My Minimalist Journey: Clothing

I tend to be type of person that just keeps things for no good reason. If I hadn’t used a specific electronic cord in years I would just hang on to it “just in case”. When I moved to a new apartment a year ago I had 78 T-Shirts! This runs opposite to the fact that I can’t stand clutter. Counters, desktops and tables need to be clear for me not to want to clean up.

Type A much?

After reading multiple examples of minimalist wardrobes from Adam Baker, Leo Babauta, Nina Yau and Francine Jay I finally decided to tackle my own. In this post I will document all of the clothes I have and the process I used to minimize them by 41%!

Not only does having less clothes mean that I have more space in the apartment, dresser and closet, it also simplifies the decisions of what I should wear on the day to day basis. I have several pairs of pants and shirts to mix and match and get a lot of combinations. If I didn’t have to dress up for work I could have even less clothes.

I also used to feel guilty about some of the clothes that I had. I would think to myself that I had to keep wearing an item because I or someone that gave it to me had spent money on it in the past and I needed to get some use out of it. I finally realized that the sunk cost of the clothing didn’t matter any more and I started downsizing my wardrobe.

My Stuff

When I started this exercise I had 211 items of clothing. Below is the new list of all of my articles of clothing:

  • Socks (Pairs): 20
  • Boxers: 15
  • Short Sleeve T-Shirts: 11
  • Long Sleeve T-Shirts: 13
  • Athletic Shirts: 9
  • Swimsuit: 1
  • Sweat Pants: 2
  • Hooded Sweatshirt: 1
  • Ties: 3
  • Belt: 1
  • Shorts: 5
  • Sweaters: 3
  • Long Sleeve Button-Ups: 9
  • Short Sleeve Button-Ups: 6
  • Coats/Jackets: 7
  • Dress Pants: 4
  • Jeans: 2
  • Shoes (Pairs): 11
  • Robe & Slippers: 1 Total:   124

Wardrobe

keep clothes

All in all I donated 87 pieces and decreased my clothing count by 41%. Here are all of the clothes I am keeping. (The only things not included are 3 pairs of athletic shoes, some coats and the clothes I was wearing when I took the picture…)

Donations

donate clothes

Here is the pile of 87 articles of clothing that I donated to Goodwill.

5 Easy Steps

1. Put all of your clothing in a huge pile: Just seeing all of my clothes in one spot made me realize how much I had.

2. One by One put the clothing in a Keep, Sell, Donate or Trash pile: Don’t move onto the next piece of clothing until you decide on a pile for the one you are on.

3. Get Help: If you need an extra opinion or help deciding pick a friend that you know would support your minimalist goals.

4. Take pictures of your final piles: You will be able to see all the progress you made.

5. Say Goodbye to your clothes: Drive them to the consignment shop, Goodwill or the dump.

Current State

Instead getting frustrated when I have to hang up my clothes because there is no room, I now have plenty of space:

closet

I used to have to cram my shirts in the drawers of my dresser but now there is ample of room for them in just 3 drawers:

drawers

While I couldn’t go down to the extreme of having only 10 items like Francine Jay (Miss Minimalist) recently posted about, this is a start! It was so refreshing to go through this exercise. There are many areas of my life where I have too many things, the worst of it being electronics. For more adventures in living more minimally, check out the post on how I minimized my movie collection

How many pieces of clothing do you have? Does it drive you crazy to have so many? Let me know in the comments below.