Living with clutter is a good way to go mad; absolutely and irreversibly mad. Spring cleaning is a great chance to declutter and rid yourself of things that no longer serve you. Living minimally will change your life, I swear by it.
Living Minimally Isn’t Just For The “Hippies”
Get gone – not all minimalist live in the forest and make tea out of pine needles, but some of them do! I live in a two bedroom apartment in the middle of the city, and while I’m by no means living a full blown minimalist lifestyle, I do try my best to live minimally.
It’s a long process to get to living a fully minimal lifestyle, and some of us may never reach this point. In all honesty, I’m not even sure that I want to reach this point. Where it sits now, my wardrobe is in a constant state of rotation. Every 2-3 weeks I attack my wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t excite me anymore.
I know it sounds silly to look at clothes this way, but believe me: It works!
Yes, ANYBODY can begin living minimally!
I wasn’t always this way. In fact, I used to literally be the queen of clutter: Something I’m not proud of! I had a mountain of clothing in my bedroom, and it was actually disgusting. I never knew what I had in my wardrobe and I was seemingly always adding to the never-ending pile of unwanted clothing.
I actually never saw an issue with the amount of clothing that I had until about a year ago. I had started reading about minimalism, and began listening to The Minimalist podcast (life changing by the way), and I realized the way I was living was not beneficial for me and would not put me in the best position to achieve my HUGE goals.
I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and combined this knowledge with The Minimalist Podcast, and immediately cleaned out my wardrobe. I threw out 2 large trash bags full of clothing, and donated 1 large bag. Now, this is important to note: I threw out 2 large trash bags of clothing because they were stained or full of holes. WHY DID I KEEP THESE THINGS?
I clearly hadn’t worn these garments in months, maybe even years. I had moved apartments a few months prior to this clean, and somehow found it necessary to transport these items to my new home. What in the heck was I doing? This was no way to live.
I took my life back, and began living minimally (well, at least in terms of my wardrobe).
How to declutter your wardrobe and begin living minimally
I know a lot of us (men and women alike), have large closets and large shoe collections. But why? Why are we so attached to these items? We only have two feet, so why do we need 10 pairs of shoes? “Oh but there is so many occasions, we need options!”. I call bullshit.
I’m guilty of this currently, and as I’m writing this I’m kicking myself for it, but get rid of those shoes. Get one pair of black heels – they go with everything! Forget the flashy shoes that pretty much only match ONE outfit. Keep it simple – this is my biggest tip for living minimally.
Get back to basics
I own one cardigan. You know how many I used to own? 10. Who in their right mind needs 10 cardigans?? How cold am I? GEEZE. Donate them all. Keep one of everything. Here’s a photo of my closet currently:
I have 2 pairs of jeans, 1 set of overalls, 1 blazer, 1 plaid shirt, 1 denim jacket (I just donated 2 – Yes, I had too many), 3 blouses, 1 denim vest, 1 poncho, 1 cardigan, and 1 dress jacket. That’s it. I have a row of grungy hoodies that I wear to go camping or to workout in, and a dresser with some basic tees and tank tops, and 2 pairs of PJ pants. The dresser is pretty empty too:
My dresser primarily contains workout clothes, and PJs. There is also some basic tees and tanks that go with a cardigan or a blazer easily. Keeping your closet and dresser filled with basic items, allows you to drastically limit the items you have in your possession. Decluttering feels good, and is easy when you keep great basic items.
Don’t keep things because “they will fit someday”
I was guilty of this for so so long, and that’s why I can say what I’m about to say: NO IT WON’T. Even if it fits your body, it is no longer going to fit your needs. When you lose the weight, you are going to want to buy new clothes. Putting on old clothing that fit you when you were younger/smaller definitely feels amazing because you worked your butt off to be able to fit into that clothing again, I get it, I really do: But you deserve fresh things. You’re a changed person, and you don’t want to hold on to items from your past; you don’t live there anymore.
Be realistic with yourself
I literally tell myself this exact phrase when I am decluttering my wardrobe. I say “C’mon Brett, be realistic: Are you really going to wear this again?” Chances are, if I even have to ask myself this question, the answer is “no”.
Save your money
This might seem unrelated, but it really isn’t. I wrote briefly about spending your money on experiences instead of items here. Reminding yourself that you have everything you need at home in your closet, really changes the way you spend your money. You will save so much money and SPACE if you realize this fact. You don’t need another cardigan, damn it, how many times do I need to tell you that?! Put it done, and back out of the store slowly, everything is going to be okay, Sharron.
Get a piece, give a piece
If you REALLY need that cardigan, you need to be willing to get rid of the one you have at home. Is it going to be more useful, and go with more of your wardrobe that the one you have at home? Great, then get it – but donate the one you have in your closet. Telling yourself this when you are shopping is a great way to avoid buying things that you will not actually wear.
This tactic also keeps your wardrobe minimal.
I said I purge my wardrobe every 2-3 weeks, and it’s a great tactic. We are always changing, and that always means our style s changing with us. I bought this gorgeous burgundy blazer about a year ago, and I swore I would wear it all of the time, and truthfully I only wore it a handful of times. But the point is, I looked at it a few months ago, and thought “What in the hell was I thinking? I hate this blazer”. I donated it right away.
It is important to constantly take a look at your wardrobe and get rid of things that no longer serve you. If you keep things that don’t relate to who you are anymore, then it is going to severely affect your energy. You will try on these items as part of outfits, and you will feel awful because these items simply don’t suit you anymore. You should put on clothes and feel great in them, and the only way to do this is to constantly be aware of what you are putting your energy into, and yes that also means the clothes you hold on to. It sounds silly, but it’s true.
I encourage you all to take a look at your wardrobe today, and eliminate the items that no longer serve you. Donate them to a local shelter, where the clothing will not be sold for a profit, and will be given to those that are in need.