Late last night I got back from Punta Cana, exhausted from the trip but with this fiery need to declutter my closet. Alex promptly fell asleep, but I decided to take my laptop into my closet and watch an episode of Girls while filling up an extra large trash bag with clothing to donate. One episode turned to three, and one trash bag turned to two, until I was knee deep (literally and figuratively) in piles of clothing.
I haven't done a real, intense, wardrobe cull in a very very long time. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever done this kind of cull... where I really take the principles of Marie Kondo's "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to heart and touch each and every item in my quest to see which one brings me happiness.
My plan isn't to declutter just for the sake of the minimalism trend, I want to make that clear. Trends come and go. When I first started on YouTube, the trend was for huge collections of makeup and clothing, the trend was to have stuff. Right now, minimalism is sweeping the blog world, encouraging everyone to cut back. So it makes me wonder... maybe minimalism isn't trendy right now just for trends sake; maybe there is a need that naturally comes as a balance to the consumerism of the past decade. Having a lot of stuff around all the time can weigh you down, both literally and figuratively. I'm not planning on having a one drawer makeup collection or one rack of clothing, I like these items too much. But this whole "holding onto everything" isn't doing anyone any good. If it doesn't bring me happiness, it needs to go. So that's where we are at.
Normally when I feel like decluttering my closet I quickly sweep through the racks, pulling the really obvious pieces and putting them in a pile to try on one last time. In the past, I have been left with 10-20 items (at MOST) that I then take to a full length mirror and try on, one by one. Out of these pieces, I normally only end up letting go of half, as the others I convince myself to keep for various reasons.
This time I decided to take a different approach. Instead of pulling the obvious no's, I pulled only the obvious yes's. I sorted through my racks, pulling only the items that stood out as my absolute favorites, and in the end I was left with a rather meager 10% of the whole closet.
10%? I only love 10% of my clothing?
I then realized something. I don't tend to shop a lot (for clothing) so I like to hold onto everything I do buy, because I only really buy clothing pieces I love. I have held onto pieces of clothing that are at least 5 years old, because they still fit me and I loved them 5 years ago, but I never wear them anymore because they no longer fit into my life. I found a lot of little sequin dresses, studded jeans, rhinestone jeans, stuff that I loved when I first moved to LA and these things were trendy, but they aren't anymore, and even if they were, do I feel like the type of person who would wear rhinestone jeans? No.
And on that note, let's say rhinestone jeans did come back into style, and I decided I needed a pair. Would I really want to wear my pair from 5 years ago that maybe hits the style slightly off of the head? Back then the rhinestones were on the pockets, what if the new trend is rhinestones around the belt loops?
You guys, this is a very strange example and I cannot say I would ever be down with a trend of "rhinestones on the belt loops", but I am trying to explain the best I can my thought process on getting rid of these old beloved items. I also don't want to come across as someone who follows every fashion trend (as I actually end to stick to the same kind of clothing vibe), but I do feel like this kind of thought process might be helpful to others trying to cull their closets. You don't need to keep something that you loved 5 years, was super trendy 5 years ago, and you felt super hot in 5 years ago. If that trendy item comes back into style, and you feel you need it, treat yourself to a new pair. Chances are, it's not going to come back into style in a way that you feel you need to try again, but if it does, c'est la vie.
After pulling my absolute favorites from the closet, I was left with about 90%. I took my favorites and put them outside of the closet so that I wouldn't have to look through those clothes again, as I knew I was keeping them.
From there, I decided to do a run of absolute no's. I was able to pull about 20% of my closet for this category, and I decided to not try anything on. If I felt that strongly that the item was a "no" and not a "maybe", it needed to go. In the past, I have tried every no back on, and ended up keeping half... but not because I accidentally forgot it was a treasure. I would simply convince myself to keep the items and then they would never get worn. These no's needed to go.
The no's were put directly into a trash bag to donate, and taken out of the closet. Now I was left with approximately 70% of my wardrobe... the maybe's.
I knew the maybe's would be the hard ones, and the ones that were going to take the longest to go through. I have decided to do this pile in steps, over the course of several days. I still had a little bit of energy left in me so I pulled maybe 10 more items, stuck them in the donate bags, and cleaned up for the night.
Here is my giveaway pile from this first round:
I'm going to leave my closet for a few days and then come back to it with fresh, new eyes. I'll keep you guys posted!