Do you have a lot more clothing than you actually need? Is your closet filled to the brim? Sounds like it might be time to declutter. Let’s talk about how you can create a minimalist wardrobe.
In 2014 I did just that. I decided to move to New York City and everything had to fit into a suitcase and carry-on. I’ve been living out of a suitcase and carry-on backpack ever since and haven’t looked back.
Minimalism for me is all about living an intentional life, a life free of clutter. There are no rules neither are their guidelines that you must adhere to. Minimalism is what you make of it.
If your closet is full of clothing you hardly ever wear then it’s time to let go. Let’s create a minimalist wardrobe!
Step 1: Take inventory
The first step is a crucial one. Take inventory of your wardrobe. It’s important to get a detailed understanding of what you have in your wardrobe and what’s missing. If you are into spreadsheets, create a detailed list of everything you have in your closet using Google Docs or Excel.
Alternatively, you can go through your closet with pen and paper. Take notes of everything that you have and everything that’s missing.
Step 2: Take a deeper look
Take a look at those pieces that you absolutely love and wear on a regular basis. What do they have in common?
Here are some helpful questions to ask:
- What materials are they made out of?
- Are they made out of specific colors?
- What’s the fit? (loose, extremely fitted, etc.)
This step is crucial. Quickly go over your favorite pieces and take notes.
My list looks something like this: loose, black, minimal, linen, cotton, lightweight, t-shirt, movement
Once this step is complete you should have a list of criteria. Set it aside.
Step 3: Take it all out
It’s time to declutter. Start putting your absolute favorite pieces aside. We’ll need those in a minute.
Take everything else that’s in your wardrobe and put it on the floor, on your bed or whatever surface you have available to you.
As soon as your wardrobe is empty put all your clothing into piles such as bottoms, tops, outerwear and so on. If you have a lot of clothing you may want to break it down further into jeans, leggings, slacks, blouses, t-shirts and so on.
Now take a look at your favorite pieces and the rest of your wardrobe. Other than your favorite pieces, what else do you enjoy wearing? Pick out every single item that you enjoy wearing.
Step 4: Declutter
Let go of everything that you absolutely not enjoy wearing. Please bear in mind to let go of it responsibly. If you choose to donate it to a charity shop, make sure to inquire if what you are going to donate is actually needed.
If what you intend to donate is no longer wearable then think twice before donating it and contact your local recycling center instead.
It’s important to let go of everything that you decided no longer has a place in your wardrobe as soon as possible.
Step 5: Build your minimalist wardrobe
We are almost there! We took inventory, took a closer look at what we enjoy wearing and why and we took it all out and decluttered. This step is all about learning to build and refine your minimalist wardrobe.
You are now left with a smaller number of pieces that you enjoy wearing. Set aside 10-20 minutes and go through your closet. Is there anything missing? Is there anything that is starting to wear down and would need to be replaced?
Go through your closet item by item and take notes.
Step 6: Fill in the gaps and repair
Repair whichever pieces need repairing and make a list of items you intend to purchase in the near future. Make sure to have a look at the list you created in Step 2. This will ensure that you will only purchase items that reflect your style and that you’ll enjoy wearing for years to come.
Please note, this step does not need to be completed within weeks. Give yourself months, years even!
Truly take your time and do not rush through this crucial step. Slowly, but surely, buy items that are missing in your closet and repair what can be fixed.
Step 7: Your minimalist wardrobe
It’s important to get very clear on what it is that you truly enjoy wearing. You let go of everything that wasn’t serving you, filled in the gaps and repaired what needed fixing.
You are now left with a wardrobe full of items that you enjoy wearing. That’s fantastic! Whenever an item needs replacing make sure it meets the criteria you defined in Step 2 and only shop for clothing when you need it.
My minimalist wardrobe
I’ve been rocking a minimalist wardrobe since 2014 and I am absolutely loving it. Over the years I’ve talked about my wardrobe in heaps of videos. There’s my Minimalist Closet Tour (2016) and my Minimalist Wardrobe Tour (2017). I’ve also shared with you my travel wardrobe.
If you’ve got too much clothing, more than you’ll ever need, then I highly recommend to declutter and to only keep what you actually need.