The Simplified Closet
Over the past couple of years, I’ve really honed in on my style. I am drawn to a more neutral color palate. My home is calming, neutral, and simplified. Recently I had a thought that maybe refining my wardrobe might give me the same sense of calmness that I love so much about my home. I was on a mission to find out so I got to work creating a simplified and neutral wardrobe.
The first thing I did was completely empty the closet. I put everything on my bed (in categories) and sorted through piece by piece. When purging, I asked myself three questions:
Do I love it? Do I use it? Can I live without it?
Since I am striving for a simplified & neutral wardrobe, I added two more questions.
Does the item have a neutral color palate?
How much of each type of clothing do I need?
I purged accordingly and eliminated over 50% of my wardrobe. I went through every box, basket, bin, shelf and drawer. I purged luxury hand bags (sold them) and so many things that were just collecting dust. The price tag did’t matter. If I wasn’t using it, I let it go. It felt like a huge weight was lifted and I immediately felt a sense of relief. I was storing (and caring) for things I don’t even use. It feels great to let things go and break the bond of attachment. I recently read a quote that said “If you don’t love it or use it… it’s clutter” ~ Cozy Minimalism. This spoke to my soul because that’s exactly what it is – clutter!
In order to simplify, you need to figure out your ‘magic’ numbers. Everyone will be different, depending on your lifestyle. How many pairs of jeans is enough? How many sweaters will you wear in a season? Do you wear dresses? If so, how many is enough for your lifestyle? You get the point. Write it all down, as you go through your things. Be real and be ruthless. If it no longer serves your needs, let it go. Don’t hang on to things that don’t fit you right now. Don’t keep something because you spent a lot of money on it. Your home is not a storage unit. Let it go.
Once you’ve finished purging, you’ll notice how simplified and clean the space looks. There is less visual clutter. In order to keep it this way, you have to practice the one in -one out rule. If you purchase something new, it needs to replace something old. If you get a new pair of shoes, donate a pair, etc.
We no longer need to accumulate things, only replace them as needed. There is nothing wrong with shopping. We all love a new shirt every now and then. The problem lies in the accumulation of things. Once you can conquer that and begin following the one in – one out philosophy, you will start to see a shift.
An easy way to keep your donations tidy is to designate a laundry bin for this purpose. I call it my donation basket. I’ve used one for years and it works great. Once it’s full or at the beginning of each month, donate everything you’ve placed in your bin.
As I sorted through my things, I thought about all the money I spent for an expensive wardrobe I hardly wore. I wasted a lot of money impulse shopping. I bought clothes that looked cute in the store but didn’t satisfy me after all. It was more of a way to release the shopping craving and not because I truly needed the items.
I am more mindful and intentional about my purchases now. It takes a lot of effort to practice this but it’s something I am working on daily. As I learn my authentic style, I find myself passing on things I would have otherwise purchased. It’s a new normal for me and a daily challenge, but one I’m enjoying. In order to maintain a simplified closet, you’ll need to change your mindset and shop intentionally or you’ll be right back where you started.
I know my style now. I love neutrals, I love classics, and I love simplicity. This trifecta is my sweet spot and I am cultivating a wardrobe that reflects it. I hope you’ve found some inspiration and tips to simplify & create a wardrobe that makes you happy, whether it be lots of colors or a more neutral palate.
My Closet Sources:
- Wooden Hangers
- Dark Baskets – Target years ago
- Clothes – Most are from J Crew. Some sweaters are from TJ Maxx
- Gold Shoes
- Laundry Hamper