At a certain point you get sick of looking at your clothes and realizing you don’t want to wear any of them. So you decide to do something. Is the answer buying new clothes? Or is the answer making the clothes you have, better?
Don’t worry, we’re not getting out the sewing machine.
A minimalist closet means you only have what you like. And you like everything you have. This article will show you the joy of having a minimalist closet and the steps it takes to get there.
As early as tomorrow morning, you could look in your closet and like what you see.
The Problem: You Never Have Anything to Wear
That might be the feeling that brought you to reading this right now. Sure, that closet has clothes in it, but nothing you feel like putting on. The problem is too many choices. And not all of them are good choices. With each shirt you deliberate over, each pair of pants you evaluate, you are not only spending extra time, you’re dulling the satisfaction of getting dressed. Think about walking up to your closet, opening it, grabbing a pair of pants and confidently putting them on and feeling great about it.
The Solution: Pare it Down
With fewer choices, you’ll know you have something to wear, because It’s right there in front of you. When you pare down your wardrobe to only things you like and only things that feel good on you, every choice in the morning is the right choice. No deliberating required.
The Problem: You Wear Clothes You Don’t Like
You figure you’re just running out to the store, why put on your good jeans? Instead you grab some pair of khakis, a size or two off, with a small hole on the knee and off you go. Whether or not you run into someone you know, you’re going out into the world without putting forth the real you.
The Solution: Only Own What You Like
Life is made up of the little things — dashing to the store, running to the coffee shop. Dress in what you like and what makes you feel good even for the little stuff. Do it by getting rid of those things that don’t represent the best you. Those khakis aren’t you. Let them go and you’ll wear the good jeans to the store and feel good about it too.
The Problem: Quantity Over Quality
Sales are tough. You see something that isn’t quite right for you. But it’s 78% off! How can you pass that up? Soon you have 5 sale shirts in your closet that you don’t ever wear.
The Solution: Quality Over Quantity
Just think: instead of buying those 5 sale shirts, buy just one full priced shirt you really love. You’ll actually save money because you’ll actually wear the shirt.
The Problem: Clutter Eats Time
The daily deliberation at the closet wastes your time. Flipping through 6 pairs of jeans before you get to the one you want to wear is time you could have spent making a better breakfast, or talking with your family.
The Solution: Cut The Clutter
Here’s where we’ve been heading this whole time. The way to solve the negatives of having too many unnecessary clothes is to embrace the principles of minimalism.
So now you want to know:
“How do I do it?”
How to Get a Minimalist Wardrobe
It’s hard to get rid of stuff. You think, “Someday I’ll really wish I had this and I’ll regret getting rid of it.” But the truth is: that’s very rarely the case. Still, we understand. It’s just not easy. So start small. First thing you can tackle is your drawers. Literally.
Underwear Under Siege
One of the great things about paring down your life and becoming more of a minimalist is it’s a little addictive. Once you feel the freedom of having less stuff, you start to crave it.
That’s why we’re starting with your underwear drawer. Even if you think you’re not ready for the big closet de-clutter, you can certainly tackle this.
Go through each pair of briefs, all your bikinis, every boxer, each bra. Do you love it and feel good when you wear it? If not toss. You should pare down until each and every pair is your “good underwear.” Remember you just need enough underthings to get you from one laundry day to the next (plus a few, just in case). If you do your laundry weekly, 10 pairs of underwear will be enough.
Next, The Shoes
Shoes can be expensive. You might worry at the idea of getting rid of a pair of boots you spent good money on. But if you haven’t worn those boots in a year, they are just taking up space.
The Right Shoe For The Job
Try and get your shoes down to just one good pair for each different activity or occasion. One for gardening or running. One for casual days at the office. One dressy pair. One weekend shoe, one easy sandal, and one winter boot.
You might find that you’ve been getting by on a pair of weekend shoes or running shoes that really don’t do it for you. Let them go and then pick up a pair of weekend shoes that makes you happy.
Soon it won’t be a matter of deciding which shoes to wear, it will just be a matter of knowing what you’re doing today, and grabbing that pair.
And Finally… The Closet
There are a couple of ways to get your closet where you want it to be.
You can get dramatic with the process and empty your closet completely — every stitch. If your clothes live in drawers, empty them. Separate everything you own into piles: a love it pile, a maybe pile and a goodbye pile. Then try on everything in the maybe pile. If it doesn’t fit, look great, or feel like “you” say goodbye.
Or you could take a lower-key approach and just go through from left to right in your closet (or drawer by drawer), pulling out everything that doesn’t immediately make you say, “I love this.” When you get to the end, go through it one more time.
There’s no set rules. If you keep 3 pairs of jeans instead of just 2, you won’t get kicked out of the minimalism club. You’ll find the numbers that work for you. The goal is to have just 1 or 2 (ok, maybe 3) pieces for each need. For example, 2 jackets, 3 jeans, 3 T-shirts, 2 blouses/button ups, 1 hoodie. If you get to the end and have pieces you can mix and match to make a week’s worth of clothes without doing laundry, you have enough. If you have much more than that, consider paring down a bit more.
When you have to choose between 2 things you feel fairly equally about, opt to keep the one that will go with more things. Solids and pieces that fit a unified color scheme work best.
Staving Off Regret
If you really believe that you’re going to regret the purge, put everything you’re planning on getting rid of in a box. Tape it up. Stick it in another closet, in the garage, in the trunk of your car. In a few months, when you haven’t opened it to rescue any of your old clothes, that box is ready to go to the donation center, no regrets.
When those good jeans become worn and older jeans, it’s time to donate them and treat yourself to a new, quality pair. Since you’re not frequenting the sales racks anymore, affording quality should be a bit easier. Try to keep the mentality of “one in, one out” to maintain the minimalist closet you’ve worked to get.
A minimalist closet lets you enjoy more. Enjoy mornings where every outfit is the right outfit. Enjoy spending less time staring into a jumble of fabric and patterns. Enjoy always feeling your best because you only wear your favorite things. Enjoy quickly and easily putting on clothes you love so you can enjoy the rest of your life.