Most people have much more clothes than they need or even use.
I defined 7 tips to help you downsize your capsule wardrobe.
Start by watching our video…
1: Define your reason for downsizing your clothes
Getting rid of personal stuff like clothes is not always easy. Being aware of why you are doing it can keep you motivated if it gets challenging.
I wanted to downsize my wardrobe to gain geographical independence.
I had to prioritize: spend money on rent for a big apartment to fit my stuff… or live smaller and be able to travel. I simply needed my clothes to take up less space.
You might come at it from another angle: Use the space for another purpose, concerned with the amount of waste produced in the textile industry, tired of consumerism, spending less money on clothing etc.
Maybe you just like the challenge.
2: Set a goal
My second tip to help you downsize your wardrobe is about defining your success criteria.
If you don’t know your success criteria – you don’t know when to celebrate.
Make your goal as precise as possible and maybe add a deadline, if you like. I took on “Project 333 challenge”, so my goal was to get down to 33 pieces in total.
For some, it may be too extreme, while others may want to get down to 10 items. What is your target?
If you need to get your husband/boyfriend onboard as well, Morten has written a post about Minimalist Wardrobe for Men.
3: How to get started
Divide the task into steps, and start with the obvious ones.
Get these items out of your closet: clothes you haven’t used the past year, items that don’t fit (too big and too small☺), everything that is worn out (items with faded colors, holes etc).
It’s important to be brutally honest and realistic on this step.
Once these items are out, you will probably already have gotten rid of a high percentage of your clothes.
4: What gives you the highest use-value
Check how close you are to your target, so you know how much more you need to get out to reach your target. Now attack each clothes category. You might not need 7 skirts or 20 pairs of pants.
You can, for example, keep your favorite 3 skirts and set the rest aside.
You need to find the 3 skirts with the highest use-value: How often can you wear each piece?
Does it go with the other things you choose to keep etc?
How to find the pieces with the highest use-value
If for instance, you keep a really nice skirt you only wear once a year, and can only be worn with one or two other pieces, you will get a very low use-value.
Keep the things that are flexible, can be dressed up or down and combined with most other items.
A fun tip:
If you get stuck, try this. Turn all hangers in your closet one way. Every time you use something new, you turn the hanger around to face the other way. After a month you can easily see which pieces you didn’t wear, and you will know which to get rid of ☺.
And try to make sure you have a good set of “basic items”, which should be pieces that are classic in style, and can go with most other items:
These examples are from the Danish clothing store LykkeByLykke.dk.
5: Know your style in the capsule wardrobe
If you go down to 10 or 33 items it is important that everything you keep is something you like and matches your style.
Otherwise, you are not going to have enough to choose from, and you most likely won’t be able to stick with the low number of items.
If you are not sure of your style, spend a little time defining it. Make it fun and set a style strategy… go for it. I’m still learning this part and enjoying the process.
6: What to do with the rest
If you have tossed clothes with value, try to sell it or swap it at fashion swaps. You can find these in most larger cities. If you are working on your style this is a good way to go.
Some clothes you might want to give to a friend, donate to a thrift shop, and some you have to throw out.
7: Take one step at the time
Break up the process and take it one task at the time.
It takes time to get a minimal capsule wardrobe, but I can tell from experience that it is worth it☺. Maybe adapt the One-in One-out concept, if you buy something new get rid of one.. this will inevitably help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Remember: Sticking with a style will help tremendously, and prevent spontaneous purchases and save you money. Good luck downsizing your wardrobe!
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.