The Road to Minimalism
Every once in a while, I’m going to write about de-cluttering. I’m calling it “The Road to Minimalism”. This is because I hope to achieve a minimal amount of belongings by the end of my journey. I don’t think I’ll ever be someone who could count all my possessions on one hand or anything like that. I would never try to convince you to live like that, either! But my personal feelings about ownership have been shifting lately. Maybe you share some of my feelings?
Mindfulness and Messes
A great source of stress (for anyone) is clutter. When stuff is everywhere, we tend to feel a little claustrophobic, no? Plus, I realized that I would rather have a few nice things than a bunch of crappy, cheap things I don’t really like or use!
I decided to start with my wardrobe because it seemed like a practical, essential place to start. If I had a small amount of nice clothes, that went together, that I also liked to wear… well, that would be perfect!
Creating the Perfect Stay-at-Home-Mom Wardrobe
I am not fashionable. Not one bit. My shopping habits can be described as “erratic”, “random”, and “quirky”. I tend to just choose single pieces that I like, and assume they will incorporate in with the rest of my wardrobe. SPOILER ALERT: More often than not, they do not! And especially after a friend of mine started selling LuLaRoe, my wardrobe became full of things that couldn’t possibly be paired together, because they were unique or crazy prints.
So, time to purge… and wait quite some time before I start replacing.
My Main Methods and Philosophies
There are a lot of articles out there already about how to create a “capsule” wardrobe. I think this method is a little different than the usual ones. How? It’ll be slower. I’ll be honest, I don’t have the money to buy a bunch of new clothes, so if you’re in that boat, too, try my plan! The goal is to figure out what we already have. And figure out how to put those things together in as many different combinations as possible. So here is the basic plan for creating our perfect Stay-at-Home-Mom Wardrobe:
- Go through your wardrobe once each season.
- Pick things you know you’re never going to wear again.
- Sell them on ebay if they are in good condition
- Or donate them*
- If you can fit it into your budget, GYPO (see below) can help us figure out as many combinations for outfits as possible
- Keep track of what you wear and how often.
- At the end of this season, purge yet again, removing the items that just didn’t get used.
- Depending on the balance in my paypal account after my ebay sales, I may be able to invest in some new pieces… but that remains to be seen!
Getting Started: Stay-at-Home-Mom Wardrobe Style
To make outfit planning easier, create a “hanger system” in your closet. I moved all the summer clothes, dresses, and everything else to the back of my closet (I have a walk-in). If you don’t have enough room to do this, put everything you don’t need away somewhere. Then put everything you want to incorporate into your seasonal wardrobe on hangers. We want to see it all together.
You know what you don’t need anymore. Get it outta there and decide what to do with it!
*My neighborhood participates in this awesome local recycling program called “Simple Recycling”. We can leave out bags of clothes and other household things and they get collected right along with our recycling every other week! It’s a great way to get things out of the house. If you need suggestions on where to give your stuff, this is a great article.
Get Your Pretty On: *Affiliate Link*
Even with all my clothes laid out in front of me, I am not good at putting together outfits. I need help. So, I turned to “Get Your Pretty On”.
It’s a pretty awesome “Style Challenge”, created by this adorable woman named Allison. I loved getting an email every night telling me what I was going to wear the next day- and I didn’t even buy anything, I adapted every outfit suggestion with stuff I already had in my closet, so it was a major savings. Plus, I put a lot of my clothes together in a way that I never have before!
This is what you get when you sign up:
- A capsule wardrobe shopping list (you’re free to shop where you want and spend as much or as little as you want; I spent nothing!).
- Links to shop for recommended items online or in store.
- A daily outfit idea- created from pieces on the shopping list- sent to your inbox, so you know exactly what to wear every day.
- Plus, a beautiful, printable outfit guide so you can see all the outfits in one place!
If you are interested…
This is the GYPO website so you can check it out.
And here’s my affiliate link if you decide to buy: The Stay-at-Home-Mom Capsule Wardrobe is $29. I know that’s a little steep, but it came with so many wonderful outfit suggestions based on just a few pieces, and I already had most of them (or things similar enough) in my closet.
If you don’t think this is the right idea for you, I know that next month, Allison is releasing something called “The Big Book of Outfit Formulas”, and I think it’s only going to be $29. For a big book full of outfit ideas. Yes, please! I can’t wait to get it. I think it will be the perfect way to look for inspiration in the pile of “blah” that I feel like I have going on right now.
Also, GYPO does a capsule wardrobe for each season of the year, as well as a yearly subscription that comes with access to all the seasons. If you’re in the market for something like that, I definitely recommend it! She sends awesome weekly emails with outfit inspirations, and she has a fantastic eye for how clothes go together.
Putting together outfits is just not one of my skill sets, so I am so glad I decided to get some help. I genuinely feel like I am using my current wardrobe so much more effectively, and it’s way, way easier to get dressed in the morning.
Look for Other Resources
Don’t worry if you don’t want to spend for a program like that! Pinterest is chock full of wardrobe boards and outfit pins (you can check out mine here). Or, call a friend who dresses well! People love to share their knowledge. Maybe she can come over sometime after the kiddos are asleep and help you go through what you have. Sometimes a fresh eye can help you see things differently!
Use Your Hangers to Help You Keep Track
If I wear something multiple times, it is getting moved to the very front of my closet. Things I’m not wearing are getting rotated to the back. You could also take a selfie of your outfit to help you remember what you’re wearing. Figure out a way to keep track of your most “popular” items- these are the things that are getting heavy rotation! For sure you will want to keep these clothes and maybe find other ones like them in different colors/cuts.
It’s really up to you how you want to keep track of this. Using a Pinterest Board, a Polyvore account, or just a list on paper. Just try to track 2 things- what you’re wearing a lot of (like blouses, t-shirts or black pants), and what you would like to look for in the future to help you make more outifts. For me right now, I am jonesing for a good pair of brown riding boots!
Start Price Shopping
I’m not going to do any buying until the end of the season, because I want to really get the most out of what I already have before I add more (remember the minimalism thing?). I’m going to start making clothes-shopping decisions at least a week-long process. This will just help me make sure that I really want that item. If I’m still thinking about it a whole week later, then I’ll start looking for it.
I want to keep an eye out for things that will last me a long time, too. If I find something at a higher price tag that’s going to give me a few years of good wear (like a good, high-quality pair of winter boots), then I’m definitely going to factor that into my clothes-buying budget. I won’t know how much I’m going to be able to spend until I’ve sold all my ebay listings. I’ll let you know when I figure it out!
Great New Year’s Project
If you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution, this could be a great one! A cleaned-out closet, a carefully-planned Stay-at-Home-Mom Wardrobe… Happy New Year to YOU!