How I Reduced My Wardrobe by 75% WITHOUT Regret!

How often do you purge your wardrobe? Never? Once a year? Only when you’re bursting at the seams for space?

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

I only did it when I was bursting at the seams and needed space in my closet. I always used the “if I haven’t worn it in a year, donate it” rule, but I still held on to a few “just in case” items.

We live in a society where more is more (although I think we’re realizing that and starting to make a shift). Is it a sense of feeling accomplished and successful when you have a lot of sh*t? Like how much sh*t we have measures our worth?

It’s quite the opposite!!

I won’t lie. I used to like hearing “I want to go shopping in your closet!”.

I’ve always loved fashion and shopping for clothes and having a lot of them. Until I got old.

Kidding! While I do think age plays a factor in my decision to purge and simplify, it’s definitely lifestyle as well. When I worked in an office, I didn’t like being seen in the same outfit more than once a month. UGH - that sounds even more ridiculous out loud than it did in my head!

For what it’s worth, I enjoyed getting dressed up every day. It was fun. Now that I don’t have to and I’ve gotten a taste for working at home in my gym clothes and jeans a lot of days, I want nothing to do with getting dressed up every day.

Last December, I partnered with modular closets and showed you all my DIY Custom Closet install. Little did I know this was going to start the biggest purge of my life – and all before I heard of Marie Kondo or saw her name pop up in every other post on my Instagram feed. HA!

Usually I dread the domino effect when I start a project because it ends up costing me more money, but not this one! I purged my ENTIRE HOUSE in the month of December. Every closet, every room, ev-er-y-thing. It was an awesome way to start the New Year!

 

We had to completely empty the closet and start fresh so it was the perfect time to go through everything. After we installed the Modular Closet system, I staged it with only a few items for photos and loved how uncluttered the closet felt.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

After photos, I added everything back in and thought “oh no, I need to let go of more!”. Even after donating about a quarter of my wardrobe before I added everything back in, I was on the verge of bursting at the seams.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living
Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

I shared the whole process on my Instagram stories and a follower asked if I do a capsule wardrobe. I’d heard the term before but didn’t know exactly what it meant, so I Googled it and fell down that rabbit hole. I was SO on board!

So, what is a capsule wardrobe?

A serious capsule wardrobe consists of a few essential and timeless pieces such as skirts and pants that can be interchanged with a few seasonal pieces. The general guideline is to have less than 40 pieces in your closet.

I thought, that seems doable! I mean, if I REALLY thought about it – I was already only wearing about that much in my closet because I have my favorites. The rest was “just in case”.

My goal was 40 pieces or less. 

I got it down to 75, and I’m OK with that to start.

I think it’s key to take baby steps when you make any drastic changes to keep the extreme regret out of it.

Especially if you’re a pack rat. I’m definitely not a pack rat, but I do struggle with the “what if”…

“I know I haven’t worn this dress in 5 years, but WHAT IF the occasion comes up right after I get rid of it??”

Guess what – I’ll buy a new one IF that scenario comes to fruition. I am financially capable of that and I’m a frugal shopper so there is no reason to hold on to it.

I figure I’ll start with these 75 pieces, keep tabs on what I’m not using enough to justify keeping and do another purge in 6 months.

 

HOW I DID IT

1. I made a list of the essentials I need for each season, and what works for all seasons.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

2. I pulled everything out of my closet and sorted them by seasons.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

3. Starting with one pile at a time, I started the process of elimination by leaving what I’ve worn the most in the last 6 months on the hanger and throwing the rest in a donation pile.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

4. After I got it narrowed down, I did Step 3 again to narrow it down to only what I absolutely love and is most interchangeable and versatile.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

I’m not going to lie, it was tough to get rid of some pieces I knew I spent a pretty penny on, but I also haven’t missed them because that’s the only reason I was hanging on to them. It also reeeally put into perspective how much money I’ve wasted on clothes I wear a few times. This is where my word for 2019 was born – INTENTION.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

It was almost shameful to see how much I donated between my home décor and wardrobe in December, so it made me aware of how unintentional I’ve been with my purchases and how much more intentional I want to be going forward (in so many aspects of my life) to avoid being in this boat again.

Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living
Capsule Wardrobe, Minimalism, Simple Living

I immediately felt so much lighter with a sense of clarity going into 2019, and it has been a lot easier to avoid impulse buying than I thought.

I also have to say that having less options in my closet has helped me be on time for things!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrambling to get out the door and left with 5 outfits on the floor of my closet because I couldn’t find an outfit I loved. 

Now that I love everything in my closet and it’s all pretty basic with a few fun pieces, it’s so much easier to put an outfit together quickly and love it!

So… are you itching to clean out your closet now?? 

XO,
Christina

Comments

So smart. And yes I am on the capsule train. I am having a mini remodel project starting in March and Master Bedroom closet is one of the projects. So excited and I can't wait yo share.

How exciting!! You’re going to love it! --

Gosh I wish I could do this but I don’t think I have the time to do it properly! How long do you think it took you from emptying out to final selections, including the second re-do cycle? Thanks for blog post! Hoping to get to this before the year ends!

I did it all in one afternoon!

WHOA! Gotta carve out time then! THanks

That’s amazing! I (the hubs too) could def do this... I don’t buy a ton, but my size hasn’t changed in years, so I have jeans and tops that are 15+ years old. It’s time to purge. Thx

It's a good feeling!!

It took me three years but I now have a capsule wardrobe. I gave away over two hundred suits to Dress for Success and about 100 cocktail and long dresses to an organization that collects Prom Dresses for young girls unable to buy their own. I also donated all the matching shoes and purses. I had a high profile job and “needed” all those clothes. I felt so much shame and guilt over all that self-indulgence when so many have absolutely nothing to wear to job interviews or their proms. I have not bought anything for one whole year and do not ever plan to ever fill my closets with shame again.

I am right there with you!!

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