How to Live with Less to Live a Little More: The Closet

The topic of minimalism has been at the forefront of the media as of late. Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as, “a style or technique that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity.” While living in tiny houses and fitting all of your belongings into one backpack may work for some people, that’s not the case for most. But that doesn’t mean we all can’t work towards living with less physical things so we can breathe life into other areas of our lives.  

I love clothes, as most women do. But it’s very easy to accumulate one too many tops and a few too many pairs of shoes. An easy way to begin paring down our material possessions, is to turn our attention to our closets.

We tend to have a lot of clothes and, realistically, there are only so many days in a week to wear said clothes. There are two strategies I’ve used to to weed through my closets and drawers to reduce clutter immediately and in the long term.

In the short term, take a good look at what you own. What do you know for certain fits into one of these four categories: (1) it doesn’t fit you anymore, (2) you haven’t worn it in months, (3) you forgot you even owned it, or (4) you don’t even like it. These are the things to ditch right now. This may only be a few pieces or piles of clothing. Regardless, it’s best to start with the easy stuff.

But not everything will be as easy to part ways with. We all own that one dress that we’ve only worn once but maybe, just maybe, you might wear it again to that one party that you may have to go to three years of now. A great tip I’ve learned in the long-term that will do wonders for cleaning out your closet is to flip your hangers.  Take everything that hangs in your closet and flip the hangers the opposite way that you typically would hang your clothes. Then, when you wash and wear something, put the hanger back the normal way you would hang it. After a month or two, you can visually see what clothes you wear and what pieces you don’t. I guarantee you wear a lot less than you would expect. At this point, reassess your closet again and get rid of even more.

Although you may feel that getting rid of bags of clothes will leave you with nothing to wear, you’ll be surprised at how much more organized and relieved you’ll feel when you open up your closet to get dressed. Owning less clothing and accessories does not make you less of a person. It makes you more aware of the clothes you possess that do bring you happiness. And the reduced clutter is sure to bring more joy into your life.