Happy Tuesday! Long time, no chat. I had a couple of blog posts planned for last week, but this one had to be postponed to deal with more pressing technical blog issues. My absolute least favorite part of blogging, to be quite honest with you. Thankfully, those are (mostly) resolved and I can get back to posting!
Declutter Your Closet: The Guiding Principle
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called What is Minimalism? + Reasons to Go Minimalist in which I talked about what minimalism is, and why someone might want to go minimalist. I also talked about our personal reasons for embracing minimalism. Next up in this series, we’ll be talking about the “how” of minimalism. This includes decluttering, consuming less, and learning how to distinguish between what the world tells you that you need to be happy and what you really need to be happy.
I’d tried decluttering my closet many times prior to this year. While I’d walk away with a paper bag or two to donate, I always fell prey to the “but it still fits… what if I want to wear it again someday?” mindset. My number one tip for decluttering your closet? Read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It will motivate you to attack that clutter!
The guiding principle of Kondo’s “KonMari Method” is to first lay out all of the items that you own in one category, which can be as narrow as “t-shirts” or as broad as “miscellaneous papers from the past ten years.” Then, get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” However, in many cases, I found that I needed to ask myself additional, more specific questions to know whether or not to get rid of a piece of clothing.
Declutter Your Closet: The Checklist
Here’s my slightly-more-specific clothes-busting method that finally allowed me to have a closet containing only things that I actively like and wear!
- Define your personal style. You can’t know what to get rid of, if you don’t know what your ultimate wardrobe looks like. Get out a notebook and start writing. How do you generally dress? Are you sporty, preppy, glamorous, etc.–or some combination of styles? Having this in mind will help you cull items that realistically, you’ll never wear. (Personally, I’d call my style “classic.” I’m kind of a plain Jane–I’m not really one for tons of pink or ruffles or glitter, and that’s okay! Be honest with yourself.)
- Lay out all of your clothes in one category (not all of your clothes!). Aim for a maximum of 20-30 pieces at once: enough so that you can see how much you really own, but not so much that you’re overwhelmed. This depends on how many clothes you have, naturally. My categories were:
- Tank tops
- Sporty t-shirts
- Nice, fitted t-shirts
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Shorts & leggings
- First, throw away things in the category that are irreparably damaged. Or that are damaged, but you know you’ll never fix. They’ll just make you feel bad every time you look at them! Examples: socks with embarrassingly large holes, tights with runs in them, jeans that have worn through at the crotch.
- Sell, donate, or pass on things that don’t fit. Seriously, get rid of the “goal jeans” if you have a pair–you’re beautiful just the way you are! Conversely, that top you bought when you were a teenager because you thought you’d grow bigger than you did? Time to get rid of it. Or even things that are your size, but just don’t fit correctly. Example: I have very broad shoulders for a girl, and I had several cute shirts that were technically my size but annoyingly bunched up at the shoulders when I put them on–so I never wore them. So I gave them to my slim-shouldered sister! No use bemoaning something I can’t change.
- Sell, donate, or pass on things that aren’t your style. Take a hard look at clothes you haven’t worn in a year. Why haven’t you worn them? Will you ever? Remember that step 1 of the decluttering process is to really think hard about your style so that you can make these types of judgment calls. It doesn’t matter how cute or expensive a top is if you don’t feel comfortable wearing it. Example: I got rid of some super low-cut tops and a mini skirt. Nothing against showing a little cleavage or leg, it just isn’t for me!
- Repeat for all of the other categories. If you get tired and feel like you’re too spent to make any more judgments on your clothing, take a break. Don’t just stuff everything away and give up, though. It takes time and effort to part with your possessions!
- Responsibly get rid of the clothes you’ve removed from your wardrobe. Finally, sell your gently-used brand name clothing on ThredUp or at a local consignment shop and donate anything you can’t sell to Goodwill. If it’s not even in Goodwill condition, consider making grocery bags, rags, or garden ties from it before throwing it out.
- Before you buy a new article of clothing, ask yourself: does it fit? Do I feel good in it? Is it my style? If you want to keep your wardrobe full of clothes you love, you have to thoroughly think through your clothing purchases before you make them.
Have you done a major closet clean-out before? What are your tips for decluttering a wardrobe?