|Work in progress...|
Not so long ago, I collected clothes. I bought clothes full price, clothes half price and received clothes as presents. I bought clothes from high street chains, independent boutiques, supermarkets, charity shops and online. I had some lovely pieces; I was often complimented on my style. My first waking thought would be what to wear that day. I tried not to repeat outfits and I was always in search of the next essential garment to compliment my image. I wasn't always entirely honest about my purchases. New acquisitions would be hidden and then (if I could find them) nonchalantly worn weeks later. Who was I kidding? Shopping for clothes calmed me, distracted me and occupied my time.
Eventually I grew tired of the effort, deceit and of the frippery. This area of my life was out of control and needed to change. I envied people who wore uniforms; people who had no interest in fashion; people who basically wore the same things every day, whatever the occasion. I dreamt of creating a wardrobe from scratch. I began to consider quality over quantity and I read about capsule wardrobes.
And so I began to slowly edit my wardrobe. It was one of the hardest areas of my life to declutter. It felt like a gargantuan task when I started but it was worth it.
Stop shopping (and browsing) for clothes.
Set aside a few hours to tidy your wardrobe. Make it pleasurable - try and do it when the house is quiet and preferably empty. Maybe put some music on that makes you feel good. Consider your goal - to have less (but better) clothes in your wardrobe and more space.
Get everything out of your wardrobe. Notice the space and visualise less clothes hanging there. Give the space a clean.
Pick up and look at each item. As you consider each item, ask yourself these questions:
1. Does this item suit me?
2. Does it fit me?
3. Do I wear it often enough?
4. Is the colour right for me?
5. Does it go with anything else?
6. Do I feel good wearing it?
7. Is it comfortable?
8. Does it justify the space it takes up in my wardrobe (if it's large or bulky)?
9. Am I keeping it for sentimental reasons?
10. Am I keeping it because it was expensive to buy?
11. Am I keeping it because someone else bought it for me?
12. Do I have other similar items that are a better quality or fit?
Be honest with yourself. If you answer no to questions 1-8 and yes to questions 9-12 then these items can go.
Some items will be easy to sort and others more difficult. If you are not sure about an item put the item of clothing in your keep pile for the time being. This is what I normally do. You can repeat this process again soon.
Sort your clothes into three groups: keep, donate/sell, throw (if in bad condition).
Put your selected clothes to keep back in your wardrobe. I find it easier to organise them in some way, for example: colour; length; garment type; work/home; Summer/Winter.
Bag up items to be thrown and items to sell/donate. Move them out of your bedroom ready to leave the house as soon as possible.
Stand back and admire your new ordered space. That's a good start. Feel good about what you have achieved and look forward to enjoying your clothes again.
Once this ordeal is over and done with, hopefully you will experience that 'less is more' feeling about your clothes. Maybe, you will be inspired to tackle other cluttered areas of your life. That's the magic of minimalism that can keep you going.
I have been editing my wardrobe for the last two years and have at least halved it. But I still have too many clothes. I don't feel comfortable owning clothes that I hardly wear and I need to continue editing my collection. The reality is that if you rest on your laurels for too long you can be back at square one again. I will post about my wardrobe again soon and in the meantime I'm off to practise what I preach.
Have a great weekend.
Have you edited your wardrobe recently? Do you have any tips? Please share.