Minimal in May: Simplifying My Wardrobe
I don’t know if I ever mentioned it here, but for a long time, minimizing and decluttering our house has been on my to-do list. Clearly it was on the back burner, because I’ve been putting it off for so long.
After the Marie Kondo Netflix craziness started tapering off, I finally decided it was time for me to do a serious decluttering of my own.
For a while now, I’ve been craving more simplicity. Why? It just seems to make life easier and more enjoyable when things are simplified, and I feel a lot more calm when there’s less junk around.
Less stuff, less clutter and more peace.
To hold myself accountable, because at this point, I’ve only done my closet and drawers, I’m doing a weekly series this month called “Minimal in May”!
Technically, I started my own closet in April, but Minimal in May just has such a better ring to it!
Another one of my main focuses for this year was my health.
I’ve found that tidying and simplifying has had a huge impact on my mental health. Simplifying helps me stay less stressed, more calm and overall more at peace with everything even though there’s things I’d like to be different (aka, not live in a rental anymore).
It’s sort of funny that my health journey started with diet and clean beauty, but it’s now pouring over into other areas of my life and I love it! It’s been empowering to see my happiness increase, stress decrease and overall health improve!
So, for today, to kick things off, I’m focusing on one small area that I’m simplifying—my closet & dresser.
For years, I’ve done a regular closet clean out.
It’s so nice to dig through things and donate or resell items I’m not wearing or using regularly. I usually end up with several bags and it feels so amazing for a few months, but before I know it, my closet is a mess again, stuff has piled up and I start getting antsy about it all over again.
Part of this comes with my job. I get a fair amount of clothing, shoes and handbags simply because my blog was primarily about style for the first 3-4 years. That’s shifted a lot, and while I still enjoy getting dressed up and putting together cute outfits, it’s not the primary focus of this site anymore. You’ve probably noticed that in the past few months. Sometimes I still feel funny about letting go of it so much, but then again, I feel really awesome about the fact that I’m more freed up to share the stuff that I really get excited about!
That’s not to say my style posts are gone forever, but I’m sure you’ve noticed they’re not as frequent as they once were. Anyway, the shift in the direction of my blog has reduced the amount of clothing items I receive and I secretly kinda love it.
When I used to shop, I was so concerned with whether or not a piece would sell well, or what the commission rate of the retailer was. Now, I buy things because I love them. If I share them and make some commission from them, wonderful! But, it’s no longer a deciding factor in making a purchase—I can’t tell you how freeing that is!
How To Simplify Your Wardrobe
My latest closet clean out, which actually took me a while, was my biggest ever. I got rid of so many pieces that I’d held onto for years (but never worn) and it was so liberating putting them in a bag and saying adios! I did my little exercise multiple times too. The first go around I got rid of the most, the second, a few more items and the third, was the final decision on a few items that I was on the fence about. I go through a series of questions when purging and the process looks a bit like this.
Do I want to keep this?
The first and most obvious question. Asking myself this basic question is usually enough for me to get rid of a lot of things. If I no longer like it or wear it, it’s out. If it’s ripped, stained or shrunk, it’s gone.
When was the last time I wore this?
The follow up question to pieces that I say “maybe” to is this one. If I can’t remember the last time I wore the piece, or that time was a while back, I get rid of it. I’d much rather have a smaller closet filled with pieces I wear and love all the time, than a huge closet filled with stuff I feel obligated to wear simply because I bought it.
Do I have multiples?
This is a great question for basics. If I have multiples of the same stuff. T-shirts, white blouses, similar pairs of jeans, I pull them all out and whittle it down to my favorites. I can’t tell you how many plain t-shirts I had in one drawer that NEVER get worn. What I learned? I rarely wear plain t-shirts, so I’m going to stop buying them.
How often do I use it?
These last few questions are the ones I ask after I’ve gone through my initial (largest) purge. Some items are just harder to part with—I’m sure you feel this way about certain items in your closet. For whatever reason, it’s easy to attach sentimental value to things which makes it much harder for them to get rid of.
So, this first question is one of function and practicality. How often do I use/wear this piece? If it’s not very often, then I can definitely do without it. If it’s every week, then I’m keeping it!
Do I love it?
Lastly, when I make my final run through of my closet, I pull out Marie Kondo’s question—does it spark joy? Or rather, do I love it? Will I wear this on a regular basis? I like this question more than does it spark joy because the pieces that really “spark joy” are not necessarily the items that I love wearing on a regular basis. For me, it’s half about practicality and functionality and half joy. Not sure what Marie would think of my approach, but it works for me and that’s more important in my mind.
We all know that my closet will not stay pristine forever. I do like to shop, and get dressed. I think it’s a great way to express yourself in a small way every single day.
But, when I do shop now, I think about what I add to my closet far more intentionally and it makes the experience so much different. I think about the piece, what I’ll wear it with, where I’ll wear it and how I’ll feel when I’m wearing it. I’ve been surprised to see that it’s actually talked me out of buying so many pieces that I do think are gorgeous, but quickly realize aren’t right for where my life is right now—ie, chasing a toddler.
I’m looking forward to tackling Owen’s closet and dresser, our kitchen, bathroom and other random areas that collect junk! Stay tuned for more next week!
Have you guys tried the KonMari method? How did it work for you?!