My friend visited me the other day at my house and requested to see my closet. Apparently, she has been reading my blogs and Instagram, and she was inspired. Yay! So her reaction was: “You have no clothes!” Haha. Oh no, I sure do. In a matter of fact, I have too much. Every day I think what I have is too much and it is suffocating me: so my ‘eagle’ eye is scanning my possessions every day to find something that I can get rid of.
I never had a separation anxiety with things. I never had a problem of letting go. I had extra things and clutter from now and then simply because I wasn’t paying attention and it was just there. I never had an emotional attachment to things. In fact, if for some futuristic reason I will lose all my possessions tomorrow, I will not have a breakdown. I will have a little bit of stress because I would have to quickly replace things but other than that I would look at it from a prospective of starting over, starting fresh.
When I started my journey towards minimalism (and I am not by any means close to it yet), my closet was the easiest part of my house to clean up. I departed from my extra clothes in no time and never looked back. I don’t even remember what I got rid of.
A few things that are worth mentioning: I am a corporate professional that works in the office five days a week, so I have to look good. Also, my family is very active: we do summer sports at a lake during warmer months of the year, I do yoga and go to the gym, we do some outdoor activities during the winter months, we travel, we attend cocktail parties etc. And we live in a four season state. So we do have to have a variety of clothes, some winter gear, some sport gear, some office clothes etc. So my closet is by any means not a minimalist closet like you can imagine but it is getting to a stage that I can say I am proud of.
A few things that I am already liking from having fewer clothing items:
- It takes less time for me to get dressed in the morning: I am not stressed out with making those decisions every day
- By getting rid of things that in need of a repair or simply don’t look as good as they should, it eliminates a chance for me to wear something that I will regret later in the day and I can make sure that I look sharp every day
- I only see and wear things that I absolutely love and that I fill good in
- It takes less effort to keep my closet clean and organized
- I don’t spend a lot of time at the stores doing mindless shopping
- I am a big believer in quality vs quantity so it is easier on my budget to save a little bit of money every paycheck and then go to one or two stores to find one or two pieces of new clothing for a new season (I usually hit Banana republic and Gap and I am done. If there is nothing there that I absolutely love I move on and coming back in a month or so)
- It gives me a piece of mind that my impact on the planet is minimal as it can be at this stage
Here are a few tips and tricks that I used to help me to get rid of clothing easier:
- I sell clothes. It’s an extra motivation cause you get cash for it to either buy new and nicer (for example 1 items versus 5) or you spend it on experiences, paying off debts, saving it etc. My favorite app that I use is Poshmark: it is easy, you can upload pictures to your “closet” from your phone, they send you labels for shipping, you can chat with your customers instantly, etc. A win-win overall.
- I donate clothes: there are people in need all over the world that can benefit and use those clothing pieces and it is better than those just seat in my closet collecting dust
- I give it away to the people that I think can benefit from it: friends and family.
And honestly, there is still so much work to be done and I still have some impulse buys every now and then simply because I am a woman and I want to make myself feel better by buying something pretty. And I think it’s ok; I think there is should be a healthy balance between allowing yourself to have simple luxuries from time to time and becoming a consumer and treating shopping like a hobby. I always remember how our grandmas and moms used to live back home (Russia-Europe) where they had small portable closet chests with just a few pieces of clothing and they were happy.
Yes I understand that they didn’t have a whole lot but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t that important. I would like to get to the stage some day when it will not be important and I can pack items in a suitcase and go travel the world without worrying on what to do with that enormous closet of mine. And it what point we all decided that to have a room as your closet is normal? Why did we think it is a great use of your life to stand there every day and look at the piles of stuff facing unnecessary decisions? Have you ever thought of that your home should be a living space not a storage space?
I truly look forward to continue my journey to simple living. There are bloggers and YouTubers that are absolutely inspiring. And there is more to life than shopping for things that eventually end up in a landfill. Fill your life with experiences, not things.