You can call me cliché, but I do try to set New Years resolutions and follow through on them. I typically avoid a lot of ongoing resolutions (what can I say, I am just not disciplined enough!) so I tend to stick with one time actions that have long term effects. This year, my resolution was to reduce my wardrobe to a bloated capsule wardrobe.
For those that are unfamiliar with what a capsule wardrobe is, it is “a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and blouses, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.” So basically a consolidated wardrobe comprised of versatile pieces that that can be mixed and matched. And I say “bloated” because the truest form of capsule wardrobe is just 30 pieces including shoes and accessories, and I have just not reached that level in my life yet!
The reason I decided to work towards a bloated capsule wardrobe is because I am admittedly a bit of a shopaholic. But only a bit of one because I can stop whenever I want! I swear! Anyway…I am a terrible shopper because I buy anything that strikes my fancy right at that moment, whether it is something I will actually wear or not. And I am quite literally the worst at returning things. So thanks to my bad shopping habits, I have a closet bursting with clothing I never wear (many still with tags on) and only a handful of items that I actually love and wear regularly. And on top of that, my excessive amounts of clothing had put me in a very messy and disorganized state, which was driving me insane. So I decided to make a change.
The first step, and by far the most time consuming, was to sort through every single piece of clothing into a “keep” pile, a “maybe” pile, or a “no” pile. This was an all day process, and very challenging for me as the “keep” and “maybe” piles grew quite large (I swear every item I looked at I thought I would get around to wearing eventually), and the “no” pile only had a couple old t-shirts in it. So I knew I had to apply additional specifications. I decided anything that I hadn’t worn in over a year had to go in the “no” pile. Likewise anything that I forgot I even had was a hard pass, and items that hadn’t even been unpacked in the last PCS were going in the “no” pile as well. The piles shifted quickly to a mountainous “no” pile, a moderate “yes,” and a tiny little “maybe” pile. Spoiler alert, the maybe’s all became “no’s.
After I had the piles all sorted, I bagged the “no” pile up as quickly as I could before I could change my mind about anything. I ended up with not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR large garbage bags full of clothing to donate. I really do have a problem y’all. After I had those bags set away, I started on reorganizing and putting the remainders back again. It was a surprisingly pleasant task, not only did I NOT have to use muscle to force drawers shut, but I actually had excess space! I didn’t have to double up (or triple or quadruple) items on hangers, I had hangers left over! It took probably a grand total of fifteen minutes to get everything put away.
It has been a little over three weeks since this undertaking, and reducing to a bloated capsule wardrobe has actually been a phenomenal thing for me! Here are my three key experiences over the last three weeks:
- My bedroom and closet have stayed very neat and tidy since I now have more storage space than clothing, rather than the other way around.
- I have been able to easily find what I want to wear, because each individual item is readily visible and I don’t have to hunt through piles.
- I love each item I own, and have worn everything at least once already. Because my remaining items are very versatile I can mix and match for a ton of outfit options.
What I have left:
5 pairs of pants, 12 shirts, 5 sweaters/cardigans, 4 dresses, 5 skirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 jackets.
So my grand total came in at 35 items. Now this total does not include swimwear or pajamas, nor does it include shoes or accessories. However the former two fit easily into one small drawer, and the latter two take up just part of one shelf in the closet. So I still consider this a stunning victory!