Confession: I come from a family of hoarders. My parents don’t throw anything away – not even my Grade 3 project on weeds. About 2 years ago, it dawned on me that I had inherited my parents’ ways. While my home did not look like an episode of Hoarders, I was afflicted by something far more innocuous– too much clothing and accessories. Here’s how I got my wardrobe down to 102 items.
Out with the Old
My first step was to get rid of things I forgot I owned, never liked, didn’t fit, made me look like a minion or was old and worn out. I started with my jewellery. I had a Claire’s jewellery collection I had gathered over the course of primary AND high school, and more earrings than I could count. The irony being that my piercings had closed years ago. Then came shoes. Most people seem to have this fixation with shoes — I never have, perhaps because I’m a size 2.5 (EU 35). Consequently, most of my shoes didn’t fit anyway, so I donated them with ease. This step alone rid me of 3 black bags worth of clothing.
Contemplation and Hard Goodbyes
After a couple of months, I was ready to address the Carrie Bradshaw caricature that was my wardrobe. I said goodbye to items that I had not worn in the last year, excluding “event” clothing such as cocktail and floor length dresses. These garments were trendy and gorgeous and still in beautiful condition. And as much as I loved them it just wasn’t my style anymore: I had evolved, and my wardrobe had to follow suit (lol, suit).
I then took all the clothing I hadn’t worn in the last 6 months, packed them away in Vac Bags and put then at the top of the cupboard. After 6 months I got rid of the stuff I hadn’t bothered to get back down which was, spoiler alert, everything.
Over the next 18 months, I continued with this process, being mindful of how often I wore certain items, and how much I actually liked them. I also, and this is the most important step: stopped buying clothes. Not even a scarf.
You Do Use Math’s in Real Life
Once I had my wardrobe down to items I really liked, I began counting and cataloguing. I use the ClosetSpace app to keep track of my clothing, but writing a simple list down in your diary is as effective. Writing everything down allowed me to objectively take stock of what was in my closet. I realised that I had too many crop tops, and although I loved them all – no woman with an office job needs 20 midriff-baring garments. So I cut it down to 10. It also allowed me to identify my wardrobe deficits – I could use a good pair of jeans.
Empty Closet, Empty Mind
I started cleaning out my closet after reading about Mark Zuckerberg’s 1 outfit per life policy. Too much stuff is simply overwhelming — I had no idea what was in my closet, and I only wore about 15% of its content regularly. The fight against too much stuff is ongoing, but I am far more mindful of the things I own, and where they come from.
What’s in my closet now
I still have a way to go, but I’m proud of what’s in my wardrobe now. Here’s a breakdown.
5 work jackets
3 button up shirts
10 crop tops
3 vests/tank tops
10 dresses (3 casual, 3 party, 4 cocktail)
2 jeans (1 aspirational – don’t judge me)
5 shorts (2 formal, 2 denim, 1 casual)
1 leather jeggings
1 leather jacket
1 boyfriend cardigan
2 ballet flats
(8 pairs of shoes)
Total items = 102