In January, I wrote down some goals I have for the year. I only marked down my general goals. I didn't want to get overwhelmed! I think it would be good to expand on each of the main topics. There are very specific things I want to accomplish within each goal section.
I'll be breaking down what I want to get done for each goal over the year and posting updates. See the first goals I tackled here and here.
The goal we are looking at today is Wardrobe Makeover.
I think people are surprised when they find out how much I love clothes and shopping. They are surprised that for much of my young life I wanted to be a fashion designer, took classes at FIT, and learned fashion illustration. My dreams of working in the industry died, but my love of clothes never did and that lead me to having way too many.
At the end of 2014 I started realizing how much of a pain my over-flowing closet had become. There were piles of clothes all over, clean and dirty, making it hard to keep them sorted. Closet, hangers, drawers were flowing out all over. But with all these clothes, I could never find anything to wear. I guess this is a common problem. I started researching, started reading blogs about minimal wardrobes, and started realizing that I really wanted to change this chaotic aspect of my life.
My first step was to read a lot! Some blogs I highly recommend are Unfancy and Reading My Tea Leaves and Rowdy Kittens. All of these ladies live very different lives and all those lifestyles are different than my own. They all have really interesting takes on the reasons and practices of minimal wardrobes.
Next, I formulated some loose goals: I want to decrease my overall wardrobe. I want it to be easy to pick out what I'm going to wear each day. I want to only have clothes that fit well and feel good. And I want to spend less money and less time shopping.
With those goals in mind, I decided to drastically reduce what was in my closet and set about sorting thru all of my clothes. But I love my clothes, I couldn't just give them all up! I knew I would have to go in baby steps. The first baby step was to get rid of anything that was emotionally easy for me to get rid of. Items I never wore, had out grown, or just didn't fit well went into a giveaway pile, a donate pile, or the trash (if they were really no good to anyone). I only got rid of things that were easy to get rid of.
For the next baby step I used some advice from the blogs I had read: I thought about "my style". People often joke that I dress as if it's still the 90s, and why not? T-shirts, jeans, vans, hoodies and flannels, layered dresses, and funky sweaters are what I like to wear and what I feel comfortable in!
Next I went thru all the clothes that remained with "my style" in mind. I kept everything that I loved, that fit the season, that fit the description of my style, and put everything else into plastic bins. I have to wear black or white to work, so I also kept (almost) all of my work clothes. I put the bins away to be reculled at the end of the season.
OK! I had drastically reduced my closet. I felt good about the progress I made and decided that it was a great start.
I knew that a very important goal for me was to cut down on shopping. But I decided that I really needed to do more than cut down. I needed to stop. So I decided that besides a few items I needed I wouldn't clothes shop at all in 2015! Scary! But I knew that there were some items I would have to buy, so I hoped that would hold off my cravings.
I started this goal for myself in January, and now 3 months later, I feel really good about what I've accomplished so far:
It's easier to find items to wear each day, I don't feel like I'm scrambling to find work clothes as much.
Almost everything I grab from my closet this season fits well and I feel comfortable in it. If I end up having something that does't feel good, it's easier for me to put it in the discard pile than it has been in the past.
I end up wearing items that I enjoy, but got little wear out of, bc it's easier to find things as my closet isn't as full.
I've only bought 2 items since Jan 1 2015.
But all these accomplishments have also made it clear that I have a long way to go:
I still have way too many clothes.
I still have items that don't fit well, or feel good.
I have huge piles of laundry, left over from years of hording clothes, that hasn't even had the first cull yet.
I have a whole new season and it's weight worth in clothes, to go thru!
My closet is still very messy and disorganized.
I have a bunch of stuff in a "maybe" pile that I haven't tried wearing yet.
I still have the urge to shop.
I haven't donated any of the items I put aside, or sent any of my giveaway bundles. So all those clothes aren't in my closet but they're still in the house.
I have some ideas about what to do next. I want need to go thru all my clothes again, then swap out the Winter clothes for more weather appropriate ones. Going thru all my clothes will be a seasonal activity but it will happen several times during the season as well. I plan on doing this, among other things, until I have my clothes at a more manageable number. Who knows how long that will take? But this as well as other things are good steps towards my overall goal!
In upcoming months, I plan to keep working on this wardrobe project and posting about it. Just like the minimal wardrobe blogs I love reading, I hope my own trials and errors might help readers who might be struggling with the same issues.