As part of my reflection of the year just gone, I was thinking about my wardrobe. Or more precisely, the number of items in it. I carried out a wardrobe audit back in August and declared my minimalist wardrobe goal was to reduce the number of items to 100. I realise that 100 items is not particularly minimalist, but I personally feel a lot of resistance to reducing my wardrobe, so this is the first goal. Never fear – the minimalising process will continue once I reach this!
I thought it might be interesting to show you what clothes I bought last year, so that you could see my progress. How proud of me you’ll be, I thought! You’ll see how committed I’ve been. I’ve hardly bought anything…
…There were those exercise leggings and tracksuit bottoms earlier in the year. And the two sports bras (yes, that was a mistake. One is still virtually unworn!)
…There was the top I bought on impulse back in June. Bizarre, because I’m not really an impulse shopper. It wasn’t even a top I fell in love with – I’m not a falling-in-love-with-clothes kinda girl!
…Then I remembered the jeans and jumper I bought new when I was back in the UK. The jeans I needed – my old ones were shredded and extremely drafty! But did I really need that jumper?
…What about the second-hand T-shirt and top I purchased from eBay? The T-shirt was an exact swap for my current one which is almost totally out of shape. The top is a style and colour I’d been after for a while.
…Of course, there was the dress for the wedding.
…The top for cycling.
…The summer hat: the Australian sun is pretty harsh and I need to stop getting sunburnt shoulders (and I hate the chemicals in suncream).
…Plus those new shoes I purchased for work (incidentally, also worn to the wedding).
Suddenly I don’t feel like you’re going to be proud of me at all.
(I could argue that it’s far less than the national average, but that’s not the point really, is it?! It’s far more than an aspiring minimalist who wants to decrease her wardrobe and has committed to purchasing nothing new should be buying!)
So here it is – my Wardrobe Wall of Shame:
My Minimalist Wardrobe Dilemma
I have too many clothes. I know that. Having too many clothes causes unnecessary stress – I know that too.
- Firstly, I suffer from the age-old dilemma of opening my wardrobe every Monday morning and declaring that I have nothing to wear. I can’t see the wood for the trees, so to speak. Having more is not increasing my choice, it’s making me more stressed.
- Secondly, because they don’t fit neatly into my (generously sized) closet, it’s hard to find the things I want. Cue more stress and grumbling.
- Thirdly, the laundry it creates. More clothes definitely creates more laundry. There’s the six gazillion things I try on every time I need an outfit, which then get dumped in a heap – and then it’s hard to fathom what’s clean and what’s not. There’s the extra clothes that get worn because there’s the extra choice. Lastly there’s the clothes that haven’t been worn in so long they need washing to freshen them up.
I’m a total believer in the need to declutter. However, believing in the principles, and agreeing with the reasons doesn’t equate into an action plan, does it?!
My previous excuse has been that I’ll wait for the things I currently own to wear out. Having not bought much in the last 3 years, this is starting to come true.
However, the fact I bought a replacement isn’t helping the plan to reduce. Plus, clearly if I’m able to take a picture of both of these T-shirts together, I’m still hanging on to the old one. That’s the opposite of decluttering!
If I’m going to allow the odd new thing to slip through the net, and the wearing out isn’t the easy solution I’d hoped for, I’m going to have to be far more ruthless with my decluttering!
My Minimalist Wardrobe Action Plan
What I really need to decide is what I actually wear. Not what I like, but what I actually wear. Because there are things in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn for months, if not years.
Here’s my simple solution. To track this, all I’ve done is tied a scarf to the left end of the wardrobe rail.
When I wear something, it goes back on the rail to the left of the scarf. I can wear things on the left hand side multiple times, but things can only cross from the right hand side to the left hand side once they have been worn.
Set a time limit that you think is reasonable. I’m going to give myself three months, and then see what’s still sitting on the “wrong” side of the rail. If everything has been worn, the scarf will be at the far right of the rail. More likely it will be sitting somewhere in the middle.
Of the things that remain unworn, the question is why? If it’s that it doesn’t fit or isn’t comfortable, then it needs to go. If it’s seasonal, like a winter jumper and the temperatures haven’t got that low, it gets a reprieve…temporarily. I’m sure there will be many reasons, and I don’t want to speculate now. I’ll see how the three months go first! I know one thing though – my wardrobe will be smaller!
Now I’d like to hear from you! Are you on a minimalist journey and did you suffer any setbacks last year? Do you struggle with wardrobe minimalism (and if so, would you like to join me in the challenge too)? Or do you simply shake your head in despair at my feeble efforts?! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!