain untouched in your dresser have got to go.
If minimizing your wardrobe is exciting and you just need a little motivation try the KonMari method. Pick a Saturday and inspect every clothing item in your house. If it brings you joy keep it – if not, let it go. My only peeve with the KonMari method is that all my jackets and scarves and bags bring me joy, but they are also sitting around collecting dust. The dust does not bring me joy but the KonMari method enables me, and I keep them.
Additionally, every packrat I’ve met has an emotional attachment to each of their items. Emotional fulfillment from items is part of why hoarding happens in the first place. The KonMari system calls for action based on emotional decisions. Unfortunately, the primary emotional decisions that led to hoarding behavior are justified by the KonMari method, so those who really struggle with letting things go will not benefit from the practice. They get joy from every item they own. That’s the main reason I’m not on the KonMari bandwagon (and why I have so many scarves, bags, and jackets).
Since October I’ve been paring down my wardrobe using the minimalist approach. If I don’t wear it and love it – out it goes. It’s taken some Saturday trips through the collection but now… I finally moved out of my dresser! Yay! This is my current closet sans jackets and bags, but all the scarves are there.
I don’t feel finished with this project quite yet. I’ve started drawing every ootd in my bullet journal and after a month – whatever I haven’t worn I’ll let go (at least that’s the plan).
The dresser is now the linen closet instead of the master bedroom closet. We’re almost to the point where we can put a bookshelf in there. On the bookshelf we’ll store our smaller and more meaningful Yule and Christmas storage instead of the mountain-of-brimming-gift-bags-piled-to-the-ceiling system we’re currently using.
Until we started this minimalist journey I really didn’t know how much stuff we had. Luckily, our house is growing and our piles of stuff are shrinking. However, Yule and Christmas decorations are one thing the kids will not let me toss. They have some kind of ornament radar and magically appear whenever the baubles come out of the closet. Our Halloween decorations (which live in a single over-sized plastic cauldron, covered with a gold and purple witch’s hat) have the same magical summoning effect. It’s the weirdest side-effect of our seasonal decorations.
Until next time – Keep it Simple!