After attempting the first challenge of purging 5 items a week, I realized that being more systematic about my purge may be beneficial (with 5 items being an absolute minimum). I’ve decided to assess one category of stuff at a time. This past week, I have planned out a complete purge of my clothes.
Reducing the amount of clothes in your closet will help you to: get rid of what you don’t need, provide clothes to people who do (donation), breathe new life to old clothes that were previously hidden, and increase the ease at which you pull together outfits.
After scouring the internet for strategies to implement, I found a host of solutions:
- Only keep things that bring joy (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up)
- Own a limited number of clothing items (Capsule Wardrobe)
- Have only a few high quality versatile pieces (French Wardrobe)
The common message? Your wardrobe should be a small number of things you love.
This message is quite different from the ‘disposable’ fashion trend which encourages purchasing cheap replaceable clothing again and again every season. Disposable clothing not only creates an incredible amount of waste, but also encourages outsourcing unethical production practices to keep costs at a minimum. The following 4 steps are how I will attempt to address these issues:
Step One: Remove any clothes that don’t bring you joy
I have currently gone through every piece of clothing I own. I have held it in my hands (or tried it on) and asked myself if it brings me joy. I created a ‘yes’, ‘maybe’ and ‘no’ pile. I immediately put items in the ‘no’ pile in bags for donation, as well as the vast majority of the ‘maybe’ pile unless it was highly functional and versatile (like plain white t-shirts). It took me one evening to complete, I thought it would have taken me much longer but once your on a roll it’s incredible what can be accomplished.
Step Two: Determine abundance and/or holes in your wardrobe
Assess your clothing items by categories (pants, shirts, blazers, etc). After the purge I will determine if there any sections I’m missing or categories which have an abundance (to be further reduced)? For this step, I also plan to head to Pintrest to review my inspirational fashion boards to compare with my current wardrobe – this will help to further purge items which don’t align with my aspirations.
Step Three: Invest in the clothes you are going to keep
This includes (for me at least) a visit to the tailor – pants hemmed, repairing of buttons or small tears, dry cleaning if needed. The clothes that are in your closet should be investment pieces that you truly love (and continue to love). Make sure they fit right.
Step Four: Maximum of 10 new clothing purchases a year
I have a certain number of hangers (~40 would be my guess), which I have decided will be the number of clothing items in my life. I have about 10 additional clothing items to purge to reach my goal. However once I reach it, I plan to purchase a maximum of 10 new clothing items each year. This will help to encourage me to really think about my clothing purchases, in terms of what I need to give up to welcome a new item in, as well as being mindful of the quality and workmanship in each piece (helping me to focus less on cheap unethical purchases).
Have you taken a look at the clothes you own? Have you ever tried to reduce and/or improve the way that you managed them? How do you currently keep your purchasing and consumption habits in check? Interested in getting a handle of your closet with me? Let me know in the comments section below!
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