Minimalism: How To Minimize Clothes

This is probably the most talked about topic in the minimalists community, yet it is still one of the hardest things to do. Why is this? I believe it is because our clothes are more so our identity than anything else we own. What we wear is how we show the world who we are, it’s how we express ourselves. So, let’s toss them out! Kidding, sort of.

How many clothes do we need? I’m a believer in owning as many clothes as days are in the week, but I understand that this is an opinion and will vary depending on the person. I like to do laundry once a week and feel that owning 7 shirts, underwear, and pairs of socks is a good number for me to have. I don’t have 7 pairs of pants, shoes, and sweaters because all of these items can be worn multiple times without washing. I personally own two sweaters, two pairs of shoes, and four pairs of pants (two for work, two for…life?).

We’ve all heard about the backwards coat hanger trick right? Well in order to do that, we need to buy a lot of coat hangers, and what happens when the minimization is over? We have a hundred coat hangers that will never be used, not very minimal. There are a millions ways to minimize a wardrobe and they all follow the same basic premise, but I’ll share my tactic and hopefully it’ll be one that helps you as much as it did for me.

The first thing we’ll need to do is to spread out all of our clothes and flip them inside out. Put them in a box after or back in to dress, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that they are inside out. Over the span of the next 30 days (preferably 2 weeks if you want to be really minimal about it), when you were an article of clothing, wash and dry it, and put it back, leave the piece of clothing right side out. At the end of the “experiment”, we are left with what we actually wear being right side out and the “excess” remaining inside out.

In an ideal world we could get rid of everything left unturned, but that’s not always realistic. I live in an area that is 85 degrees in the summer and 18 degrees in the winter, so if I did this in July, I wouldn’t go throwing out all my heavy coats. Separating clothes in to winter and summer clothes then doing this exercise for each time of the year may be the way to go. If you’re anything like I am, you’ll realize that we’re already wearing clothes in a minimalist fashion, we just have a lot of built up clutter folded around our actual wardrobe.

How many of you have done something similar to this? Did it work?

Also, is this something you do year after year as a sort of maintenance routine or do you just stay mindful of future purchases? I’d love to hear some feedback.


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