The seasons have changed here in New Zealand and we are now well into winter.
I had started pulling winter items out one by one as it got colder but I’ve just changed over all my summer/autumn clothing to my winter wardrobe for the cooler temperatures that we have now.
I’d like to show you some pointers I use to keep my clothing organised, and my process for how I move into each new season in my wardrobe.
My wardrobe is a pretty basic layout, a place for my hangers, two open shelves above, a small chest of drawers and a few hooks.
HALF MY WARDROBE GETS HUNG
All my jackets, long sleeve tops, pants, cardigans, and dresses.
I could hang jeans and t-shirts too but I don’t because there is space in the drawers for them.
Hanging my clothing means A. They don’t wrinkle and B. I can easily see what’s available to me all the time and I don’t forget what I have.
I have a small basket for scarves, woollen hats etc Some scarves and winter jackets are often hung at the back door this time of year, and my gloves are kept in my handbag.
On my bottom shelf that sits at eye level, I keep a small pile of old clothes readily available for messy work, gardening or painting etc. It’s SO disappointing when I forget I have these and wear newer items and destroy them unnecessarily so I try to keep these in plain view.
Right at the top, out of the way I have a storage caddy for out of season items. I have just filled it with all my summer wardrobe items I’m not wearing.
It’s all in there folded nicely for next season with a cotton scarf over top to protect clothing from dust and insects that might fall on top over the next few months.
The only other items I have on this shelving is my large travel case stored on the top shelf for when I go away, it’s up there because it’s too big to go under my bed.
And on the the bottom shelf is a file folder for our legal docs, easy access to grab in an emergency.
I have a small set of 4 drawers which holds all the smaller items which are unable to be hung. Undergarments, socks, t-shirts, pyjamas, jeans & exercise gear.
I didn’t always have drawers, I had everything up on the two shelves. I used two smaller caddy’s for my undergarments and socks and folded my other items and had them in piles along the shelf.
I keep our shoes at the end on a shoe rack and we also have hooks to hang current items that have been worn recently and waiting to be worn again.
You don’t need to go and buy new shelving or storage boxes!
ANY clean box, suitcase or storage caddy will do. For out of season items the only essential it needs to be is that it is kept dry. Don’t spend money on something that’s in storage!
What you have already will be good enough for now – I promise!
My wardrobe is far from picture perfect but it absolutely works.
Do I want to make it prettier, paint those drawers, the walls…YEAH!
That will happen eventually if it’s important enough, but for now, the important thing is to create a simplified wardrobe that reduces stress on my brain and clutter in my closet.
Don’t let the need to have it look perfect stop you from decluttering your clothing.
Find what you have free and available for storage around the house or in the garage and use that.
You can go back and make it pretty later!
Marie Kondo was my introduction to minimalism 6 years ago when I read her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up’, and she revolutionised how I will always look at my belongings.
And once you know something you can never ‘unknow it’.
There are now all sorts of systems and theories behind what works for keeping a minimal wardrobe such as ‘the capsule wardrobe’, ‘the 10 item wardrobe’ or the ‘33 item wardrobe’.
I’ve never managed to maintain a particular number or system as much as I have a philosophy which is to only own what I believe is Beautiful or Useful.
KonMari would encourage you to own what ‘SPARKS JOY’ and I think a common-sense approach to this would be to own what is useful and enjoyable to wear.
If you don’t use it or enjoy wearing it then the item should not be something that you have to manage, store or look at all the time.
GET STARTED SORTING
#1 You will need 3 items for sorting
- A box for items to give away
- A bag for rubbish items
- A storage box for out of season items to be stored
#2 Gather all your items in one place
Sometimes it’s best to dump all your clothing on the bed. I do try to have all my laundry up to date so I have it all available to sort. You will have to follow the process with items that come in from laundry over the next few days.
#3 Look at each item to decide if you want to keep it or not
- Is it broken or ripped, stained, worn out
- Is it ill-fitting, too big, too small?
- Have you not worn it in a while? Why/why not?
- Maybe you haven’t worn it in years and it needs to go.
- Maybe it’s worn out because you wear it all the time?
It’s really important to make these decisions now so you don’t have to keep making decisions every time you look at what you want to wear each day all season long.
GETTING RID OF EXPENSIVE ITEMS OF CLOTHING
It can be difficult to get rid of items of clothing if you have spent a lot of money on them. If you’re not sure you can part with it even though you don’t wear it, maybe consider selling it.
Definitely put it to the side in your give-away box so it’s not a part of your wardrobe anymore but you could keep the box in the corner for a few weeks to see if you want to sell it or just give it away.
EVERY ITEM OF CLOTHING NEEDS TO BE CHECKED
Every item needs to be looked at including socks, undergarments, pyjamas, exercise gear, and jackets and shoes, t-shirts, jeans etc. Check every item is sorted.
- Items you don’t wear often enough, put to the side to give away or sell.
- Throw broken, ripped, stained items away
- Place any items, NOT for this season in your storage box/case.
NOW WHAT ABOUT YOUR CLOTHING FOR THIS SEASON
You have to make sure you have enough clothing for this season you are in.
As I said earlier I don’t keep a specific number of anything so my estimate of what I need isn’t exact, but I keep track of what I know I need by the roles I have in my life and make sure I have enough outfits for them.
#1 DECIDE WHAT YOU NEED CLOTHING FOR
For me, I work during the week, I run errands, go to appointments, shopping, coffee with friends, date night with James, I go to church, I exercise, I garden, and I sleep.
All of these roles require different types of clothing.
#2 DECIDE HOW MANY OUTFITS FOR EACH ROLE
Do you have the clothing you will need already for each role?
THIS IS MY LIST…
- At home, at least 5-6 sets of regular clothes
- For work, 2 sets of uniform
- 2 sets of exercise gear and pyjamas
- 2-3 nicer outfits for church or date night
- Old clothing for gardening etc.
Decide if you have enough items for each activity you do in a week or if you have too many items.
GETTING RID OF ITEMS ISN’T ALWAYS EASY AT FIRST
If you have more than you need you can put some aside if you’re not sure and see if you end up using them over the next month – six weeks.
Reducing the number of items in your wardrobe isn’t always easy at first. Give yourself some time to be willing to part with things by putting them to the side for a few weeks.
If you don’t use them at all you will know that it’s fine to get rid of them.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHING?
Maybe you had to throw some items out and you need to get replacements?
Maybe you have decided you would like a few new outfits because you are lacking in some area.
Today I realised I need to buy a few pairs of black tights.
You might need new jeans, a jacket or a hoodie?
This to me is one of the biggest wins with minimalism. You shop knowing that you need what you are buying AND, you don’t have to shop all the time – once a season and your good for the next few months!
I have significantly reduced the amount of stress involved in tidying out my wardrobe and keeping it simplified by having fewer items I have to deal with ongoing and day-to-day.
There are many benefits to minimalism. It keeps things simple, uncluttered, and manageable.
Fewer decisions needing to be made on a daily basis about what to wear, it’s all been made during this change of season process.
I hope this has helped you in some way and maybe inspired you to consider simplifying your process.