One of my favorite photographers, Caroline Joy, just started a new fashion blog called Un-Fancy. She started living a more minimalist lifestyle, which includes wearing just 37 pieces each season as part of a capsule wardrobe. I sincerely admire her for it. After reading her first post about how to have an Un-Fancy closet filled with pieces you actually love, I felt completely inspired to clear the clutter and clean out my closet…for two hours.
I definitely fall into the trap of thinking that I have nothing to wear. The truth is that I have far too much to wear and only so many days in the week to wear my favorite pieces, so the clothes that I don’t wear start to make me crazy. I don’t carve out enough time at night to choose my outfits for the next day (I never have), so I end up picking things out in the morning…in a rush. Bad news bears. I also love wandering through Target. What happens at Target? I end up finding something that I have to have. The real truth: the pieces that I purchased at Target because I was so set on having something new to wear were tossed as I cleared. Less is definitely more!
Get ready for a fun weekend project! While I did not pair down my closet to 37 pieces (you go, Caroline!), here’s how I cleared the clutter and ended up with a much happier closet:
Photo via LaurenConrad.com; Graphic by Carly is Inspired
1. Remove: As Caroline suggests, I took all of my clothes out of my closet and placed everything on my bed. The key here is to not think about what you’re doing. Even if you know you love or want to get rid of a blouse, don’t do anything yet! Just take everything out of your closet. Baby steps, friends!
2. Sort: Start going through all of your clothes. I did this by season, and I placed items into different piles: Love, Unsure, Try On, and Donate. My Love pile grew the quickest because I was filling it with pieces that caused a gut reaction. The Unsure pile stayed put until the end. A lot of the pieces in my Try On pile turned out to either be things that I overlooked because I thought they didn’t fit when they actually looked just fine, or they were pieces that I had been secretly wanting to toss for a while. The Donate pile grew overtime, but it started out with the pieces that I knew I had not worn all season (this is definitely a key: if you have not worn it in a season, get rid of it).
3. Replace: Once you sort through everything (please, take your time!), start putting everything back into your closet. I put my Love pieces back into my closet first because it allowed me to see the heart of my style and what I wear time and time again. (If I was following Caroline’s Un-Fancy plan to a T, this is almost where I would have stopped.) I then took another look at my Unsure pile and made my final decisions about what I wanted to keep before I put everything back. At this point, I actually ended up organizing my closet too. I decided to separate different pieces like patterned and plain tees, sweaters, button downs, jeans, etc. This caused everything to be much easier to see! Who knew?! ;)
4. Plan: Now that you have a “new” closet filled with clothes you know you actually like, plan your outfits out for the week. I was feeling super creative at this point, and I ended up creating new combinations with things I’ve had for the longest time. This caused getting ready in the morning to move along so much quicker because I had already taken the time to put together what I wanted to wear. Looking at the weather before you plan your outfits will help!
5. Donate: Whether you opt to go to the Salvation Army or Goodwill or call a local donation service, don’t forget to complete the process! If you don’t want to donate your clothes, think about hosting a swap party with friends. Have everyone bring a few of the pieces they’re not wearing anymore and swap with each other. Another idea is to contact a local consignment shop to see if they are accepting new pieces, which will also allow you to make some money.
aaaaand then there’s this…
6. Don’t Shop: Your style is always changing, and it’s fun for your closet to do that too! But don’t rush to fill your closet back up right after you’ve cleared it out. Enjoy having the clutter gone for a little while and challenge yourself to keep creating new combinations. Shopping in your own closet can truly be fun. While your closet is clear, you’ll likely be able to continue to define the pieces that you love. As you do that, filter in new pieces that you can layer with your tried and true favorites.
I ended getting rid of about 10% of my closet, and it feels awesome. I fell off of the planning ahead wagon a bit this week (a few terrible, terrible days are to thank – I’ve been thinking so much about this post!), but I’ll be back to planning this weekend. Let me know your tips and tricks for loving your closet in the comments! Happy weekend! :)
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Plan is my middle name, so I’m glad you mentioned it!