If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the amount of clothing you have, minimalism will help. Previous to this we have talked about why one should minimize their closet and that they even means. In this post we will take the first real step towards a great closet. In this post we will get rid of items that don’t fit and haven’t been worn. If you have already purged your closet, you can move onto the next step, Color Charts & Themes.
The First Big Step:
Before you can begin to design your new wardrobe, you must get rid of items that don’t fit or items that you do not wear any longer. This can be done by beginning with the twelve month rule, then moving onto the Six Month Rule, and finally ending with trying on all remaining items in your closet.
The Twelve Month Rule:
Walk into the closet and take a look around. What are items that you have not worn in at least 12 months? Take each and every item that fits that description out and put it into a bag. These are items that you will never wear again, they will be given to Goodwill or similar. Why? When you don’t wear something for 12 months that means you went 365 days and 4 seasons without ever putting it on. Studies have shown than when an items isn’t worn for 12 months it will likely never be worn again.
I look at it this way. I change my clothes about twice a day. Sometimes I go from work to gym and sometimes I go from work to casual. Either way I go through at least 730 outfits a year. If I don’t wear a piece of clothing during any of those 730 outfits, either it doesn’t fit, isn’t my style, or goes with nothing I own. All of these are grounds to pass it along to someone who will value it more than I.
The Six Month Rule:
Once you finish the 12 month rule throughout all of your clothing, you need to take care of the six month rule. This time when you go through your closet pick out all items that have not been worn in 6 months. Set them on the bed. These are items that have made it through 2 seasons without being worn. I find that if you do not wear something for six months, you are likely not to wear it for 12 months. There are obvious exceptions to this rule. Heavy coats in the summer and fall, shorts in the winter and spring. Use judgement to determine which have obviously been neglected.
Set the neglected pieces into a box, close the box, and put a date 6 months from now on it. In 6 months open the box and donate all items to Goodwill. If you had to go into the box to get something, then you don’t need to donate the item that you wore. Just the items that were not worn for 12 full months.
Does it fit?
Now you have the big section out of the way. How much did you realize you don’t wear? Next, you need to only keep what fits. This is included for people who are trying to loose weight or don’t like their current size. *If you are pregnant, you should think about waiting until you give birth to begin this wardrobe makeover. If you are concerned with getting rid of the smaller clothing that you wish to wear, check out the article previous to this one, FAQ to downsizing your closet.
Try on each and every article of clothing. With each piece ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it fit?
- Where is it to tight?
- Where is it to loose?
- Does it REALLY look good on you?
- Does it show off the right parts?
- Does the color flatter you?
- Are there any holes or tears? (unwanted)
If you can answer no to 1, 4, 5, 6, or 7 add it to the toss pile now. If you are unsure about those questions, add it back to the items to try on (try it on again at the end). If you point out places in 2 & 3 where it is too lose or too tight, toss it. If you can answer yes to 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 and have no answer to 2 and 3 then put it back in your closet, that’s a keeper.
Madman and I used this method to narrow down our closet in the beginning as well. This method ensures that each piece you own is quality. If you are going to aim for a minimalist closet, then you need all pieces to be of good design and well fitting.
Is it Even Appealing?
A note to add to the previous step is do you like it? This seems obvious, however I had items in my closet that were worn regularly and fit well, yet I didn’t honestly like. As you try on each piece of clothing, think about how much you actually like it. Do you wear it because it’s awesome, or do you wear it because you feel like there is nothing else to wear? Do you wear it because you mom gave it to you, or do you wear it because it’s the most awesome shirt you have? If you don’t 100% love the shirt, it’s time to part with it.
Do you have 100?
Another consideration to think about when trying on clothing is number. Why are you trying on 20 jeans when you only wear jeans twice a week? Think about why you have 10 pairs of dark jeans. Do you need each of them? If you wear slacks every day to work, maybe you don’t need so many jeans. If you only wear jeans, why do you still have 20 pairs of slacks?
Get rid of the items that you fit this description. They could be tops, shoes, socks, or jeans. If you are a nurse, do you really need 30 scrubs or will 10 work just fine?
Taking the next step:
Now that your closet is about 30% of what it was before (or was that just me?), it’s time to move onto the next step. Take a day to think about your favorite colors and what colors look best on you. Then come back to my site for part II!
What did you get rid of?
How much did you not know you had?
Do you have any great before and after shots of step one?
Did you donate enough to open your own goodwill? (I did)