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So you have been traveling the minimalist path for some now and it’s time to tackle the closet and design your minimalist wardrobe. Are you unsure of how to start your minimalist wardrobe? This essay is the one that will get you moving forward because this is one of the hardest things to take on. I know every time I would open the closet and I would get so overwhelmed that I would shut the doors and go declutter something else. It’s easy to just close the door and walk away. You’ve heard that saying – out of sight out of mind? Never is that so appropriate as when we open our closets. How does one accumulate so much in the way of clothing? Not only were the clothes hanging jammed packed together I had boxes of clothes stored on the top shelf and the floor too.
On the bright side, living with a minimalist wardrobe was actually so much easier than I ever envisioned it would be. First things first, you have to open the closet AND you have to remove everything. I chose to do this in chunks because taking everything out that I’ve accumulated in 35 years of career and family would have been overwhelming to say the least. I started with the floor and removed all the cartons. Do you know there was one carton that was marked sweaters that had never been opened from when we
moved to Miami from Cleveland in 1995. Never opened. They say (whoever “they” are) is that if you haven’t used something in a year, you don’t need it and to just get rid of it. This is not something I could do so I opened that box. AND didn’t keep anything – donated the entire box to Goodwill. But if I would not have opened it, it would have bothered me. So in my case, it was better to take a few moments to open it, scan it and let it go. At the end of the day, all the cartons on the bottom of the closet were donated. The best part? I could see the floor!
From the floor I started with the shelf. Most of these items were purses, belts, and other accessories and 99% of those were easy to get through and donated to Goodwill also. I kept the items that I continually use to this day which were one black belt and my black pumps. That was it. Out of the clutter that was the top shelf, I kept two items. That may sound crazy to you but I based it on what do I actually use? When all was said and done, it was definitely the belt which I wear quite frequently and my black pumps that go with anything at anytime.
Now to the worst part – at least for me. The jam packed clothes on hangers. I started from the left and worked my way right. Again 99% of these items hadn’t been worn in years so for the most part it was easy to box them up. I’ll be honest, there were a few items that I got hung up on. My daughter’s prom dress and a few bygone suits from when I used to have to leave the house to work. The prom dress was sentimental. The suits in my mind I was thinking of keeping them “just in case”. How did I get through these challenges? I called my daughter and asked her about the prom dress and if she wanted it. Her answer – “No mom”. So into the box it went. The suits? I said “Self – when do you really think you’ll need to put on a suit?” When you think about it that way, the answer was I don’t anticipate any situation where I will need to put on a suit. Times have changed and for my businesses even at trade shows, my black pants and tops are the perfect choice.
Want to know what was left in my closet? Not very much! I have my black pants, a few tops that go with the black pants, a black dress, my black pumps, and my black belt. I will be completely honest though. There is one box of sentimental papers that I’m still pondering that span my childhood through my kids. Do I really need my 1st grade report card? Probably not. But for now, it is in the one box that remains in my closet.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).