During my Laguna Beach vacation I was catching up on Pop Fashion and came to the episode about extreme minimalism (the James Bond/12/11 episode). They talked a bit about how to use minimalism as a way to approach your closet. I'm a big believer in less is more...but it's still hard to keep an uncluttered closet.
Having less things means you can keep track of all your goods and take better care of the things you do have. With clothes, it means you don't have to dig through junk to get to your favorite pair of pants because you only own the favorites.
I've moved from one country to another, from the West Coast to the East Coast and I often have to pack up for short and long trips. What I've learned from lugging around lots of things is that I'd rather own only the things I really truly love. It's easier to move, easier to pack and much easier to live.
Every time I move I do a major overhaul. I basically clean out my things and anything that doesn't fit into my desired life has to go. It's hard, but it is very rare I ever regret getting rid of things (except for all the coats I gave away when moving from SF to DC -- those were great vintage/thrift finds and you will always be missed). I'm moving soon, so this past Sunday I cleaned out my closet and made a stop at Buffalo Exchange to sell/donate the clothes and shoes I do not need or want.
Kaarin Vembar, fashion consultant at Closet Caucus, writer and co-host of Pop Fashion, gave some great tips on cleaning out your closet and building up your dream wardrobe:
The one question to keep in mind above all others is this: "Does this item bring me joy?" Fashion trends will come and go, but the idea isn't to bow down to ever-changing style ideals. What you are building is bigger than that. For most people clothing is just a small part of the larger whole of their daily experience. That is what it should be! Getting dressed should be a fun, body-positive practice. You throw the things on and you are out the door - ready to conquer your day. -Kaarin Vembar
When going through your closet ask yourself these questions:
- What is it?
- Why do I own it?
- When did I last wear it?
- Does it fit the image of myself that I want to present to the world?
- Does this item bring me joy?
If it's something you don't own for a really special reason, haven't worn in a long time, does not fit the image of yourself that you want to present, and/or it does not bring you joy, get rid of it.
Simple as that.
Another approach is to pretend you are going on a one month vacation to a place with multiple climates. What would you bring? Pack your bag. Now, what did you not include? Do you really need all the other stuff?
When you've found the essence of your closet you take the fuss out of getting dressed. And then you can actually get dressed.
Happy closet cleaning!