Aug 16, 2016

Sorting My Wardrobe

In the last couple of years I've been considering myself somewhat minimal-ish.  I knew I had far more clothes than a typical minimalist but I had few enough that a capsule wardrobe would have been silly, because everything from all 4 seasons already fits comfortably in my drawers and closet.

The exception was t-shirts.  I did feel I was getting to be a bit excessive with my collection of shirts.  Normally I'd just run through my mental catalog of stuff, pick the least favorites, and throw them in the Goodwill box.  But this time I was having trouble with the mental catalog.  It felt messy.

So instead I pulled out everything I owned and took a tally.  For science!  Hahaha, no not really.  More like for the blog!  And I took pictures so I can show you how ridiculous my clothes really are, despite having convinced myself that it was in any way minimal.

Starting with the least offensive numbers and working my way up...

Dresses - 6

Not too bad.  One is a beach cover-up, one was a sweater dress, and the other 4 have distinctly different feels to me (as far as levels of formality).  I did end up getting rid of the sweater dress because it's too short to wear without pants anyway, and I really only wore it as an "everyday cosplay" kind of thing because it made me feel like Link.

Purged: 1

"Real" Pants and Skirts - 10

I had some trouble with my categories as you'll soon see.  So "real pants" just meant not workout pants, but obviously those oversize plaid pajama pants aren't going out in public anytime soon.  I wear all my pants pretty frequently despite the heat (the one black pair is capris), but my skirts don't see as much use.  I like them all, but 3 black skirts was too much, so I tried them on and let the least flattering shape go.  (It also happened to be Ryan's least favorite, but it had pockets!  And fond memories.  RIP black skirt.)

Purged: 1

Cardigans, Blazers, and Sweatshirts - 11

This was a little excessive.  I actually do use the black and grey ones the most, but I kind of want to utilize color more and dress up my look, so I let go of several of the more casual black and grey ones.

Purged: 3

Shorts, Leggings, and Workout Pants - 15

I forgot to take a picture of this category!  But it was pretty boring.  Just imagine a huge pile of black on black on black.  This was a really good one to physically lay out because I was convinced I didn't have enough workout clothes and the truth is I have plenty and if I run out, I probably just need to do some laundry.  I also have too many leggings, but I was hesitant to purge anything for winter because I don't remember anymore what was used frequently when it was cold out.

Purged: 3

Long Sleeved Shirts - 16

16 is kind of a lot, but a handful are for running and the rest were enough for almost 2 weeks of outfits.  I felt that was acceptable and, like the leggings, I didn't want to get rid of clothing I'm not currently using in case the heat has me confused about what I don't want to wear ever again.

Purged: 0

Short Sleeved Shirts and Tanks - 29

Yeah, you read that right.  29.  That's enough for an entire month without repeats!  That's ridiculous!!!  Minimalish my butt.  To be fair, 4 are undershirts, and 4 are running shirts, but that left 21 shirts and 3 weeks of outfits is more than I need.  Despite my initial reaction of "But I love everything!" I managed to cull quite a few that I'm reluctant to wear when the other, "more favorite" shirts are available.  Some were nicer shirts that are no longer nice due to holes or fraying, but most were t-shirts.  I did, sadly, mess up the almost perfect rainbow I'd been enjoying in my drawer, but I'd say that's a fair trade off for being able to see everything.

Purged: 7

That's it!  Not counting undergarments and socks and such, obviously.  An excess of those things isn't common (for me) anyway, as they tend to wear out on their own.  I also skipped swimwear (I have 2 bathing suits, which seems reasonable to me), winter gear (1 peacoat, 1 winter jacket, 2 hats, 3 pairs of gloves, and an excessive number of scarves), and my interview outfit.  I should probably do this again in about 6 months when I can see which warm weather clothing is used and which is forgotten about, but for now I'm pretty happy with my accomplishments.

To sum up, I started with 87 clothing items and purged a total of 15, bringing me down to 72.  I'm glad I counted, not because I want to start tracking the number or setting a target but because it helped me realize how much I really do own and how much I really don't "need" to shop.  In the future, I'll be trying to purchase only for a specific need (ex. maternity) and implementing a one-in-one-out system.  I also want to be really picky about what I bring in.  No more, "It doesn't fit quite right, but I really need __ so I'll buy it anyway."

Have you ever counted how much you actually own?  Were you surprised by the number?  How do you organize your clothes? (I do it by color so I can have a rainbow every time I open a drawer!)

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  1. I like that your wardrobe is a lot of solid, bright colors...I need to do that. Easier to mix & match.

    Good call on keeping the leggings, IMO- they were awesome during pregnancy. Most of mine already had a little tummy panel (even though they were NOT purchased as maternity) and fit at all stages.

  2. You did really well! I love decluttering wardrobes, it's my favorite. The OCD side of me loves how you laid them out in color order for photos :)

  3. So I don't think I even want to count the amount of tanks, short sleeve and cardigans I have because it would be a ridiculous number. I went through all my clothes and got rid of the things I haven't worn in the last year but kept everything else until after baby because who knows what size or what my body is going to look like after. I figure I can revisit next summer.

    1. Oh, and I hit publish before I could say that I totally organize my closet by color as well!! It is actually by type of top (tank, short sleeve or sweater) then by color. And my dresses and bottoms are by color too. Obviously.

  4. I love this! Honestly, I've never counted, I've just gotten rid of stuff that I noticed off-hand that I wasn't wearing. I'll be doing this again at the end of the season because I made a small fortune from selling some stuff and got rid of about 4 bags of stuff to the vets. Though now I'm really curious so maybe I'll share! Oh, and though I very much enjoy your rainbow effect, everything in my closet/drawers is organized by most to least worn. At least that might make it easier to purge when the time comes?!

  5. I should do this. I know I have clothes I never wear. My sweater collection is out of control. But the girls treat my sweaters as communal property so I'd feel bad getting rid of them. I can keep all of my clothes in my closet too, but I do have a small under the bed rolling tote for heavier stuff I don't want filling up the closet in spring and summer.

  6. i tried to count everything hanging in my closet once (so not including drawers or shelves) and i got well over 100 before i gave up. i have a lot of clothes. haha. i need to do a purge soon. i have two separate wardrobes, 'fun' and 'work' and i like my fun stuff a lot more than my work stuff, but i wear it a lot less. i really need to cull it down. i would guess i have more than 29 tshirts too lol

  7. I am so far away from a minimalist when it comes to clothes that I am ridiculous. I do have a great idea for my concert t-shirts that don't fit anymore, but I can't bring myself to throw away. I'm a sucker for cozy blankets. I want to get a blanket/quilt made out of those excess concert & band t-shirts.

  8. I get rid of clothes a LOT, but I still find myself often sorting through drawers and my closet thinking "I wish I didn't have all this sh*t." I think laying them all out and seeing everything together in one place is actually a genius idea, and I'm going to have to replicate it and maybe I'll get rid of even more unnecessary stuff. Although I have to agree that the heat might have me tossing every sweater I own because on days like we've been having lately, it's hard to believe I'll ever need to wear sleeves again.

  9. I started a project like this a few weeks ago and didn't finish. I think while R is away for the next 2 days I will try to go through everything again and finish this time. So much crap and I know I don't wear most of it..


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