Travel has helped me to downsize my wardrobe. True story. Travel has not only been good for my soul, but it has been good for downsizing my wardrobe as well. On my frequent short hull holidays around Europe, I learnt to pack everything I need for two weeks in one carry on because when I am travelling I am usually hopping from one city to the other because can you really see a country when you are in one city? Just like at my ten days in the Algarve, Portugal trip, where I stayed four days in each place and managed to fit in two day trips too! I use public transports for all of the gallivanting, so a light bag is a must! Additionally, when you travel on budget airlines, carry-on only is friendlier for the budget.
Point is, if I can live ten days with five outfits, I can live the rest of my life with 30! One for every day of the month and repeat. I also learnt to use basic fashion items in multiple ways. A black top can go with jeans, skirt, over a dress and that is already three outfits with one top! I also had a guest post about modest capsule wardrobes, which I used as a rough guideline.
Reading A Year of Less also contributed towards my will to downsize my closest. I started getting frustrated with the amount of pointless clothes that I have especially as I throw half of them on the floor and yell “why do not I have anything to wear” while standing on that pile of clothes I made.
How to downsize your wardrobe?
Toss it out if you did not wear it for a year. That is how I started with my mini clear-out. Everything that I have not worn or considered wearing for a whole year had to go. I had 365 days to wear it and I chose not, so chances are I won’t be choosing it in the next year.
Anything that lost shape or function got to go. I don’t know why, but I was holding on to so many old tops that lost their shapes and made me feel terrible when I wore them. You would think I got rid of them for just that reason, no they still lived in the closet, so just the act of removing them was therapeutic.
My skinny clothes and my fatter clothes need to get reduced. I am not sure if your weight changes frequently, but mine likes to journey between size 8 and 12. One year I am 8 and the next I am 12. Although, it might not sound a lot (not to me!) it makes such a difference with clothes especially skinny jeans and fitted dresses, so, I had to reduce the pile. So right 8 size, were put away and big 12 size were put away.
Odd socks and old underwear have no place. Now that I got rid of some of the odd socks, their right pairs will surface up soon, but I finally did it. I had so many odd socks just taking space and they cannot be worn or matched with other odd ones. I took the chance to get rid of all the old underwear that I bought a while ago and some of them also lost shape completely and they were just there collecting dust!
I took that pile that I formed on the floor and the bed, folded all the nice stuff up to be sent to the homeless shelter near me and then threw away the pieces that cannot be salvaged (and underwear).
There was some fancy occasional wear that I only wear three times a year maximum, but I just moved it to the far side of the closest because I know I would wear them on upcoming occasions again. Turns out I have a thing for teal because three of my occasion dresses are the same colour!
I also got few bit to help me organise my wardrobe better that you might find useful too
After my wardrobe, I tackled my two bookshelves and did almost the same. I had university books that I didn’t even open since 2007.... The expensive ones went on Amazon, some specialty ones were offered to friends and the rest is going to the charity shop.
Now, do not get me wrong, I am by no means a minimalist and I don’t think I ever will be, but at least I feel good about decluttering and I am happy with the extra wardrobe space in my tiny London flat!
If you need more inspiration, these books will really help you get there:
Disclaimer: cover photo is not my bedroom! Although, I wish it was heheh, will take one of my bedroom later when it’s all nice and presentable and share it with you.