Most of the downsizing process has been really exciting so far. When we sold our furniture, our house, and our second SUV I felt more free and less weighed down by so many things. We were also getting money, cash, in our pocket. Selling furniture on Craig’s list, even though it gets a little sad if you think about what you originally paid for it, not only made our move out easier but also showed us how nice it can be to liquidate some of your assets. The yard sale, while it was a lot of work to put together, once again resulted in less things and more cash. The process of getting rid of so much stuff and learning to live with less has been extraordinarily freeing.
The only part of downsizing that I was not confident in was/is downsizing my wardrobe. Sure the first pass at getting rid of things in my closet was easy. Before we even moved out of our house in Arlington, I was able to get rid of all the pieces that I hardly even wore. And then again when we moved to Fort Worth I took another pass at the closet and was able to part with those items that I waffled on the first time after realizing that in fact I don’t really wear them.
The next few downsizing attempts in my closet started to get a little tougher. I have read that for some people, turning around your hangers after wearing something, is a great help in deciding what you can get rid of. But for someone who A) is OCD and wants all hangers to not only face the same direction but also be the same color and B) has already gotten rid of most of the things that just don’t get worn, this tactic wasn’t going to cut it.
My next step involved doing some research online. I looked up capsule wardrobes and really focused on pieces that can be worn multiple ways. Below is great example of a capsule wardrobe checklist (you can find a ton on Pinterest):
In my research I also came across another Tiny House blogger with a YouTube channel that had some incredibly helpful and inspirational tips: One Girl One Suitcase. This woman and her boyfriend are renting a tiny house in California to see how it suits them- I wish there were more tiny houses you could rent for this purpose- and she she talks about their desire to simplify so they can travel more; alas I have found a kindred spirit.
She also references Project 333– the idea of living with only 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months (I like that this project allows for each season to have it’s own wardrobe). Project 333 is something I am working toward but for now, I have made some great strides in my last downsizing attempt- I took a lot to Clothes Mentor, a local resale store here in Fort Worth, this weekend and made $100+ 🙂 I still have a long way to go and even though this kind of downsizing has been tougher than most, I am experiencing similar results: with less in my closet I have an easier time deciding what to wear in the morning. I am also becoming more creative fashion wise and just feel freer. I am starting to think it may be possible to maintain fashionista status while living tiny!
Even if you aren’t going tiny I highly recommend some closet downsize time- it’s like a great haircut: you will feel more fashionable and noticeably lighter! Here are my tips to doing this effectively:
1. Give yourself a week or two- this should be a process.
2. Pay attention to what you wear repeatedly and what you never really wear. If you have room in your closet move your “can’t live without’s” to one section and your “I forgot I even owned this’s” to another, the latter preferably somewhere where you can’t see them and kind of forget about them all over again (this avoids the annoying reversing of hangers!).
3. After a week if you didn’t think of any of the “I forgot I even owned this’s” then they need to go (get some boxes or bags to start a collection).
4. Try on all the “can’t live without’s” and anything that was in between your two categories- if it doesn’t fit well (think in terms of you body type and the structure of the piece rather than things that could be fixed or altered by a tailor; a trip to the tailor is a worthwhile investment) then it should also go.
5. Make sure every piece can be worn AT LEAST TWO WAYS, the more ways it can be worn the better. Feel free to take photos of outfit ideas if you have a bad fashion memory like me!
6. Gather everything that is leaving your wardrobe- first reach out to friends who might be interested (Especially with handbags and jewelry, because it doesn’t matter if you and your friends are the same size) in what you are getting rid of. Better yet, think of friends with that style- anything that shows you were thinking about your friend, their style, and their needs is a more rewarding way to downsizing rather than simply unloading your unwanteds on someone else.
7. If it didn’t go to a friend, take it to resale. Clothes Mentor in Fort Worth is my go to resale shop, and they have locations across the country. Unlike places like Plato’s Closet that are geared toward teens and always tell me that my clothes are “too mature”, Clothes Mentor takes a lot of things from my favorite stores- Banana, J Crew, the Limited, Loft, etc.
8. Anything that isn’t bought by resale generally goes to Goodwill.
At this point, I tell myself that if I buy something, something else will have to go. Trying to tell yourself there is a finite number of spots in your closet. I would eventually like to get to 33 for each season, but I definitely have a ways to go. The current tally (and this is for all seasons because it was 76 degrees in Texas in February today, so you never know what you are going to get) is:
- Shirts/Blouses/Tops: 95
- Pants: 19
- Jackets: 9