Spring is on its way now, and everybody is thinking diet and spring cleaning. I’m linking the two to give a straightforward and effective diet for a minimalist wardrobe. There is no better time to start paring down one’s wardrobe than before the summer time which calls for fewer layers.
What is a minimalist wardrobe
There are different ways to count your pieces of cloth. Some don’t include underwears and socks; others don’t want to consider sports outfit or work outfit.
As for me, it’s more simple: I don’t count anything, but I include every single piece of cloth and accessories I own. I don’t count because it’s not what matters most. Every body’s needs are different. Some are doing yoga; some need several suits for their job; some can work with an outfit that is suitable for weekends too.
I don’t count my outfits and pieces of cloth, but I have some simple rules that I apply to make sure that my wardrobe only includes what’s necessary and essential.
Keep that in mind: nobody has the perfect list of ingredients for your minimalist wardrobe: only you can create it.
Rule #1: keep what do you need between two laundries
I don’t count my clothes, but I have enough of everything to change between two laundries, plus 1 piece. It means I’m taking into account that we are a family of 4, so I do quite a lot of washes in a week. But some are colours; some are white; some are for towels; some for bed linens, I’m taking that into account.
How do I count what I need? It’s effortless really. Take my white laundries for example. My husband and my sons are wearing white tops for work and school uniforms. I do have enough to fill my washing machine with white clothes two times a week. It means I only need 3 uniforms tops for my son.
I do laundries for colours every day, or every two days. It means I need two sports outfit, no more no less.
It’s the same thing for my husband suits. He owns what’s necessary to run from one dry-cleaning to another.
And eventually, it may seem dull, but I don’t own several fancy evening outfits. Because I actually don’t need them. I have a lovely glittery top which I can wear with black jeans or my black diner pants according to the dress code of the night. I have a second one, but my daughter is wearing it more than I do now, so I guess I’m keeping them both because I know she uses one. My evening outfit is easy to clean; I don’t need to iron it. I can bring it with me in a small suitcase and never worry about their state when they get out of it. And I don’t need to pay for dry-cleaning.
Rule #2: your pieces of cloth are not memories
I keep what I use and love to wear. By all means, I don’t hold on memory clothes, apart from a couple of newborn-size pieces from my children. I wear my clothes every day. If I keep a smart outfit for special occasions, for everything else, it’s a daily use except for seasonal outfits.
I don’t keep something ” just in case” I eventually lose the 10 pounds I gained 15 years ago when I was pregnant. If I want to lose weight, I work for it; then if I want to treat myself because my clothes don’t fit anymore, I buy some new ones.
A minimalist wardrobe is all about making some decisions right now, so you simplify your life forever after.
You may say that this system costs a lot of money. My answer is, you are not supposed to gain and lose weight on a monthly basis. Having a healthy diet could be the subject of another post, but once again, the main idea is to adapt to your needs. If your weight changes more than you are using your clothes, and you feel like you are losing money each time they don’t fit anymore, you have to make a choice.
Either you work for good on a healthy diet and workout plan, and you’ll see your weight stabilize rapidly, or you decide that this is not your priority. In that case, if you struggle with the money you spend, it won’t help to hold on old clothes that don’t fit anymore. One option could be to buy cheaper clothes, for example, so you don’t worry too much when you have to replace them.
Once you are clear about your priorities, keep what you want to use. You must definitely ban the “just in cases” and “what ifs” from your wardrobe.
Rule #3: no orphan
You don’t want to keep this fantastic jacket you bought for a small fortune 20 years ago and doesn’t match anything else in your wardrobe. You don’t need either to buy this amazing flash orange jeans when your wardrobe is all greens and blues. Why? Because if you buy them, they will stay in your closet unused, or you will have to buy some tops, jacket, jumper, accessories to go with them.
