Minimalist Wardrobe Purge

I currently work for a major fashion retailer in downtown Vancouver. As one might expect, I quickly acquired more and more articles of clothing soon after taking the position. I enjoy buying new clothes and when I am surrounded by new and interesting pieces each day, I find it hard not buy at least a few of the items which catch my eye. Aside from the clothes which I wear regularly, I also have my clothes for work, mostly dress shirts and ties. The result was to very different wardrobes, both of which slowly grew larger and larger with time until I ran out of hangers and space in my wardrobe.In the last few years, my sense of style evolved and changed many times, yet I still held on to items which no longer fit my current look. I like to think that I never slid quite so far down the fashion slope as some, I did spend far to much money on new clothes. While I am by no means a follower of current trends, it would seem that the current trend is not to do so.

I decided to make decluttering my wardrobe the next step in operation clean-shit-up. Choosing which items to keep and which to release turned out to be a bit of a challenge.I tried to keep only those items which I loved and thought to be beautiful, or which had no alternatives. I figured that having more than a weeks worth of any given article was unnecessary. Deciding to get rid of items which I actually wore and were in good condition was especially difficult for me to rationalize, yet having twenty t-shirts is unnecessary, so away they went. I started by taking all my t-shirts and sorting them into two piles; one to keep and one to be gotten rid of. I then folded each shirt that I wanted to keep. I repeated this with each clothing type, creating an ever growing pile of rejects. If an item was in disrepair which could be mended, out came the mending kit, then I re-evaluated the piece. Eventually, all of my clothes lay in neat, folded piles on my bed. It still seemed like an awfully large amount despite the large rejection pile. To help pare down the remainder, I tried each piece on and if it no longer fit, or was in anyway uncomfortable, into the pile it went. This is now my entire wardrobe minus 3 jackets, 1 bike poncho, 4 sets of shoes, 1 scarf, 2 pairs of gloves, my ski apparel, and my undergarments which I made no attempt reduce in number, though I did remove any out worn articles:

There is still more decluttering to be done here. I am moving soon and I don’t yet know what I will be required to wear for my next job, so I deemed it prudent to keep some of each type of clothing I currently owned. I plan on revisiting my wardrobe in a few months, and removing those articles which will have become un-necessary. I also plan to follow the rule of one in, one out. That is to say, that when I buy new clothes in the future, I will donate an equal number of articles which I already own. Speaking of donations, I think it is important that used clothes which we no longer want are given the chance to find new owners. After I finished replacing my clothes in the closet, I sorted the rest into two more piles; one to be donated, and one to be thrown away. I generally take good care of my clothes so the rubbish pile was a small one. I brought the items in good condition to one of Vancouver’s many clothing donation bins. I still have a few items to donate which must first be washed, but those will be placed in the bin on my next laundry day.

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