If you’ve ever wanted to clean out your closet but hesitate because you don’t feel ready to take on the minimalist capsule wardrobe then this post is for you. You don’t have to get rid of everything to own less. My client Suzy is the perfect example of how to simplify without having to get rid of everything you own. So if you’re waiting to purge because you’re afraid of getting rid of too much, rest assured, minimizing your life doesn’t have to look one way. It can fit who you are.
Minimalism is taking the world by storm right now. It seems that people across the western world are opting out of a cluttered, chaotic, and overwhelming lifestyle. Though it’s kind of becoming a religion unto itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’m encouraged by this trend towards quality over quantity. But does being a minimalist mean you must pare down to only the essentials or can you still own more than two pairs of pants? Enter Suzy.
I met Suzy through a book club hosted by one of my best friends Chandra. They were actually reading my ebook Simple Is The Cure.
Once Suzy read the chapter about cleaning out your closet she decided to hire me to help her style and organizing what she already owned.
Diagnosing Her Wardrobe Ills
When Suzy and I first got together to clean out her closet she had already done one purge on her own but still had several hundred articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories she wanted to evaluate. She wanted more organization, fewer items, and more ideas about how to style the clothing she already had and needed more than just a clean out.
The biggest problem was being faced with too many options which caused her to stress out, procrastinate, and waste time.
What we needed to do was purge and organize but more importantly we needed to get super clear on what her personal style and “uniform” were.
Suzy’s #1 Struggle: Packing A Professional Outfit In A Gym Bag
Suzy works full time in a very professional environment and is committed to going to the gym before work. As a result she needed a professional and polished look that still allowed her to express her bright colors and eclectic creativity. That’s a tall order on its own, but she also needed to be able to get ready at the gym early in the morning.
It was stressful and time consuming trying to figure out what to wear before work each night.
What I also encountered with Suzy was that she had misconceptions about her size. I encouraged her to start selecting skirts and pants that were true to her size. Suzy tended to go up a size thinking she was a bit bigger. However, this resulted in skirts and pants that were slightly too large for her.
Getting clear on her style, wardrobe requirements, and sizing helped us to know which items to keep and which items to get rid of. This also informed her buying decisions in the future.
She and I worked together to purge, organize, and style her closet. We probably removed 150 to 250 items from her closet all together including clothing, accessories, shoes, handbags, and jewelry.
What We Did To Solve The Problem Long Term
Over the course of two closet clean out sessions, Suzy was able to implement some of the homework I gave her like removing all of the shoe boxes from her closet and replacing them with clear bins, removing her closet door for easy access and viewing, and installing a small dry erase board to make notes about specific items and plan out her looks for the week.
You can see that even though Suzy still has a full wardrobe, it is very organized and so much easier to style. And that’s the main point I want to emphasize. Even though we removed so many items from her closet, simplifying the whole thing, Suzy was still left with plenty of options.
She didn’t have to become a minimalist in the traditional sense to have a more simplified life and wardrobe.
Instead of her clothing items being dispersed throughout different parts of her room and house, we’ve now been able to purge enough to have all of her clothing, shoes and accessories pretty much in one location.
And that’s the goal; you want to be able to see everything that you own in one place so that you don’t buy duplicates, and have a much easier time getting dressed and styling yourself. During our first session, Suzy and I really focused on creating the anatomy of an outfit for her. This is so that she understands the basic structure of outfits that work for her body type, for her job, and for her personal day-to-day needs.
This has saved her so much time and without her commitment to doing this, it wouldn’t have worked. However, Suzy is devoted to simplifying her life and her closet and she’s willing to do whatever it takes including letting go of things that she thought she never would in order to gain more peace of mind, space, and confidence. I’m really proud of her and I’m proud of the results of her closet clean out!
The Financial Benefits of Investing In A Closet Clean Out
As a result of us working together, Suzy is able to know that what is in her closet is exactly what she wants to be in her closet. When you work with a stylist there is no question about what to keep and what to get rid of. You have direction and instant feedback so you know that in the end you haven’t let go of valuable items or kept items that really don’t serve you.
How can you know what to get rid of if you don’t know what works best for you?
She knows how to quickly get dressed in the morning and how to avoid making purchases that no longer suit her true style. She know what looks best on her body, how to feel amazing in what she’s wearing, and when to let go of things that aren’t comfortable for her anymore.
She’s saving up for larger purchases that she wants to make and is really happy with the amount that she’s downsized. What’s even cooler about doing a closet cleanout is that Suzy is set to make $400 – $600 dollars from items that we’ve purged.
She’s getting ready to sell all these items in a local consignment event called Statemint (which – side note – I’ll also be participating in :-)). And once the sale wraps up I’ll report back and let you know how we both did.
If you live in Knoxville and would like to schedule a closet clean out with me so that you can make a couple hundred dollars at Statemint, reach out to me today so we can schedule a free consultation.
There is no rulebook that says you have to get rid of everything you own to be a minimalist. And if there is a rule book I don’t know about, break the rules. You’re free to minimize in whatever way works best for you. The point is that you’re simplifying! So don’t let what other people’s standards of “less” dictate or limit your own progress. Be like Suzy and reach out for support. No more stress! Simple is beautiful.