If you want to do that, first sort out your wardrobe. Then you can allow yourself a day shopping for new outfits. But leave your home with a precise list of how many pieces you need. If you want something new, it needs other stuff to go with it. Either you deal with it right away and make sure you’ll be able to use it once you get home, or you don’t buy it because you can’t invest in a future orphan.
You may say that you want to make sure you have this one and invest in its siblings later. When you’ll have time, or when you’ll have money maybe. But what if you never have the money before this particular piece is not fashionable anymore. What if your tastes change. As I say, it’s never a good option to spend money on something useless. Plus, you’ll regain the money you already spent on “what ifs.”
Now I have some tips to help you in this quest for a minimalist wardrobe.
Tip #1: always match the quality accordingly with the use
If you wear your glittery top 3 times a year on special occasions, you may need one. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money for it. If you never wear hills but need a pair of lovely boots for the same occasions, you don’t need to buy the best quality of shoes if you wear them only 10 hours a year.
You need to invest in good shoes you are wearing every day, jeans that you are keeping until they die, or a bag that will last for years. Because if you want to save money on these things that need to be sturdy, you’ll lose money as you’ll to replace them more often than required. In the end, they’ll cost you more than the quality ones.
I love to call these the expensive cheap purchases.
Tip #2: get help if needed
If you have difficulties starting your minimalist wardrobe, get help! Ask a friend, a sister, a husband, your teenage daughter whoever is willing to help and make it a fun time spent together. You need someone who sees how ridiculous it is to keep this tee-shirt from your Uni years when it’s full of holes and stains, or this lovely pair of expensive shoes that are too small now.
The thing is, this person won’t have a picture of your wallet in their mind. Because this is the main problem: the money you already spent. You are holding onto it, this and emotions. Nothing will bring your money back. But you can still start fresh, spring clean, and by doing so, stop making the same mistakes again and again.
If you need more inspiration for this spring cleaning visit this website: 10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home from Joshua Becker
Tip #3: you have to believe in the result
You have to think of the future benefits of your simplified wardrobe, not hold on to the past. If you really want things to change; you can’t hold on what is no more use to you. Think about the positive side. Having a minimalist wardrobe means so much for your mental health and your time.
Your clothes are taking time every day from you. Every morning, and several times a day you are in front of your closet wondering what to wear. If you have children that are too young to choose for themselves, it’s even worse. Do you realize how much of your energy this useless pile of stuff is draining from you since the very beginning of the day?
Not to mention that having too many choices along the day is increasing your procrastination habits and your motivation in the meantime. You make it a habit of staying and thinking about the choices you have. You now have an excuse not to work on the essential projects waiting for you. This idea slowly poisons your brain. You are on your way to becoming a pro at procrastinating.
Same for shopping
By regularly having difficulties to find the right outfit, you are accustomed to the idea that you don’t have what you need in your closet. It must mean that you need to go shopping on the first occasion, it’s becoming a duty. If you have no difficulties finding what you need every morning, you will forget about shopping. You’ll have a mind shift: you’ll have time to do something else, something creative or go outdoors.
There are so many hidden benefits resulting from having a simple useful wardrobe, just keep this wonderful opportunity in mind.
Enjoy springtime and extend your diet out of your minimalist wardrobe
Don’t forget that if the decision you have to make to have a minimalist wardrobe is sometimes difficult, it’s all about the reward of the many benefits. It’s time to spring clean, so extend it to your winter clothes too. You perfectly know what you used this winter and what you didn’t. You don’t have to keep what you can’t wear anymore either.
Sorting your wardrobe is the most difficult and in my opinion the funniest way to start paring down your stuff. This process is draining a lot of energy because of the money involved and the emotions it brings. But the result is so rewarding, so refreshing and freeing. Use your new spring motivation and good vibes to start fresh, and clean your entire home from the useless stuff you are holding on.
When this spring cleaning is over, get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Your mind is freed from a lot of home duties now! Now that you have a minimalist wardrobe, and perhaps a cleared home, make the best of the time you gain!
If you want to read more about spring cleaning: