December 2018 - Minimalist Wardrobe · Minimalist Wardrobe

Minimalist Wardrobe – Week Three and Four

There is a book I used to pour over when I was kid. I’m not sure who got it for me or how it came to be in my possession, but I actually still own it. I found it again while doing my Marie Kondo method on all my books. Surprisingly it still sparked joy so I kept it. It’s called “Sally’s Room” by M.K Brown. My only guess is my Dad bought it for me as a joke as a child…or in the hopes it might bring inspiration. If it was the latter, it worked.

The books is about a girl named Sally who never cleaned her room. Her room hated it so much they finally decided to do something about it. They marched out of her room, down the street and straight into Sally’s school. Sally’s teacher asks who the room belongs to and defiantly Sally stands up and says it’s hers. And she likes it that way. Eventually she goes home to an empty room and realizes how much room there is in there without all her stuff. When the room barges back in, Sally realizes she has to finally face the facts and clean.

I used to take this book out every time I had to clean my room and follow Sally’s cleaning and organizing method. She puts all her games away, finds her favorite sweater, folds her clothes, makes her bed, etc. In the end she finds that it’s a room where anything can happen.

I pulled the book back out and felt like I’d been through Sally’s journey so many times in my life, but it finally feels like it’s going to stick.

I kind of always knew this about me, but I really love throwing things away. I love cleaning and organizing. Even with all this going for me I found it hard to give up a lot of items this month in my minimalist wardrobe challenge. I don’t miss them now though! I had bought so many clothes I never wore before. It seemed wasteful to throw them out. But did they spark joy? No, they just made me feel bad that they didn’t fit or didn’t turn out to be part of my style as much as I wanted them to be.

I ended up finishing “The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth more Than Anything You Can Buy” By Cait Flanders. I don’t think I’ll be going through her exact path of only buying consumables for the year, but I did like her idea of only buying something when an older version of it is broke and needs to be replaced. She also inspired me to clean up my consumer debt. I don’t have a lot compared to the average American, but I have accumulated some from my wedding in October (photographers are expensive!). I’ve made a plan to set aside large chunks of my income each month to wipe out the debt by the end of May and before my zero interest runs out in August.

“One thing debt and clutter have in common is that as soon as you start letting it pile up, it can be harder and harder to see your way around it.”

Cait Flanders, The Year of Less

She also had a great idea of unfollowing all the stores, newsletters, etc. on social media accounts and unsubscribing from all of consumer emails. I started doing this and instead of 25 new emails in morning I’m getting about three. It’s a good start and I love not having the feeling of missing out when I get an email about picture frames on sale from Pier One with free shipping. I don’t need any more picture frames! And if I suddenly do, the Good Will has plenty of great options for $5 or less.

I have a plan for my wardrobe to become more capsule oriented and once I do my research and purchase the two items I’m really feeling I need to supplement in, then I think it will be complete. I’m really pleased with this journey and if you’re feeling like you want to declutter, organize and make getting dressing in the morning simple AF, let me know if I can help in any way! I am NOT an expert, but I’m feeling confident about the process.

Stay tuned for what my January challenge will be! Hint: It’s time to get honest.

December 2018 - Minimalist Wardrobe · Minimalist Wardrobe

Minimalist Wardrobe – Week One

My wardrobe makes me feel…

Lizzie knows what’s up

That’s the first prompt  Jessica Rose Williams has for her readers in her Year Round Capsule Wardrobe Guide. So how does my wardrobe make me feel? Overwhelmed, unhappy uncomfortable and annoyed. That’s a lot of  negativity and once I started to get to work on my wardrobe this week I could see why. I really only had four items of clothing I actually liked wearing. So what in the world was I doing with the rest of this shit? How come when I was asked what are things I never wear I said dresses, but still owned a whopping total of TWELVE DRESSES.  Why did I say I felt good in three-quarter length sleeve blouses but owned only one? 

The workbook is great in helping you decide your personal style needs, what your goal is when it comes to your capsule wardrobe and really assessing why this is something you’re interested in. Me? I’m sick of staring at my closet and drawers every morning feeling overwhelmed and unimpressed. I’m sick of walking around the office feeling uncomfortable four out of five days a week because once I wear my favorite outfit I have to wait another week to wear it again. Why isn’t my wardrobe full of favorite outfits? 

I want to tie my work with William’s ebook guide to another book I’ve been reading this month by Marie Kondō. In her book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up she suggests when beginning to tidy there are only two decisions to be made about stuff: Whether or not to dispose of something and deciding where to put it. She insists that tidying has to begin with discarding. William’s suggests taking every single item you own out of your wardrobes, cupboards, drawers and any other hiding places. Lay it all out in front of you. I mixed this advice with Kondo’s belief in tidying by category. Don’t go drawer by drawer because sometimes you have sweaters in a drawer and sweaters hung up. Place all like items together and get a good idea of what you really have. 

Once everything was out of hiding I took another leaf from Kondo and held every item and asked myself ‘does this spark joy?’ Along with that I added in Williams questions: Would I wear this right now? Have I worn this in the last year?  Does it fit me properly? and Do I feel confident when I wear it? 

“Do you feel happy wearing clothes that don’t give you pleasure? You thought it looked cool in the shop…then why did you never wear it? Was it because you realized that it didn’t suit you when you tried in on at home? If so, and if you no longer buy clothes of the same style or color, it has fulfilled another important function – it has taught you what doesn’t suit you.”

Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

So here are all my clothes out of their drawers, sorted by category and laid bare:

Inventory: Cardigans, 10; Shirts, 7; Leggings, 6; Blouses, 2; Tank tops, 10; Jeans, 10; Pants, 3; Skirts, 1; Sweaters/Zip Ups, 8; Pajama bottoms, 7; Pajama tops, 10; Shorts, 5; Workout bottoms, 4; Workout tops, 3; Shorts, 5; Dresses, 12; Coats, 3; TOTAL ITEMS OF CLOTHING: 106

It’s amazing to have one hundred pieces of clothing and really only wear or like half of them. I already mentioned my 12 dresses….yikes. I also had ten pairs of jeans, only four of which I ever wore. There was a huge imbalance of items I liked to wear vs the amount of those items actually in my closet.  Through William’s journal prompts I found that my three key words for my personal style are neutral, timeless and relaxed. It’s boring, but it’s me. I feel comfortable in black, gray, brown and sometimes floral print. That’s about it. So why did I have so much of everything else I didn’t like? Time to toss!

Donation Pile!

Two hours later here is the Inventory and much less exhausting closet: Cardigans, 5; Shirts, 5; Leggings, 3; Blouses, 1; Tank tops, 8; Jeans, 6; Pants, 1; Skirts, 0; Sweaters/Zip Ups, 4; Pajama bottoms, 3; Pajama tops, 6; Shorts, 4; Workout bottoms, 3; Workout tops, 3; Shorts, 5; Dresses, 4; Coats, 2; TOTAL ITEMS OF CLOTHING: 63

I ended up with a lot of extra hangers. I’m storing these for now because even though I have cut down the wardrobe I’m eyeing ten or so more pieces that I don’t like that much, and would like to replace with things that suit me better and can be more versatile. The reason they’re still in there now? Well, I can’t go down to 2 shirts and 2 cardigans at the moment. It won’t work with my work week. So as I start to learn more about my personal style this upcoming week I’ll be keeping an eye out for new clothing items that are neutral, timeless and relaxed and can all mix and match together to really create that perfect capsule wardrobe look. 

I’ve made big strides this week, but I still have a bit more work to do this month. Updates next week!