Love/Hate Relationship

Perfect quote for my life right now:

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.  —Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

I have a closet full of clothes, 80% of which, I never wear.  Then, when a decluttering mood strikes, I can’t think of one single article to free myself of.  Even when, morning after morning, I stand in front of my wardrobe and detest everything I see.

Why is this?

I so desperately wish to free myself of all the unnecessary pieces that always get pushed to the side (figuratively speaking, seeing as how my closet is organized by color and sleeve/pant length) and build a collection that is not only simple, but consists of versatile pieces that can be worn to almost any occasion. Where to begin?!

This is always the area that gets placed on the back burner when it comes to my newly adopted minimalistic lifestyle.

So….I have put together a checklist to help me when I finally do decide to tackle it head-on.

I’ve heard that one should completely empty his/her closet of its contents before making any decisions.  When wanting to declutter different areas in your life, it’s much more difficult to put items back into a space when you see how empty and clean it can be.  This is where I will begin.

After that, I will ask myself the following questions about each item as I pick it up to decide whether it will stay or go:

1. Do I wear this piece?

Simple question.  Simple answer.  Really, this is the only question that needs asking. However, for all of the ‘what if?’ questions I ask myself, I’ve included other factors to help me with the mental release that’s often hard to achieve.

2. Does it fit?

I have a bad habit of holding onto pieces of clothing that I used to be able to wear.  I know that this is not always a healthy thing to do.  Having clothes in my closet that are too small for me only make me depressed about the current state my body is in, while having articles that are too big, just leave room for unhealthy eating choices and weight gain.  I need to focus on loving who I am now, changing what I want to change (in a healthy manner), and adjusting my wardrobe accordingly.

3. Does it fit well?

Size isn’t the only factor here.  In the past, I have bought clothes that don’t, technically, look bad, but don’t really look good either.  No more.  When I ask myself, Does this piece make me feel good about myself?, and can’t answer with a confident YES!, I’m getting rid of it.

4. Does it fit my current stage in life?

Why hold on to items that you’ve “outgrown”?  Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it fits.  For example, I used to spend so much money on buying silly little graphic t-shirts every chance I got.  From brand name clothing stores, to random quirky ones from Goodwill, to band t-shirts from shows I would go to…..I couldn’t get enough.  Now, I’m a 26 year old trying to find her place in the career world, and desperately need to avoid wearing jeans and t-shirts every day at all costs.  Also, ask if, by wearing the piece, are you portraying the person you want to be?  (Note: I’m certainly not planning on getting rid of all my t-shirts or encouraging anyone else to do the same, as they’re still what I feel most comfortable in.  I’m just at a point in my life where I know that they don’t need to make up the majority of my wardrobe.)

5. Is the piece versatile?

Is it something overly trendy (which is not ideal)? Or is it a more classic and timeless piece that can be mixed, matched, and worn a variety of ways?  A versatile article of clothing is a minimalist’s best friend.  Can you survive on a capsule wardrobe?

6. Do I have items that are too similar?

Do you have 2 black cardigans when 1 will suffice?  Or are you like me, with 10 different pair of blue jeans when you probably only need 2?  Whittle down your collection by only holding on to your favorites.  Chances are, you probably only really wear the favorite items anyway.

These questions are only suggestions.  While they help me on my journey, they may not be the things that you need to ask yourself on yours.  I could get more wordy with this post, but I feel I’ll only bore you to tears.  So instead, I’ll leave you with this:

Before you leave the house, remove one piece.  —Coco Chanel

Do you feel like you’ve found your “just right” when it comes to your wardrobe?  How did you arrive there?

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