As some of you know I am currently trying out the 100 thing challenge, which also affects my wardrobe.
I am really following in love with my minimalist lifestyle.
I’ve found that things don’t really matter to me, so I gave myself the challenge to downsize to a minimum, and I must say it’s an awesome feeling – I feel a lot lighter!
How to figure out what to keep in a minimalist wardrobe?
Like most men I had a lot of clothes, I didn’t wear at all. Some that didn’t fit me anymore, some that were almost worn out, some that I didn’t like etc.
The funny thing is that it always felt like these items laid on top of the piles, so I had to do a lot of digging to find something I wanted to wear.
1) Step one – Downsize the 20% you NEVER wear
It’s time to downsize our clothes!
So, I made a pile of clothes that I felt comfortable throwing out.
This was probably around 20-30% of my clothes. Some of these clothes are old and worn while another part is still fine to use.
This is what I did with it:
- I gave some of it to friends
- I throw something out
- I gave the rest to the Salvation Army.
This was the easy step and didn’t take much consideration. It probably just takes around 15- 30 minutes unless you are the sentimental type. The important thing here is to just get rid of the clothes you don’t really like anyway. So it shouldn’t be too hard.
If you are in doubt about a specific item, just keep it.
We will get to these items in a bit.
2) Step two – Pay attention to what you actually wear
Now I still had a lot of clothes, but I had started the process.
I waited for a week to pay attention to what items I would actually wear. It is important to realize that you can’t cut down your wardrobe in one take – it takes time to find out which of the pieces you like the most.
So this gave me an idea of what I definitely would keep, and what was in the “Grey Zone“.
I could now let go of a little more.
A neat trick to find out what you actually wear is to turn all hangers in your closet one way.
When you use something just turn the hanger the other way around. After a while, you can see which hanger has been turned around, and you will know which clothes you actually wear!
You can read more about this “trick” in this post about the Project 333 challenge. It’s a challenge my wife did where she only wears 33 items of clothes for 3 months.
3) Organize Your Drawers
Now it’s time to get organized.
I am NOT a natural when it comes to organizing. I will typically just throw all my clothes in a big pile and have a bigger drawer in order to avoid folding the clothes every time I wash it.
But I decided to do something about my messy drawers and tidy up.
It’s the only way, really, to make sure you actually use your clothes. Because otherwise you just use whatever is laying at the top of the drawer. Items will get lost and you cannot quickly find it.
But the biggest win is in regard to saving time!
Now that my drawers are organized I can see exactly what I have and I don’t have to spend extra time searching through piles and stacks inside my drawers.
Here’s what my two drawers look like now.
Here is my top drawer. It’s full of t-shirts, sleep-wear, tank tops and a pair of skiing goggles.
Here’s what I kept in this drawer:
- 20 t-shirts (I’m not a real minimalist anymore!)
- 4 tank tops
- 1 pair of skiing goggles
- 1 shirt for sleeping
I used to own only 100 items including all my stuff so as you can see I am not on that extreme path anymore. I play in a metal band so I have a ton of black band shirt which I love and I use them to promote other bands when we play.
The next drawer is full of shirts, warm clothes, pants etc.
Here’s the content of this drawer:
- 1 hoodie
- 2 shirts
- 2 warn shirts (we live in the cold north of Denmark)
- 1 pair of shorts
- 3 pairs of pants (I’m wearing the 3rd pair as I take the picture)
- 1 pair of old pants for work
My socks and underwear are in another drawer together with my Maria’s clothes.
Other than this, I have:
- My shoes (at the entrance)
- 4 Jackets
- Scarf and gloves
Maria taught me to make this system which she got from Maria Kondo. In case you have been living under a rock for the last couple of months, she’s the star on Netflix at the moment. She will teach you how to get organized.
4) place most of the remaining wardrobe in a box under your bed
Nest I took most of the remaining clothes and places in a big box under my bed for three reasons:
1) I was not ready to throw it out yet…
2) I would find out if I would miss it, and get a chance to put it back into the wardrobe.
3) I could use it as refill whenever some of my clothes got worn out.
I still have this box of extra clothes, which means, that I haven’t had the need to buy new clothes for almost half a year now!
See the list of the (only) 100 things I owned
For a year I lived with only 100 items (including my wardrobe, which was REALLY minimal at the time).
I am downsizing my wardrobe to be able to live in a small space, and because we travel a lot, so I cannot (and will not) bring a lot of clothes.
We always travel with carry-on’s only, because it is both cheaper (here in Europe), quicker in the airports – and it is easier when you travel as much as we do.
What’s your motivation to minimize your wardrobe?
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.