Major Closet Cleanout

Nate and I shared in our last post about how we are changing the way we shop for clothes but first, we needed to majorly purge our existing wardrobe. We’ve purged our wardrobes before, but never like this.

Previously, we each had a dresser and a closet (Nate used the one in our guest room). After purging everything, we now share my old dresser and one closet with room to spare. I’d call that a success! We sold Nates’s dresser for $100 on a Facebook Yardsale site and are enjoying the extra space and simplicity in our bedroom. We’ll share soon how we used the $100 towards accomplishing a long overdue financial goal!

Purge Your Clothes

Here’s how we cut our wardrobes in half:

1. Work with a friend: Nate and I did this together and it was extremely helpful to have someone else give input. In the past, I’ve always done this alone so I held onto clothing I probably would have passed on if I had a little encouragement to just let it go. We were ruthless and encouraged each other when we were feeling hesitant to eliminate something. For me, it was especially helpful to have Nate remind me to “love people not things”‘as I sorted through clothing that I previously kept for sentimental reasons only (first date outfit, anniversary gift etc).

2. Be realistic: How many t-shirts do you actually need? We each had a drawer full of random t-shirts. Umm, hello? We have a washer, there’s no reason for us to have a different ugly t-shirt to wear each day of the month. We had so many socks, most of which we never wore. Same story for me with jewelry, leggings, tights, and camisoles. Physically going through every drawer, touching each item–I could not believe my bedroom was filled with so much clothing I could not care any less about. Their only purpose was “just in case…” BYE.

3. Ask Yourself? Would you buy this now? If this was a store, would you buy this right now? If the answer is no, get rid of it. The end. I held onto clothing because I felt guilty tossing it because of the money spent. Letting it sit in my closet is just as wasteful so why not donate it and let someone else get some use out of it. This mindset it just for initially cleaning out your closet and helping you achieve a sense of minimalism. Do not allow yourself to use charity donations to justify excessive clothing purchases or you’ll end up with an overflowing wardrobe, empty wallet, and cluttered living space.

4. Follow Project 333: Nate and I decided to give this concept a test run. Essentially you pick out 33 items (shoes, clothes, and accessories) and commit to wearing those things only for 3 months. Then after 3 months, you can switch up your collection and repeat for 3 months. This does not include undergarments or athletic clothes. We didn’t follow the Project 333 rules to a T and made some adjustments to make it work for us.

Here are the benefits we saw after our first round of Project 333:

  • I was able to get ready faster because I had fewer decisions to make.
  • I didn’t end up with a floor full of clothes after attempting to get ready. I criticized an outfit less and went through fewer outfit changes when getting ready simply because I knew I had to make what I had work.
  • I realized how little clothing I actually needed. I didn’t miss the clothes not included in my current Project 333 collection and realized I don’t care about my clothes as much as I thought.

Going forward, I’m going to make purchases with Project 333 in mind and look for staple pieces that I can mix and match to create multiple outfits.

Nate and I each dedicated a side in our closet to our clothes currently in our 333 collections. Everything stays hanging or is folded there so we can easily create outfits. I set a reminder on my phone for when to switch out my clothes based on the seasons. Nate isn’t planning on switching his clothes too often simply because he doesn’t have many clothes left to choose from (he was a little more intense in his purge than I was).

We originally cleaned out our closets in the first week of March and we are loving the results. We don’t feel limited by the clothes we have but feel freed from needing more and caring so much about our clothing. We got rid of 8 bags of clothing (8 BAGS!!!) between the three of us and I can’t believe we had so many clothes jammed into our drawers. It may seem crazy, but we’re planning to go through our wardrobes one more time to do a final clean out before our yard sale this weekend.

When we first started our journey towards minimalism, I was excited but was mentally holding onto my things. I wasn’t ready! I spent a lot of money on them! What if I needed that certain something one day?! Just three months later and now I can’t help but cringe at stuff every time I open a drawer or door and I just want it all OUT. Like yesterday!

Do you have a drawer or closet that needs cleaning out? Clothes you’re holding onto for sentimental reasons or “just in case?” Try out our tips and I promise you won’t regret it.

Remember, love people not things.

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