How Paring Down My Closet Perked Up My Life
Like most women, I truly enjoy my curating closet and shopping for clothes. Over the years my penchant for secondhand and bargain shopping has won me some great, unique pieces that I love! However, I recently found myself completely overwhelmed by the abundance – rather, overabundance – of clothing in my possession. After reading about the perks of abiding by a capsule wardrobe and totally connecting on every level with the minimalistic approach to style, I knew it was time to give my closet a complete overhaul.
Although I haven't cut down exactly to a capsule wardrobe, I've managed to give the heave-ho to 50 percent of my wardrobe over the last six months. The best part? I don't even miss the pieces that I said goodbye to!
While delighting in my closet purge, I learned a lot about living more simply and making valiant efforts to live a more streamlined lifestyle:
Less decisions = less stress.
In the morning when I'm getting ready, I've found that making as few decisions as possible is key to enjoying moments of calm solitude before work. I'll never forget reading that President Obama only wears blue or grey suits, for the sake of saving his decision-making for larger matters. Although I'm not running the country, I've found that less options in my closet leads to easier outfit decision making. Plus, it forces me to get creative and jazz up my looks with fun accessories.
I've begun applying this philosophy in other areas as well, and it's been amazing! Less back-to-back social obligations, less mental fatigue. Less meaningless clutter in my house, less frantic cleaning. Sometimes we avoid less for fear of lacking, when really, we're experiencing a taste of freedom.
My wardrobe is cyclical – and I like that.
I'm proud to say that the majority of my wardrobe has come from thrift stores! Since a young age, the thrill of the hunt for the perfect bargain piece has kept my wardrobe lively and very 'me.' Nothing really feels better than getting a gushing compliment about the $3 blouse you're wearing – am I right?! I love that shopping secondhand allows me to avoid some of the pitfalls of consumerism. What's better is that I always end up donating my secondhand pieces back to Goodwill. In a way, I feel like I'm simply borrowing them for some time and recycling again when the clothing no longer suits my taste. I love to know that the jacket that I splurged on at Nordstrom and wore once may make someone's day when they stumble upon my donated finds!
Quality > quantity.
As much as I love bargain shopping, I also learned that those little $3 and $5 steals were also acting as my gateway drug into overbuying. I didn't know how to say 'no' to a great deal, even if it didn't exactly suit my style or the season I was buying for. In short, I had a closet full of cheap clothes that I didn't love.
Now that I've pared down my closet, I'm focusing on buying less, but focusing on quality and timelessness, so that the life of my clothes will be extended across multiple seasons. One of my new favorite places to pick up quality finds is Madewell – their denim is amazing, and their classic pieces mix and match effortlessly.