Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Minimalist Closet Revisited

About a year ago, I came out of the closet with my clothes hoarding and began my version of the Minimalist Closet project. The past year has been very instructive.

1. I don't miss a thing I got rid of last year. Not. One. Thing. Epiphany! What other stuff is weighing down my life that could be comfortably ditched without a backward glance? Lots, I imagine, and winter will be a good time to go through the house with an eye for purging. Now, if I can just get George to go through his overflowing drawers and bins of clothes and closet....

2. As easy as losing all the unnecessary stuff has been, losing all the unnecessary weight is harder. My skinny-clothes storage bin is largely untouched.

3. I had to buy some essentials for summer this year, but as fashion trends still do not reflect my personal style, I stuck to super-cheap clothes from Target and JC Penney. Some of these items won't last through next summer, but hope springs eternal that next year's summer fashions will give me incentive to buy higher-quality, lasting pieces. It just doesn't make sense to spend lots of money on clothes I don't love.

4. When I pulled out my winter clothes this fall, the whole process of seasonal transfer took about five minutes, as opposed to the couple of hours it took in the past. When I realized I was finished, I did a fist-pump and said, "Yeah!" The dog gave me a funny look and wagged her tail. She has no idea why I'm happy, but she's smart enough to catch the vibe.

5. I never did get the jacket and skirt to the tailor for alterations. This says something unflattering about me, perhaps, but I'm not going to think about it. I'm just going to put it on my to-do list. Again.

6. This winter, my needs are few but serious. The nice black pants I wear to church all winter are going raggedy on the hem and baggy at the knee; they absolutely must be replaced. My existing fleece jacket has a broken zipper pull and is wearing out at the elbows, so I'm replacing it with a black one that will go with everything. Several key sweaters look dull and faded, and I still need another pair of winter shoes to replace my worn-out leather slides. All of the items I'm buying for winter are of high quality and will last many years. Next year, I expect not to buy anything new for winter at all. Yippy!!!!

7. I'm a woman on a mission who's choosing shopping the internet rather than the mall. Just thinking about going to the mall depresses me.

On the whole, the Minimalist Closet has made me very happy. I'm curious to know if any of you have embraced the Minimalist Closet philosophy yourselves, if you want to embrace it, or if you are happy with overflowing abundance. What are your musings on wardrobe and fashion? Please do share.


  1. Okay, okay, okay....I really WILL clean out my closet today!

    1. I never miss what I get rid of either. Never.

    2. Same problem with my weight - ugh.

    3. - Ditto

    4. Looking forward to this being the situation in my closet.

    5. I'm thrilled to know that other people add things to their to-do lists multiple times. Whew...thought I was lazy and irresponsible.

    6. Oh yeah, shoes and pants in bad need of replacing. Can't find any that fit and feel good :(

    7. I went to a mall with a friend last week, and it literally made me crabby! Me too, on the on-line shopping!

    My musings on wardrobe and fashion? Hmmm....what is in my wardrobe is not fashionable, and what is fashionable is not at all comfortable on this old woman!

    You asked... :)

  2. Well, dear friend, I was unaware of your mission and yet I've been on a mission of my own! I've gotten rid of many clothes this last year and when I drag out the bins from downstairs that house my fall/winter clothing I imagine Mission Mart will get another load of them. Never miss them either. Now, if I can just convince John to do the same. He has three closets full of clothes. I wish getting rid of my extra 40 pounds of fat was as easy for me. I really do not like how I look and yet I continue to enjoy things that keep the weight on my bones. We're actually joining in a neighborhood garage sale next week. Hope we get rid of lots!! (Maybe I'll pocket some of the money for my next PTI order!)

  3. You go girl. I too am not dictated by fashion. I know what looks good on me and stick to it, as well as which colours look good on me and stick to that even more.

    Will update my "classic wardrobe" with a few "trendy" goods, usually accessories, or if the colours are right a top or two.

