A Minimalist Closet

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After living a nomadic life this past week on vacation in Colorado, it has gotten me thinking about the things I have that I could do without. I sought out some advice from different websites regarding minimalist living. Now, don’t be thinking I will have a chic, white washed home void of décor at the end of this little venture…my intention is to reduce my clutter, excess, and save money and time in the long run.

To begin, I overhauled my closet tonight. If you know me, you know I have a very hard time throwing anything away. Seriously…my friends tease me about having lived through the Great Depression, I struggle so much with letting go of things with a perceived future value to me. Before leaving to Colorado for a week of skiing, hiking, and exploring, I discarded much of the items out of my fridge and went through the cabinets a bit. I was actually shocked that I had boxes and canned foods long expired in my cupboards! I hoard food as well apparently!

So as I tossed a family pack of Ramen noodles that was best used by May of 2013, I made my decision to move forward with reducing the excess in my life.

Here’s how I overhauled my closet:

Step One: Go through all of my closet and make piles of clothing to bag up that are too small, fit weird, need mended, or that I just won’t wear (that’s you, green tank top with bleach spots!). Put clothes that fit well aside.

Step Two: The clothes that I put aside, I sorted the out of season items and put those into a bag to be opened in a few months.

Step Three: Be very selective on what you keep to wear. The clothes should coordinate well in order to be able to mix and match different outfits with your smaller amount of clothing. Ensure that the shoes all are season appropriate and coordinate with your remaining clothing.

Step Four: Pull out duplicate items. I did keep two white tank tops as I like to wear those under my sweaters. Customize this for you! Re-evaluate your sock and underwear drawer. Do you really need twelve pair of those granny panties? You know, the ones you wear when you are pretty sure no one will be seeing them? How about socks? A few athletic cuts, a couple different muted colors for work, and a pair of nude and black hose should be adequate for most people.

CONFESSION: I’ll be honest. I have some underwear and socks that I’ve had longer than I was married. And I was married almost ten years. There’s something to be said for that kind of loyalty, and what needs said is that I’m a hoarder. As a result, I tossed several pairs of socks that were wearing thin on the bottoms and even some bras that had seen better days. Progress, people!

I ended up keeping the following:

  • 5 sweaters
  • 4-5 scarves
  • 3 pair of jeans
  • 4 pairs of slacks
  • 3 skirts
  • 4-5 nice t-shirts (Is that an oxymoron? Not in Missouri.)
  • 3-4 workout t-shirts
  • 2 white tank tops
  • 3-4 colored/patterned tank tops for layering and working out
  • 4 pair workout shorts and leggings
  • 1 denim blazer (will probably toss this but it was hella expensive and I feel like I need to give it a chance.)
  • 1 dress
  • About half of my shoes
  • A green cardigan for St. Patrick’s Day (I’ll put it away after the shenanigans end)
  • Some random old shorts, pants, and t-shirts for working in the yard.
  • That’s all I remember and I’m not getting up to look again. My feet hurt.

I realize that I found a success in greatly reducing my wardrobe tonight. I also realize I can get rid of more once I get over my Great Depression ways. So I used the ol’ trick of turning my hangers backwards to see what I actually wear and after a few months, I can rationalize getting rid of those clothes!

I’ll keep you posted on whether I end up desperately tearing open bags this week to find something to wear to work or even (gasp!) on a date. Next, I’ll finish the kitchen cabinets! Not tonight though.

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