Thursday, January 21, 2016

Downsizing Your Wardrobe

 My closet with now only 9 clothing items hanging in it with an icky cobweb in the corner.

Hi again.  Not such a long absence this time around.  While trying to inspire myself to get back to downsizing in earnest I ran across many blog posts (this, this and this), Tedx talks (here and here) and podcasts about downsizing your wardrobe.  Oddly enough I thought this could be a really fun challenge.  I soaked in all the information I could and jumped right in with both feet this past weekend. 

The first thing I did was to take everything out of my closet and dump it on our bed.  Then I went through and picked out all the items I loved and wore all the time and put these back into the closet.  Next, I picked up the items I loved but didn't wear and put them in a separate pile.  What was left I bagged up for charity quickly so I didn't have too much time to overthink and pull stuff out.  Lastly, I looked back on the love but didn't wear pile.  Most of the people I read said to box these items up and tuck them away for 3 months and if you still don't use them to donate them.  Well, I was so swept away with the excitement of how much I was clearing out that I again quickly bagged these clothes up to donate too.  I repeated this whole process once again with my dresser.  Emptying all my drawers of clothing onto the bed and putting back only items I loved and wore constantly.  I ended up with 10 paper grocery bags full for Charity.  My husband quickly loaded these bags into our van to bring to the local Goodwill.  I worried that if I left them to sit around for a while I might start having second thoughts.

What I noticed after completing this challenge was pretty much everything that was left coordinated with each other.  I had lots of navy blue (my favorite color), denim, with bits of white, yellow and brown.  These are the colors I love and feel good wearing.  And, if I'm going to keep my wardrobe small these are the colors I need to stick to if I purchase something new or knit myself something.  Because if you don't stick to just a few colors I find it starts a cascading effect.  For example, if I were to buy a black top I'd want black shoes to match as I only own brown.  I'd want a purse that would go with black as mine is navy blue.  You get the idea.  Now, all the clothing I own for all 4 seasons that we get in Minnesota fit into my small side of the closet in our 1945 home and my 4 drawer IKEA dresser.  I'm hoping to get it down to just the dresser, but I'm good for now.  I think I'll try this challenge again in  another few months and see what else I'm not wearing and can cull from my wardrobe.

I did keep some clothing items I hardly ever use and that's my one "fancy" outfit to wear to a wedding, funeral, or expensive night out.  It's a black and white dress with matching nylons, shoes, purse and jewelry.  The dress is a classic style with elbow length sleeves that work for all seasons and is made out of an easy stretchy material that doesn't show wrinkles so it all packs away neatly into my bottom dresser drawer for the very few times these occasions come up for us. 

Next up, is for me to attack my many coats, hats, mittens, scarves, boots and shoes, because in Minnesota we do get all kinds of weather.  You have to be prepared for sure, but I believe I can get those down to the basics too.  Until next time.  Goodbye!

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