Purging the Wardrobe

So I guess you could say step 1 is complete-my entire wardrobe has been purged from top to bottom! Starting with something easier was definitely a great way to start my transition into minimalism, but boy was this a project. In order to understand why, I should probably explain what I was starting with: A LOT. I never truly realized how many pieces of clothing and shoes I owned until I really dove into it. For starters I had an overflowing, good-sized closet that was so packed I could not put shirts in or take them out (just shirts!). I have a 6-cube set up on the floor of my closet as well for folded clothes and that was packed to the brim. Pants, more shirts, sweatpants, lounge clothes, etc. It was horrific. Once I made the decision to start with what I wear, I realized I need to methodically go through everything. So here it goes!

Day 1: The hanging clothes

My hanging clothes consisted of seasonal items. So this time of year mostly sweaters, long sleeved shirts, and some tank tops and t-shirts that can be considered more dressy and able to be layered or worn to work. That is just what was in my closet. I also had a whole separate temporary wardrobe set up in my spare bedroom (which recently broke from too much weight on it-yikes!).

Tackling the closet soon became a fun project. I pulled out all my sweaters and soon realized I had not worn 90% of them in over a year for various reason. I continued to pull sweater after sweater off the hangers and threw them in a pile to be sorted through for donations to Salvation Army, my mother’s closet, or to sell. The process continued through the long sleeved shirts, t-shirts, tank tops, layering sweaters, blazers, and so on. Once a large portion had been thrown into a quickly growing pile on my bed I started to put everything back in a much more sensible order. My dress pants went all the way to the left and tucked towards the back (neither my husband nor I dress up much for work or other occasions). Then I arranged my blazers and layering sweaters, regular sweaters, long sleeved shirts, t-shirts, and tank tops, leaving room on the right hand side for my husbands few dress polos and shirts (which he too went through and was able to toss a couple!). How did I arrange them, you might ask? Well, after rearranging my friends closet by color, I decided that would be a great fit for me as well. I did change it up a little to suit my individual needs, however.

Once I was done with the initial set up I then went into the spare bedroom and grabbed all my dresses and skirts and began the same combing method, tossing a good chunk of skirts and quit a few dresses as well! Into the closet the keepers went, by color of course!

Once I was done, I took a step back and looked upon my masterpiece in awe! There was SO MUCH ROOM! I could move my hangers back and forth and had plenty of room to spare.

Day 2: The 6-cube set up

I figured it would be a good idea to continue the project on the closet the next day. This was a fairly easy task as well. I tossed a huge portion of my jeans, sweatpants, and shirts since they had just been sitting there for who knows how long. Especially when it comes to pants-I tend to wear the same 2 or 3 pairs of jeans throughout the year so there was no need to keep the rest. I did, however, make an exception for work jeans since I own a family farm and love to work outside most of the year. Work jeans to me are gold! So as long as these ones fit, they stayed. The same concept was applied to the shirts. Nicer shirts were weeded out with the same mentality as the hanging clothes, and the work shirts akin to the jeans. This project proved to be much easier than the hanging clothes, partially because there were less of them.

Day 3: The dresser(s)

My goal here was to weed through my tall dresser, as well as my old 3 drawer plastic bin that I brought along with me since college. I decided now would be a great time to lose or repurpose this. I tossed an enormous amount of unused socks, bras, underwear, t shirts, leggings, sweatpants etc. By the time I was done, my underwear and bras were folder neatly and organized by color and style. My socks now fit in the tall dresser along with my most used leggings and leg warmers. I also sorted through my pajamas and had them organized by color and season! Now getting dressed in the morning or changing at night is an exciting new adventure!!


This was probably the most embarrassing cleanse for my wardrobe. I could not believe how many shoes I was hoarding. I probably had somewhere between 35-45 pairs of shoes spilling over my 3 tier shoe rack. Boots, heels, flats, sneakers, sandals. The worst part-I DIDN’T WEAR THEM! Personally I hate wearing shoes and socks when I can help it. My husband can’t stand it because either my feet are dirty and calloused in the summer or an ice block in the winter. I decided to attack this rack with as little emotion as possible. I was able to fill an entire trash bag with shoes. I kept 2 pair of flats, 4 pairs of boots (2 flat, 2 with heels), 2 pair of sneakers (1 for exercise and 1 black converse, because, well, black goes with everything!), several pair of heels (1 nude peep toe, 2 closed toe pumps-black and nude). I also kept a pair of coach heels because I do wear them a lot when it’s not -10 degrees out, of course. For the summer I put aside 2 pair of flip flops and 1 pair of dressy sandals. I also kept 2 pair of riding boots-literally for horseback riding-because, well, it’s horseback riding. Now all my shoes fit on the shoe rack (minus the horse gear). It’s incredible!

Day 5: Outerwear

This was rather quick. I believe I donated 3 jackets total-simply because I did not have a large assortment to start with. I did keep 1 vest, 2 peacoats (1 everyday wear and 1 dressy), 2 lighter weight jackets, 1 rain jacket, and a couple heavy weight/work wear jackets (because just like jeans and work shirts-these are gold!). However, since this cleanse I did have a birthday in which my mother and father gave me another gorgeous peacoat. I may need to rethink my original everyday wear one. It was a cheap buy to begin with and I have had to fix it multiple times since I bought it. We shall see!

All in all, I think I have done a marvelous job weeding through my wardrobe. However, I did decide that I should probably commit to doing a few more clean ups throughout the year. I still have to purge my summer wardrobe-which is in a box in the attic. Plus, I am sure I will find that certain pieces in my wardrobe will not be worn nearly as often as the others. I am still deciding on what is the best way to weed from here on out, but like all great things, the method will present itself when the time is right.

A few thing I have not yet tackled, simply because I have not had the time the past week, are my accessories. I still need to go through my jewelry and scarves-which will be a little more tough since I do like my earrings and my scarves. Stay tuned to see how that struggle pans out!

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