Minimizing My Clothing: The Latest Installment

You know how they say less is more? Well when it comes to minimalism, you tend to want more of it. And more minimalism literally results in less stuff. So in this example, more is less! As my “stuff” began to accumulate again and become disorganized, I craved another purge so I decided to take on minimizing my clothing again. There are a lot of great times to minimize (after hitting a weight loss goal, when relationships end, at the end of the school year, before starting a new job) but the BEST time is whenever you have the time and energy to do it. And I had both. So I took on yet another installment of the great minimalism project and cut my already reduced wardrobe in half once more.

This is how I approached minimizing my clothing this time around.

As my “stuff” began to accumulate again and become disorganized, I craved another purge so I decided to take on minimizing my clothing again. There are a lot of great times to minimize (after hitting a weight loss goal, when relationships end, at the end of the school year, before starting a new job) but the BEST time is whenever you have the time and energy to do it. And I had both. So I took on yet another installment of the great minimalism project and cut my already reduced wardrobe in half once more.

1. Clothes that don’t fit

Kathy and I sorted and stored every piece of clothing I owned that didn’t fit me back in June, 2015. I wrote about that great purge in the post, Minimizing Clothing Using the KonMari Method.

Since I’ve lost weight, I decided to start with the closet in the basement where I stored everything that didn’t fit. I inspected every single article of clothing with my new found minimalist point of view and tried on a lot of it. Some items were happily rotated into my closet of wearable clothing and many were put back into the closet to await more weight loss. But almost half was sorted into one of three piles: trash, goodwill and consignment.

It seems I become more practical, realistic and cut throat with each pass at minimizing my clothing.

2. Bedroom Drawers

Next I removed the contents of every single drawer in my bedroom while sorting everything into one of the three piles: Yes. No. Maybe.

Contents of drawers - minimizing my clothing
Entire contents of dresser drawers stacked and sorted.

I was amazed by the size of the ‘no’ pile! After all, I had already minimized my clothing at least twice in recent years. But there I was easily casting aside more clothes I had either worn out from use, don’t like as much as I thought I did, or just plain decided I didn’t want or need anymore.

3. Sorting the Castaways

Next I sorted the ‘no’ pile into trash bags: Trash. Goodwill. Consignment.

Minimalist Pro Tip: It’s important to deal with what you decide to discard right away so that you don’t change your mind later.

4. The closets

I already had a half empty closet so going through that was a cinch. I was ruthless. Things I wasn’t sure of the last go around that I still hadn’t worn were easily cast into a new ‘no’ pile. I hung the few things that remained into my other closet. I was left with an entirely empty closet! So I moved on to my handbags and scarves and decided to move those into the empty closet.

Next I took on my shoes. I walk in Philadelphia A LOT. So I have A LOT of worn out shoes. I don’t know why I continued to wear these shoes. Comfort? Laziness? Frugalism? But I considered how grateful I am to be able to buy new shoes. And so at least a dozen pairs of shoes went directly into a trash bag.

Lastly I tackled the clothes hanging in the closet, which had already been significantly pared down over the years. Everything was sorted with a ruthless eye and hand. Anything low quality or remotely shabby went into the trash. A lot more went into goodwill.

My goal has become quality over quantity and assembling a mature yet practical wardrobe.

Minimalist Pro Tip: Aim for quality over quantity.

This is now the entire contents of that closet:

closet after minimizing my clothing
Look at all that space! (I tried parting with my yellow Doc Martens, but still couldn’t.)

5. Prepping for Project 333

To sum it up, Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. So you break your wardrobe down into four “seasons” and decide which 33 things you want to mix and match for that season. The 33 items is supposed to include clothing, accessories, jewelry (not your wedding ring), outerwear AND shoes. You box up everything else. After three months, you then decide on the next 33 things.

I’m not ready for Project 333 yet, but the seed is planted. And since summer is essentially over in two weeks, I grouped any clothing I deemed exclusively summer and tucked it in the back of the closet.

6. Sorting back into drawers

This was the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate how I was using my two dressers. In doing so, I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if I freed up enough space to move all the hair, makeup, and body crap from the top of my dresser into some of the smaller drawers I had used for socks, bras, etc. Time to find out. So I put everything away and lo and behold, there was enough room! No more clutter on top of my dresser was a total surprise bonus.

minimizing my clothing - drawers
No more crap on top of the dresser!

7. Assessing the maybes

Last I tackled the maybe pile. By this point I saw just what and how much I was keeping. I tried on two pairs of maybe jeans that fit great so I put those away. Everything else went into the trash or goodwill.

Minimalist Pro Tip: Definitely wait until the end of a minimizing project to reassess your maybes.

8. Next steps

Mainly as an experiment, I am going to take a stab at putting together a proper Project 333 fall wardrobe over Labor Day weekend. I’m curious if I feel I have everything I need to pull it off. I’d like to see what I need for a proper capsule wardrobe according to the “experts” and/or if I feel limiting my wardrobe to 33 items is even realistic.

Stay tuned for more on that!


Once again I am energized by the high and cleanliness that a good minimizing yields. I’m enjoying picking out my clothes and accessories the night before work. I’m enjoying keeping everything neat and tidy. It’s so much easier to do when there’s no clutter anywhere and everything has its place.

What about you? Feeling inspired to take on a minimizing project of your own? Have any pro tips to share?

As my “stuff” began to accumulate again and become disorganized, I craved another purge so I decided to take on minimizing my clothing again. There are a lot of great times to minimize (after hitting a weight loss goal, when relationships end, at the end of the school year, before starting a new job) but the BEST time is whenever you have the time and energy to do it. And I had both. So I took on yet another installment of the great minimalism project and cut my already reduced wardrobe in half once more.

What do you think?