    Costco is my friend when it comes to buying casual clothes LOL. Tees for $10 - can't go wrong!

    I'm with you re: buying quality that lasts a long time. Cost per wear is the way to go :)

    Don't shop for clothes on line as I'm a hard body to fit: long waisted (separates all the way!), wide shoulders, a small waist and big calves (very limited options on boots). Budget restraints keep me out of the mall - never know what you're missing if you don't see it LOL! Keep my on-line buying to stamping stuff :)

    Colour code my closet for easy mix and matching too.

    Time for a new purge, but the basement gets first dibs LOL!

  4. I seem to have followed a similar fashion path. Something about motherhood kills fashion thoughts in our heads. I purged stuff last year, but probably need to do a more thorough purge following the guidelines you used. I never miss stuff I get rid of, but there is always a bit of guilt thinking about what a waste of money for having bought it in the first place. As my kids have gotten older (teenagers) I do find that I am finally getting some fashion thoughts back in my head. Certainly never going to be a walking fashion model, but at least trying to put a little thought into what I buy and trying to look less like I just grabbed whatever was the first wrinkled shirt I found. I also hate the mall. I don't need fancy clothes that require dry cleaning, I no longer want to dress like I am 25 and I also prefer not to dress like I am 65. There is a serious need for clothing for those of us in the middle of those ages, something I can wash at home, something that looks nice without breaking the bank. Something that fits the body of a woman who has had 3 kids and does not spend all her waking hours at the gym. Ok, I think I have ranted enough. Think I will go purge my closet for awhile. After my closet I would love to purge the rest of the house, it really needs it, but where to start!

  5. I have always had a minimalist closet, always. As a child I was given one new good outfit in Summer and one in Winter. Most everyday clothes were hand-me-downs, or my Mum made me simple dresses, skirts, and shorts. I have never felt comfortable buying more clothes or shoes than I need, even when I see shops full of things I would like! Because of the minimalist wardrobe, I tend to buy quality in classic styles so that the clothes look nice and last a long time. I also still accept hand-me-downs from my friends who refresh their wardrobes each season. :-) I don't have a Winter and Summer wardrobe, the weather here rarely gets cold enough for jumpers and coats (maybe 8 weeks of cooler weather), although next Winter I will replace my 13 year old green fleece jacket with another in a much more flexible colour! I have a rule in my wardrobe - if it hasn't been worn for two years, it goes out. I used to have a one-year rule, but I ended up tossing things that I looked for later. This Summer, my goal is a new pretty blouse, a new pair of shorts, and I might need to buy a new dress for work.

  6. I went through my NC summer closet in May and took some things to a consignment store. Nothing sold so guess that says they really WERE out of fashion :> I could use some slacks other than black but hate to go shopping and I, too, have trouble knowing what size to order when shopping on line. I actually bought a skirt last winter when I was in FL. First purchase of anything with a skirt for eons. I just don't like the current fashions so opt for something with pants. I'd like to shed 5 lb before "winter" (say that with FL in front) sets in but......

  7. Nice work! Your motivation is an inspiration. I'd also like to encourage you to buy near you, shopping your local merchants as much as possible. If you value the alternatives to the mall (which I agree is depressing!) make sure to support them. Your dollars count big time!

  8. Well, I recently went shopping with my daughter, who needed some office appropriate pants. It was at an outlet mall, which I prefer to a regular mall. I told myself the only thing I really need are shoes and underwear. This time I actually stuck with my plan and managed to NOT buy yet another top. I have gained some weight since the spring, so I don't even feel like trying on pants most of the time! I wish I wasn't so easily tempted to buy more clothes. There are quite a few things in my closet I never wear and some of them will go soon, since I just don't have the space for it. The only thing I usually spend a little bit more money on are shoes, because I am on my feet a lot at work and I need good comfortable shoes.
    I agree with you on what you said about current fashion trends. Too many ruffles and weird shapes!


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