Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is something that a lot of people are eager to try, however, it can be quite challenging to get started with. Even those who are happy to throw out unwanted clutter from their homes sometimes struggle with closet organization. Your home is private, but the status of your closet is more public domain. Decluttering your closet can feel more permanent and serious. What if you throw things out then suddenly find you have absolutely nothing to wear to a big presentation or a party?
Identify Your Wardrobe Essentials
Your wardrobe essentials are the things that you cannot live without. The cozy coat you wear in the winter, the smart ‘power suit’ that gets you through job interviews. The pair of jogging pants you wear to the gym that gives you the energy to work out. That one pair of heels that you actually can walk in. Those things can stay. Put those on hangers, and assign a spot in your closet to them. Pull everything else out, and go through it with a ruthless mindset.
Discard/Donate Clothing if:
– You haven’t worn it for the whole year (so if you went all summer without wearing that sundress, or all winter ignoring that sweater, it should go)
– You think the garment doesn’t flatter you. You’ll never wear it if so, and it makes no sense to keep it
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– It’s tattered and worn and you’re unlikely to mend it
– It no longer fits
There is one exception to the ‘it no longer fits’ rule. If you’re working on losing weight (or building muscle) and plan on wearing something once you reach your goal, give yourself until a set date to get to that goal. If you get to your goal date and you haven’t made a significant amount of progress, re-evaluate whether you are actually going to get there. Is this garment really so special you need to hang on to it?
Discard/donate accessories if:
– They’re inexpensive items that almost never get used
– They’re high-value items a friend or family member would appreciate much more
– They don’t suit your lifestyle or sense of style
You may want to keep one or two items that are of sentimental value, but what is the use in having a designer tote that can barely keep your wallet and phone in it, let alone your cosmetics, medications, e-book reader and MONQ Zen personal diffuser? You want a bag that will serve you well and keep everything you need in organized compartments so you can pull out your diffuser or lipstick when you need it to de-stress and refresh, without having to fuss with the kid’s crayons or your sanitary products that are in another compartment. Pick accessories that work with you, not against you!
Making a Signature Style
Your signature style should be ‘you’ from head to toe. If you are a nature-lover and wear sandalwood perfume, then pick a natural look that goes with it. Soft browns and leather or wooden-accented jewelry, and a leaning towards hemp or cotton for core parts of your wardrobe will create a great look. Pair it with a MONQ Forest personal diffuser and the subtle scent of sandalwood will be there for you on demand. If you lean more towards chic, then you can achieve that with black dresses, smart shirts, and sleeker accessories. The choice is yours.
You don’t have to go all the way with your signature look either. You could make your “look” be a necklace that you always wear or a particularly striking shade of lipstick. What’s important is that you have some consistency with your personal ‘brand’.
Capsule Wardrobes Can Still be Fun
While the driving factor behind a capsule wardrobe is often closet organization, capsule wardrobes can still be a lot of fun. Many people find that a capsule wardrobe is liberating because you spend less time trying to work out what to wear each day.1
In addition to taking the issue of ‘too much choice’ out of the equation, they also help you to spend less money on clothing over time. Individual items may cost more, but as you buy higher quality items they will last longer. Go through your bank statements and total up how much you have spent on fast fashion over the last year or so. You might get a shock!
Capsule wardrobes mean you buy less and produce less waste so your impact on the planet will be lower too.2 When you declutter your closet you don’t have to send the old items to landfill if they are still serviceable. There are homeless charities that are crying out for donations, so that’s a good place to send your stuff.3
Think Before You Buy
Many people find that it’s easy to do a grand clearout of their closet once or twice per year, but that they simply fill it back up again. They’ll build up a collection of shoes on their shoe rack that almost never gets worn, and has piles of t-shirts, sweaters and ‘cute’ dresses that have seen only one outing if that.
Try to change how you think about your wardrobe. Think critically about each item before you buy it. Will you still want to wear it a year from now? Is the quality of the material and stitching good enough that it will even last a year? Think about the brand. Was this made by someone who cares about quality, or was it likely made in a sweatshop with workers who are treated poorly?
If you really want an item, consider why, and how much you will wear it. Is it replacing something that has worn out? What would you do with the money if you put this back and walked out of the shop?
When you stop and think about each purchase critically, it becomes easier to say ‘no’, and you’ll waste less, and enjoy life more.
Photo credits: Tonyninetyone/shutterstock.com, EugenePartyzan/shutterstock.com, SydaProductions/shutterstock.com, NewAfrica/shutterstock.com