Do you find yourself trying to get dressed in the morning, staring at a full closet of clothes and feeling like you have nothing to wear? You are not alone. This is one of the most common conundrums I find with my clients. Closets busting at the seams with clothing and accessories that have seen better days. Only a few items exist that are in regular circulation. The number one question I am asked is:
“How can I make it all fit? Do I need more space? More baskets/bins/shelves/etc.”
My answer nearly every time is:
“NO, what you need is to minimize.”
Having a streamlined closet can save you time, money and frustration. Opening your closet and finding only the items you truly love, organized in a way that allows for space, is a pleasure that you can achieve. But it will take some work.
If you are looking at minimizing your wardrobe and achieving the closet of your dreams, here are a few tips.
1 Empty it – Take everything out of your closet. Every shirt, pant, accessory, sock, underpant – everything. Then take a look at your naked closet. Inspiring isn’t it? Forcing yourself to physically handle each item is critical in the decision making process. Most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time, and that is about the percentage I want you to strive to put back into your new streamlined closet. 20%.
2 Trash it – I always suggest donating or consigning items that are still in good enough condition to be worn. However, chances are you have some pieces that could just be trashed. Torn, stained, threadbare – you know you have some of these. Trash them. You can also try to find a textile recycling bin or service in your area to dispose of these items. Say good-bye to those undies you save for laundry back-up and just do the laundry more often.
3 Donate it – You know you are holding on to things that you are never going to wear again. Maybe you loved it once and just can’t let it go, even though it looks like you stole it from the wardrobe rack of a Debbie Gibson video. Maybe you have suits left over from your former life before you started your own dog walking business or became a stay-at-home mom. They don’t fit. You don’t like that color anymore. The trend has passed. Whatever the reason, you have way more than you need. Let it go. You’ll thank me.
4 Hide it – Keep your out of season clothes in another area. Whether you store them in a container under the bed, or in a closet in another room, try to keep them out of sight when they aren’t in use. Test your assumptions about whether or not you can really commit to the minimalist wardrobe. Keep some items in another area for a month and see if you can live without them. I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised, and when you are, get rid of those hidden clothes.
5 Love it – Now it’s time to put things back into your naked closet. There are a few rules you should stick to now. If you do not absolutely love it, do not put it back. Do you have 3 brown belts but only wear one? Keep that one, ditch the others. Do you have 4 jackets but you always reach for one – your favorite? Let the others go to someone else and let them be their favorite. Reduce your need for additional accessories and try to avoid the pressure of trends. Keep it classic and define your own style. What you love is usually indicative of your personal style. Own it.
The capsule wardrobe movement continues to grow and is a bandwagon that I fully support you jumping on. Imagine walking into your closet and loving every single thing. That can be your reality. Do it. You’ll love it.