MMinimalism. If you type it in on YouTube, you will come across a variety of videos. You’ll find the minimalist who owns two shirts, one pair of pants, shoes, and a toothbrush. You’ll find the minimalist that follows the black and white color pallet for everything they own. You might even find the minimalist that swears it only takes a day to turn your junk filled life into a clean and pristine existence. But then there are “minimalists” like me. While I’m not on YouTube, I feel as though I’ve watched enough videos on minimalism to realize it’s a simple concept, but it isn’t easily executed.
For the last six months, I’ve worked on becoming a minimalist, but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I own too much stuff. I go through these phases where I’m ready to sell half of my belongings on eBay because I don’t feel they are necessary for my lifestyle. Then a week later I’m online shopping for a new pair of booties to add to my “collection” and at Sephora purchasing my fifth brightening face mask to grace my vanity this month.
While I am still working towards minimalism, I realize that it’s not an overnight process, and in some cases, it’s not even a six-month process. If you’re interested in minimalism, this is definitely the blog post for you, and even if you’re not you might learn a thing or two.
For this post, we’ll be focusing on your closet. This is where I tend to struggle the most. Here are a few dos and don’ts to get you started.
Take Clothes Off Hangers
This is a good place to start because if you don’t do this, I promise you, you’ll be more likely to keep clothes that you don’t even wear or like. Putting them in a pile allows you to pick them up, hold them in your hands, take a good hard look at them and figure out if the item “brings you joy.”
Try Each Item On
No, I haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up by Marie Kondo, and honestly I don’t plan on doing so. From all the videos I’ve watched I think I get the gist. Hold the item up or try them on. If it doesn’t bring you joy than don’t keep it. So that means, if it doesn’t fit or flatter your current body, not the body you plan to have in the summer, if it’s not your color, if it’s ripped… get rid of it! Those are the clothing items that make you feel like you don’t have anything to wear in a closet full of clothes. You ultimately want your closet to be full of clothes that you absolutely adore, so if a clothing item doesn’t fit those criteria it has to go.
Create Secondary Piles
Clearly, you won’t keep everything, and sometimes there are things you’re on the fence about. First, create plies for things that you want to sell, donate, or that you ought to keep. For the things you might want to keep, pack them up in a box and store them away somewhere. If in 30 days you haven’t reached for them or missed them at all it might be time to get rid of them. Add them to the sell or donate pile and discard of them.
Sell or Donate
Since we paid good money for our clothes we at least want to get some money back in return. I often sell on eBay, Poshmark, Vinted, and even at Plato’s Closet. Plato’s Closet is convenient because you get cash right away, but sometimes the return for your clothes isn’t the best. For example, if they feel that they can sell your item for $10 they will give you #3.50 for it. “Really, just $3.50,” is what I thought, but that’s better than nothing. If you don’t need immediate cash it might be better to go the eBay, Poshmark, or Vinted route. Each site is better at selling certain items than others, (i.e. Poshmark is great for selling women’s clothing and eBay is a good site for selling athletic wear) but the return is usually better than Plato’s Closet. If all else fails, donate it! There is no sense in keeping clothes you don’t wear or like around.
Let Price Hold You Back
Often, we don’t want to sell our clothes because they cost so much money in the first place. It was expensive but having it hang in your closet unused isn’t going to help you. Maybe you can sell if for money or maybe you’ll just have to donate it. But letting it sit in your closet cluttering up your life is not an option. Don’t let the price tag trick you into keeping things you don’t use.
Create A Uniform
Yes, some of the most successful people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg all created uniforms for themselves. Their uniforms generally consist of something like a black shirt, dad jeans, and tennis shoes. But let’s be honest, no twenty-something female is trying to wear the same thing every day. I’m all about expressing my own style and of course not about the dad jeans, so a uniform doesn’t really work for me. Instead, I find it easier to establish hard and fast rules for what I wear. For example, bodycon items don’t look good on me. I simply don’t have the body for them and while it’s 2017 and fashion rules don’t matter anymore, I just don’t feel comfortable in that clothing. With that said, one of my rules is “no bodycon clothing”. This makes it easy for me when I go shopping, especially online. When I see a bodycon skirt that I like and it looks fabulous on the model, I must remind myself that I don’t wear bodycon items and the reasons why. These rules help to take the thinking out of the many options you’re faced with while shopping. Creating rules for your style saves your wallet, and your minimalist wardrobe.
I would love to say that after reading this post, you’re well on your way to minimalism, but you probably still have a long way to go, I know I do. Minimalism is a lifestyle not something you do once. The idea of living with solely what you need is an interesting philosophy and your wardrobe is a great place to start if you’re interested. But if you are interested, hopefully this post was helpful in jumpstarting you. Let me know in the comments down below your thoughts on minimalism, particularly when it comes to your wardrobe, and any steps you’ve taken to live more simply.