Wardrobe Clear-Out (because It’s Overdue)

I’ve begun the edit of my wardrobe. I compiled a list of everything I own, everything I wear, and everything I feel confident when wearing. Unfortunately, that gave me an end result of the following:

IN MY CURRENT WARDROBE
Tops Skirts Dresses Outwear Shoes Other
Short Sleeve Shirts 5 Long 3 Long 2 Coats & Jackets 2 Boots 2 Robe 1
Long Sleeve Shirts 3 Short 4 Short 3 Vests 2 Booties 2 Scarves 2
3/4 Sleeve Shirts 1 Cardigans 9 Sneakers 1 Hats 4
Sweaters 3 Hoodies & Sweatshirts 3 Flats 1
Tanks 7 Sandals 1
Heels 2
Slippers 1
Total: 19 Total: 7 Total: 5 Total: 16 Total: 10 Total: 7
TOTAL (11/28/2017): 65

Now, for a lot of you, this may not be much. It might not even be on your radar to have 10 pairs of shoes, or a 5 skirts. But for me, this is a pretty big number – especially when a lot of the items making up that number are pieces that I never reach for or only wear because the pieces I actually like are all in the laundry bin.

If I take away those items, I’m left with:

WHAT I LOVE USING
Tops Skirts Dresses Outwear Shoes Other
Long Sleeve Shirts 2 Long 2 Short 3 Vests 1 Boots 1 Scarves 2
Short 1 Cardigans 3 Booties 2 Hats 1
Hoodies & Sweatshirts 2 Sneakers 1
Sandals 1
Total: 2 Total: 3 Total: 3 Total: 6 Total: 5 Total: 3
TOTAL (12/05/2017): 23

As you can see, I’m not left with much. A couple of outfits and then I’m out of luck. I am a minimalist, but that doesn’t mean I’m an extremist. I’d like to have more than 4 outfits to my name.

I’ve always loved the idea of a capsule wardrobe. For those unfamiliar with this, it’s a wardrobe compiled of a set of high-quality basics used year round. Those basics are then buffered by a few seasonal pieces that you swap out every couple of months (this is the morphed version of the original capsule as proposed by its inventor, Susie Faux). My one issue with this was the idea of swapping out pieces each season and storing the remainder. I hate storing clothes. Storage bins are clutter (believe me, I have enough of them to know). I prefer to have all clothing hanging up year round.

Which led me to a similar idea: the 333 Project is a challenge in which you use only 33 items of clothing for 3 months. Now, again, this project involves swapping pieces out at the end of 3 months- but the idea is to only swap pieces you realize you’re not entirely adoring or that are not getting enough use out. This seems much more suited to my idea of minimalism. Not to mention, I’ve always loved the idea of that beautifully rounded 33 number.

I’ve concluded that I will attempt a version of the two that will (hopefully) equip me to minimize my wardrobe and still allow me the freedom of more than 4 outfits. I plan to take Susie’s capsule wardrobe idea and fill it with 33 pieces (comprised of items for all seasons) in total.

I am using the pieces currently in my wardrobe as the basis for this project, but I still need to purchase several items. I also want to replace some of my existing pieces with better quality items that will last much longer (when you have fewer clothes, they tend to wear out a lot quicker). For the most part, my wardrobe will be primarily black – and I’m 105%  okay with that. I’m confident and comfortable in the colorless color, and I’m embracing that with vigor.

For the inventory lover in you (or is that nerdiness only something I can claim?), here’s a spreadsheet of what I plan to have in my wardrobe (please note that I’m not counting my gloves or purse as I only have one of each and don’t really consider them negotiable wardrobe items so much as needs):

IDEAL WARDROBE
Tops Skirts Dresses Outwear Shoes Other
Short Sleeve Shirts 1 Long 2 Short 2 Coats & Jackets 1 Boots 2 Scarves 2
Long Sleeve Shirts 3 Short 2 Vests 2 Booties 1 Hats 1
3/4 Sleeve Shirts 3 Midi 1 Cardigans 2 Sneakers 1
Sweaters 1 Hoodies & Sweatshirts 2 Flats 1
Blazers 1 Sandals 1
Heels 1
Total: 8 Total: 5 Total: 2 Total: 8 Total: 7 Total: 3
TOTAL: 34

And for those of you who prefer graphics, here’s an image of the entire wardrobe (minus the beanie which I didn’t feel like taking a picture of after all this collage work) all planned out (images are from Amazon – I do not own rights to any of them and will not receive any compensation for sharing them here):

Have you ever attempted a capsule wardrobe or the 333 Project? What are your thoughts on minimalist wardrobes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Am I a Minimalist?

Soooo, I did a thing. I inventoried my apartment. Every belonging and possession was counted – every. single. thing. (er, minus stuff that gets used up like soap, feminine products, cleaning stuff, food, etc.)

And I kept track of all of it via excel on Google drive. Here’s the list if you don’t believe me:

Disclaimer: I grouped items that come in sets (like bobby pins) together as one item.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Rachel, I can’t see the categories and numbers and stuff.” (Or maybe you’re thinking that I’m over the top.. I never claimed to be less than over the top.) Well here’s the most important thing: as of November 28th, I own 745 things. That number includes furniture, my car, reusable sacks, storage bins, etc. For the rest, don’t worry, I plan to bore you with declutter posts broken down by category so you can know exactly what I own. 😉

I call myself a minimalist, and I have since my first “great purge” back in 2015. I was going through a time in my life when most things were not great, and something I could control was getting rid of crap. The high I got from parting with stuff that had previously held the proverbial leash to my life was definitely addicting.

Ever since that time, I have regularly (at least once a month, generally more like twice) purged everything I own and bid adieu to whatever was obviously not getting use. Still, somehow the number of things I own continued to climb at a rate faster than I purged. Some of that is due to the generosity of friends and coworkers (I have a “mom” at work who brings me things all the time – love that woman! ❤ ), and some of that is due to my desire to entertain at my apartment (board games). But a lot of it, I could do without.

When I first moved into my apartment, every single one of my belongings could fit in my little 98′ Honda Accord. As you can probably guess, my current list of belongings would definitely not fit in my now bigger car, a 14′ Toyota RAV4. That’s a freaky feeling for me.

Which brings me to a mega goal for 2018:

I intend to get rid of 50%+ of everything I own.

I’ve already been on a purge kick of late. I’ve departed with a trunkload of goodies (one gal’s trash is another gal’s treasure) in the last month, and that old familiar rush of tingly freedom is beckoning for more. But that trunkload was not included in the 745 number, and that is making me feel a little… suffocate-y.

Now, I could jump on the bandwagon and start getting rid of crap IMMEDIATELY (which I’m sorely tempted to do), but I know that if I use that approach, I’ll end up getting rid of stuff I still need/want. I have a tendency to become crazy with my purges and get rid of tons of crap, then regret one or two things after and end up re-buying.

So the plan is to wait.

And wait.

And wait..

Until January 1st. Then I can begin purging.

And during the waiting, I’ll be carefully analyzing my google doc to see what I can live without and what I’d rather have stick around.

No worries, I’ll be sure to post about the purge as it happens.

Do you ever feel suffocated by stuff? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