Starting out small—minimalizing my wardrobe

90-days with no new clothing

To start, I began a 90-day buying freeze on clothes. I wanted to convince myself that I could live with the clothes that I already owned. I had expected this to be a bit of a challenge with all of the advertisements and clothing stores in downtown Toronto, but surprisingly, I found the buying freeze to be a relief. Instead of seeing clothes I liked in ads or window displays and trying to decide whether I should buy them, I would simply say “no” and walk by. This felt very freeing.  

I also unsubscribed from all of the promotional emails I received from clothing stores. I hadn’t realized how often I was looking at clothing store websites simply because an email told me about an “exclusive” sale and not because I actually needed something. As an added bonus, I don’t have nearly the amount of emails cluttering up my inbox!  

Minimalizing room by room

Next, we started to de-clutter and minimalize our apartment room by room. Following Joshua Becker’s advice in Simplify, we began with going through our clothes. To do this, I removed every clothing item I had and placed them all on the bed. Then, I picked up each item to decide whether to keep it or donate it.  I would consider four things:

  1. Does it fit perfectly?
  1. Is it worn out or damaged?
  1. Do I have occasion to wear it/does it match with something I already have to create an outfit?

     And most importantly,

     4) Do I feel comfortable in it?

By using these questions, I was able to donate over half of my clothes. When I hung up or put away all of my clothes, the drawers were no longer difficult to close and each item had its own hanger in my closet.  

The benefits of just this one simple act of minimalism have had quite an impact on me. For one thing, since I like every item of clothing I now own, choosing an outfit each day is much easier and I am able to get ready faster in the morning. Since my closet is organized and I can see each piece of clothing, it is much easier to match items to create outfits. I have received more compliments on my clothing since minimalizing my wardrobe than I did before, despite the fact that I have half the amount of clothes, none of them are new, and I have worn most of them many times before. I found this especially interesting and it made me wonder why I was buying new clothes so often before!

Looking forward

After experiencing the satisfaction of this first step towards minimalism, I am looking forward to the next challenge: minimalizing the closets!

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