How to Minimize Your Wardrobe
This post has been a long time coming. I had started writing this post back in June, but let it fall to the wayside as I wasn't entirely satisfied with the information I was putting out there. Fortunately, some big changes came up and I now know exactly how I want to present this post.
In a few short weeks, my mister and I are going to be leaving our de-facto home and moving to the west coast of Canada. To the damn pretty city of Victoria, to be exact. Calgary has been my off and on basecamp for the past ten years, for my man --almost fourteen years. There was a three year gap in there where we shipped off to Europe, but more-or-less it's been Casa Cow-town for us.
We most definitely didn't intend to stay this long. No way. I mean, I don't even like Calgary. But school, amazing friends, some decent work, a cozy loft apartment, endless Rocky Mountain adventures, and we got comfortable. There is a lot of good here, but this city has never been for me and has never felt like home. I have always considered it to be like a pit stop. A great place to stop and have a snack, stretch your legs, take a pee, and hang out for a while. But for me, it was never part of the greater journey I had in mind.
Right now, our journey is taking us to the island. And along with us, comes our stuff. In the first part of this series, I am going to detail how you can get rid of your unneeded clothing and how to start an eco-minimal starter pack! Part-two will detail how to reduce clutter in the rest of your home.
How to get rid of clothing:
Twice a year, before you transition into the next season, separate your stuff into Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. This is super important to do in advance because you are going to want to consign and donate your things when the stores are getting ready to accept them. For example, I go through my Fall/Winter stuff in late July/early August. This is because all clothing stores --from thrift to new-- make the complete transition to Fall clothing by the end of August. If you try to bring them flip flops and shorts in August they'll likely get discarded or thrown out. Respect the merchant's time and only bring them what they can use. This goes for donations as well!
Find an empty space in your home and toss all of your clothing on the floor. This is best done away from where you normally store your wardrobe so you don't sneak pieces back into drawers. Now make three piles:
- Throw away/recycle
Throw away/Recycle: This pile is the easiest. If it has sweat stains, rips/tears/holes, is in the sock and underwear category, or is missing buttons and you know you won't repair it yourself, toss it or recycle it (don't make it someone else's problem!). Clothing recycling programmes vary by country and region. So be sure to check out what is offered where you live.
Consignment: Understand that some of this pile is going to end up donated. A lot of people struggle when they consign clothing because they believe that their personal story or emotional attachment to the item is going to be transferred onto the merchant. Not true. The person at the consignment store only views your item as something they can sell or not. They are not in the business of romanticizing your old t-shirt. If the merchant doesn't want your item, don't take it personally and understand that they know what they're doing and know their market. Don't agree? Try a different store.
The best items for this pile are very gently used or rarely worn, are designer, still have tags attached, are still relevant to the current trends, or happen to be a really spectacular piece of vintage.
Donation: This pile will consist of seasonal items that are in great condition but aren't necessarily stylish, may have some minor wear and tear or pilling, or have been rejected by the consignment store. I keep this pile in a box until after I've been to a consignment store just in case I'll be adding a few more pieces.
So, how do you decide what to get rid of?
Understand that if you haven't worn it in a few months you probably aren't going to wear it ever again. Get over it and move on. Even the pieces that you've worn once or twice. You've only worn it a handful of times for a reason, there is a good chance you don't actually like it, you only like the idea of it. Trust me, I've been there and I've helped a lot of people in this mindset. Also, if it doesn't fit anymore and hasn't fit for a long time, IT'S GONE! Say goodbye! You aren't doing yourself any favours by clinging on to something that might be making you feel bad about your current body composition. Adorn your perfect body with what fits it and rock the hell out of it.