This post is going to get practical y’all. Allow it to go there.
In August of 2015, after spending months hearing about capsule wardrobes and minimalism and shopping responsibly, something within me clicked. For years I did the comparison game with my wardrobe. I never had a lot of extra money for clothes nor a lot of confidence in my self-image, so I was never trendy, save for one outfit or two. Yet I had so many clothes. I wasn’t happy.
But then I’m standing in front of my closet. Age 25 and post-baby body, and somehow I convince myself that it’s okay to have less clothing than everyone else. It’s okay to get rid of clothes I don’t fit into, because if I ever do fit into them again, they won’t be in style and I’ll have to get new clothes anyway. It’s okay to spend more on a piece of clothing, because when I do buy something it will be intentional and well-fitting and something I really like. My clothing won’t be trendy anymore, but it will be classic. My clothing purchases may not be a bargain anymore, but I will have purchased a new t-shirt knowing it was made ethically and well.
So I sat down, wrote how many pairs of shoes, how many tops, how many dresses, even how many pairs of underwear I could keep. And then I used that list to dictate my closet.
Before, when I would purge my clothing, I had difficulty paring down. But now, referring to my notebook to see I could have only three tank tops, I had trouble keeping. I realized how much I kept out of some invisible obligation. Gone went the outfits that didn’t fit. Gone went the outfits I never wore. Gone went the clothes that were just ready to retire. Gone went the underwear with holes (I know, right? Why would I keep those?).
I sold, donated, gave away, and threw away (the underwear) most of my wardrobe.
And you know what? I haven’t looked back.
I can close my drawers. I can pick something to wear in no time at all. I can wear the same outfit in a two week span in front of people because I no longer put my identity in my clothing. My value is not in the amount of trendy clothes I own. And the few items I’ve bought since? I wear them all the time, not just because I have little to wear, but because I absolutely love them, and they fit.
I’d caught a bug, which was turning into an incurable disease. I loved the freedom and the space in my room. I wanted to do it everywhere. I wanted to have a clean house without all the clutter. I wanted to own things in my house that have actual value to me, not because I may use them one day or I’d always thought I was supposed to keep it. I’ve learned to say no to free stuff just because it’s free if I won’t get good use out of it.
I’m currently in the middle of going through everything I own. Adam is slowly catching on and we’re both more intentional about buying things. I don’t feel like I have to own something to keep up with my neighbors, and we won’t have to buy a bigger house because this one is too full of stuff.
Need more? I’ll refer you to a couple blog posts that have other resources:
My dear friend Anna Scott is journeying through minimalism right now.
Someone shared this list of 200 things to throw away and I’m currently going through it. It makes me wonder, “why did I keep the puzzles with missing pieces?”
Next post I’ll talk about getting back on a budget and how that’s changed everything. Well, not literally everything.
Tune in Monday