“I’ll wear it someday.”
Someday – a day that turns into weeks, then into months, then even to years. Do I wear it? No. Do I think about it? Maybe. Do I even remember it exists? Normally not until I clean out my closet. Again.
I used to do it all the time. About every 6 months, I’d go through my closet, clear out old stuff, then over the course of the next 6 months, I’d refill it with more stuff. Sometimes it was to reward myself for clearing out so much stuff, and sometimes it was just to have something new. A lot of the times, it was because there was a sale. I’m a sucker for sales.
Some people may consider this a good cycle, but I’ve gotten so tired of it. I have a full-time job, a loving husband, and a growing child that take up the bulk of my time. Standing in front of a closet of half mediocre and half loved stuff wasn’t helping me make whatever time I had into valuable time.
In my first post of the year, I mentioned that I wanted to simplify and to live my day-to-day with more purpose. One of my first struggles was to tackle my closet. If you can relate to any of the above stuff, here’s why the change has made my days happier and why you should consider it too…
- I don’t know about you, but for me, a cluttered environment lends to a cluttered mind. Considering that the closet is one of the first things I see every day, it definitely set the tone for the day. How am I supposed to focus on the day when I can’t even focus on a wardrobe?
- It helps save time. You know what I’m talking about. Some days, I’d go through 10 outfits figuring out what to wear, and even then I wasn’t sure if I really loved my outfit. With fewer pieces left that I knew I felt good in, I can more happily mix-and-match quickly and go on with my day.
- By cutting back, I’m helping the environment. Yes, the environment. Did you know that fast fashion is the second largest polluter in the world (source)? It’s only second to OIL. We’re programmed to think that we’re not “in” if we don’t wear the next big thing which only perpetuates a bigger problem. This helps me not buy into it by helping me feel more in control.
Most of all, because of all of the above things, it helps me live more in the present. Although I’ve purged about 4 large bags of clothes and accessories over the past 3 months (all donated to the Salvation Army btw!), I’m not quite where I want to be yet. By June, I’d love to have a set number of hangers in my closet and only living off of them. If I buy something new, it means something has to go. It’s a switch in my mindset, but I fully believe it’s a healthy switch. I’m happier for it!
Don’t get me wrong. I love fashion. I love looking and feeling put together. I don’t love it ever weighing me down, and more clothes had a tendency to do that rather than making me feel more satisfied. Also, spending less on frivolous purchases means I can spend more money on sustainably-made clothing that tends to cost more (for good reason) and on items that will last much longer. I’ll admit that I did buy some new basic pieces over the past few months as well, but they’re not extremely trendy and suit a mix-and-match lifestyle – meaning they have longevity. Also, to help do my part in helping the planet, at least half of the items I bought were thrifted.
A tip I’ve learned if you want to take the same step: I decided to do this twice already this year because when it’s already top of mind that you want to simplify, you’re thinking each day which items are just cluttering the space because you’re not inclined to reach for it. So after a month or two, it’s easy to pull the trigger on purging again. Basically, do it every few months so that it’s an active process vs halfway through the year like I did before because I realized that after waiting 6 months, I was basically purging out of necessity with my closet overflowing!
I’ll likely update in a few months, but have you purged your closet? Are you trying to scale back on things? I would love to hear your stories and thoughts!