Category Archives: Decluttering/Minimalizing

Minimalizing the Closet

This is the year that I enter into my third decade.  As such, I feel like I have higher expectations for myself — expectations of acting responsibly and more grown up.  Well, not only does my wardrobe not reflect that, it also doesn’t meet my expectations for minimalism either.  So, some change is in order.

Through some Googling, I found that the “10 Essentials” for a woman’s closet in 2012 (courtesy Tim Gunn) are as follows:

  1. Basic black dress
  2. Trench coat
  3. Classic dress pants
  4. Classic white shirt
  5. Jeans
  6. Cashmere sweater
  7. Skirt
  8. Day dress
  9. Blazer
  10. Sweat suit alternative

This seems like a great list if you have a “normal” office job or if you live in the city, but I currently work outdoors 4 days a week and live in a rural area.  My lifestyle is very much “outdoors.”  So what to do?  For work I normally wear jeans, boots and a T-shirt (plus or minus a hoodie sweater, weather dependent).  As my hair has been very short recently, I wear hats and headbands a lot too.

I guess my goals for the closet overhaul are as follows:

  • Trend towards more neutral colors for my t-shirts
  • Try to stick to dark wash or black jeans versus distressed jeans– I distress my jeans enough everyday at work!!!
  • Try to grow out hair a little and stop relying on hats so much– with the warm weather coming up I am going to need the added breeze!
  • I also want to try to add some of the wardrobe basics from above just to have them on hand for when I am not grungy and dirty.  A girl likes to look nice now and then!

For this “more realistic” closet makeover I guess my general tips are:

  • Stick to neutral colors that will mix-and-match well
  • Only buy stuff that you LOVE
  • Only keep stuff that FITS WELL
  • Don’t get duplicates or more than you need
  • Don’t forget to give away items that no longer fit, etc. to charity.

And don’t expect this to happen overnight.  Classic pieces are acquired over the long-term.



Baby steps to minimalism

After about a year of reading great blogs like Zen Habits, Miss Minimalist, The Non-consumer Advocate, and Becoming Minimalist, I have read enough to know that my possessions aren’t making me happy.  In fact, it’s just the opposite:  they’re weighing me down!  Step #1 is apparently realizing that you have too many possessions and that  change is necessary.  Step #2, implementation, seems like a scary leap of faith.  Not only do I not want to donate/sell/throw away all of my superfluous possessions all at once, but that seems like it would be nearly impossible to do.  So I have decided to chip away at the task slowly, over a period of years.  I will be cutting back on my possessions over time, shedding the layers until I achieve freedom.  Furniture, books, electronics, kitchen appliances, toiletries, knickknacks, and clothing will all be sorted, evaluated, and pared down.  Additionally, I don’t just want to blithely throw stuff away.  I would prefer to sell or donate things if possible!

I have already been sorting through things slowly for a while now, but I had only done what I would call “the easy stuff.” That was round one!  Now things are getting more serious.  This morning I visited and got started on the books.  I was able to find out which books I had could be sold.  After sorting out what I wanted to sell, I was able to print out an inventory slip, pack the books up in a re-purposed cardboard box, and then print out a label for FedEx (an option for USPS is also available).  All I have to do is take the box to my nearest FedEx location, shipping is already taken care of by McKenzie Books.  I feel great about rescuing these books from their previous fate of languishing on my bookshelves, collecting dust.