Minimalism is nothing new for me. I’ve been working towards it for awhile in a lot of aspects of life. My first taste with it came in 2010 when my parents sold their house to become full time RV’ers (for the first time). I had just moved back in with them and helped them purge the four story colonial house I grew up in down to an RV and 10×10 foot storage unit. Seeing them get rid of all their belongings and what was actually important to them years down the road has probably effected me for life.
Then, for several months I lived out of hotels while I worked in Baltimore and my parents were down in Florida for the winter. Until finally a girlfriend and I found a rental and moved in together. For about nine months, I was forced to keep my belongings down to what could fit in a storage ottoman and then a duffle bag. It was exhilarating. I focused on experiences more and getting together with friends. This was also the time I met and started dating Jordan. I had exactly what I needed and nothing more.
Since I got a place to live, I’ve been slowly accumulating things as everyone does. When Jordan and I moved in together in our school house, we had several things that were duplicates but saved them “just in case” we ended up hating each other and breaking up. The school house was severely lacking in storage, but somehow we saved everything. Including boxes filled with literally trash. I don’t know how many times I would look in a box, and find empty packaging for an item in the box and just started going on a rant. WHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! Poor Jordan. I can’t believe he married me.
I find it odd that now we have a house with loads of storage space (a full attic, basement and real closets), is when I start purging. We have a huge pile of stuff around the basement stairs just waiting for a yard sale. And I’m constantly adding to it. I don’t know if it’s because I want this space to feel fresh, or that it’s a new beginning or maybe some other reason. Whatever it is, I’ve been motivated and making headway being honest with myself about what to get rid of. Slowly working my way through the entire house and all of our things, making sure to get rid of things we haven’t touched for years, we have duplicates of, or are cheap enough that I could really just buy it again if I need it. Like party stuff… why do I save themed party decorations when the next party is going to be a different theme?! Craigslist that s*&!
Anyway, I finally got the inspiration I needed one evening to go through my wardrobe. I’ve always read about capsule wardrobes, but going through everything each month and planning a wardrobe each time just seemed like too much work. I was just sitting on the sofa before Christmas going through Instagram when I read Kimberly Moore’s
post about their capsule wardrobe. She got her entire wardrobe down to 100 pieces for all four seasons, including pajamas, workout gear and coats. The 100 pieces did not include intimates, shoes or accessories. This I could do!
I stood up, went into the bedroom and proceeded to pull everything out of the closet and dresser drawers and got super honest with myself. Those colorful cardigans I was holding onto because they were ‘classic’… who am I kidding? I really only wear neutrals. They went into a pile. All those different patterned button downs… I really only wear three of them regularly. Tank tops… why do I have ten different black tank tops? And one has a hole in it that I strategically hide whenever I wear it. My nice dresses that I save because I could possibly wear them again… again, who am I kidding? I will ALWAYS buy a new dress each time I go to an event. All of it went into a pile.
I ended up creating a pile of about half my clothes to get rid of by ditching things that were similar to another item, I had multiples of, the fit just wasn’t quite right and so on. I stuffed two blue IKEA bags to the brim with clothes, shoes and accessories. When I counted my remaining items, I’m now down to 120 pieces. I didn’t quite get to the ideal 100 like Kimberly, and I also didn’t include coats in that count… but I’m ok being a work in progress.
After all of this, I found something really interesting. I don’t miss those items AT ALL! I was holding onto things that I didn’t wear that often so I could pull off one outfit I saw on Pinterest, or because I thought I would possibly wear them again. Once I purged everything, I found the stuff I kept has better quality fabrics and a better fit. I more put together every day because I filtered out the stuff that was ill fitting. And if I choose that I don’t like something I kept, I will replace it with something of better quality. Also notice I said “replace,” not “add.”
I also don’t miss taking forever to choose what to wear. I had too many options before. But it’s also not like I’m wearing the same outfit every day. There are still so many ways I could pair up outfits differently, I just have my favorite items to choose from everyday rather than all the extra noise.
And this has effects for the decor of the bedroom too! I have so much space in my closet and dresser now! The drawers were bursting before, but now look at them! I was worried about getting a new dresser for our room and making sure all my stuff would be able to fit in it. Now that isn’t a concern, and I can choose a dresser that suits the room, not my overblown wardrobe. It also got my gears turning on how we can make our closet work better for us now that we aren’t using much of the hanging space. I’ve been looking into more drawer and shelf solutions to use the space wisely and maximize our storage.