I’m going crazy. My room has papers stacked in one corner to shred, a bag full of donations, 3 bins for storage, and a drawer that still needs to be fully sifted through. It’s happening again.

The largest contributing culprit of this mess resides in a dedicated space attached to my room. In the middle of the year, I pulled out every single article of clothing from my closet. I started stripping clothes from hangers and dumping clothes from bins; soon my floor was haphazardly decorated by the contents of my excessively curated wardrobe. Few months later, I’m at it again for part two and to take care of it once and for all. I told myself I would commit to a more simple lifestyle in terms of what I physically owned for less clutter within my space and in my mind. I admittedly have an unhealthy obsession when it comes to clothing. Apparently, my brain thinks buying useless crap can give me happiness. I buy too many things I never end up wearing, leaving half of my wardrobe untouched and my mind overwhelmed by it. So much thinking and elaboration goes on in my head that if my surroundings aren’t easy to look at, I will get so stressed out to the point of bursting. Ha-ha. That is where my “OCD” comes in to help this struggle. Yes, I know it’s a serious mental health issue and if you knew me, you’d know I wasn’t joking. But in this case, I’m talking just about the connection of that mentality to the physical organizational aspect. I like to categorize and have a place for everything. Organizing gives me peace and serenity. However, when it comes down to “what to get rid of” and “what to keep”, a serious conflict arises. This is especially and severely reflected in my closet as a result of “I buy shit I don’t need”, and then I like to keep it all there so it piles up and becomes hard to maintain. People call this hoarding. This interferes with my ability to keep organized because there’s just SO MUCH STUFF. This time when I was organizing my clothes, I made a commitment to end up with a space that brews inspiration, bliss, and calmness. Clear of a daunting feeling, uncertainty, and dreading what to wear. This has gone on for far too long and I am going to end it once and for all. It is time. The time is now. I’m ready to face my demons.

If you posses something but you can’t give it away, then you don’t possess it…it possesses you.

– Frank Sinatra


First answer…

What does fashion mean to you?

It is important that you understand what fashion means to you because it will be a basis for your personal style and what you end up deciding to keep.

Please note the following is intended for those who want to de-clutter their closet, maintain a sustainable wardrobe, and love eco-friendly + animal-friendly fashion. Except really, it’s just for everybody!


 I put together a list below of tips that helped me know what to keep, what to give away, and what to do when I want to make a purchase. I started by creating 4 different piles. 1st: Keep / 2nd:Trash or Recycle / 3rd: Donate / 4th: Sell. Then, I dived into the sorting.

When making a decision, the following steps should be applied to each clothing article cumulatively. Each step must be taken in order to minimize your wardrobe and maximize the happy it makes you feel. 

What To Keep:

Step 1: Know your body type. Know what makes you feel freaking fantastic. How do you know: It’s something you always reach for in your closet.

Step 2: Quality items. Pick items that you know you could wear everyday for 2 weeks and then would still look like it did when you bought it.

Step 3: Key Pieces. You will never run out of things in your closet to style it with.

Step 4: Describe your style. OK, now does that piece define your style? – If you have a hard time with what “your style” is, look back to the previous three steps, it will give you an idea. 🙂

Step 5: It gives you lots of joy. It makes you feel really, really good when you wear it and even just by looking at it.

Step 6: Pieces that show off who you are because fashion is about expressing yourself.

What to Get Rid of (Recycle, Donate, or Sell):

Step 1: It’s been sitting in your closet and you have never taken it out for a spin. It’s glaringly obvious – Time to say bye-bye.

Step 2: Uncertainty. You think you like it and you think you’d wear it. Let’s solve this. Pick out your favorite item from your closet. Now does the item you are trying to convince yourself you’ll wear provide you with the same feeling? Compare this feeling for every item and if it doesn’t match up, you’re giving it away.

Step 3: The odd one(s) out. It doesn’t go with anything else in your closet.

Step 4: It doesn’t fit right. This is more than the issue of if it’s too small or it’s too large. This is the shirt that has holes in the wrong places or has the wrong cut to fit your body type. You don’t want something if the foundation of the piece is off. Save room in your closet for the special ones that makes you love your body.

Step 5: It’s damaged or stained. There’s a hole in a weird place, or a fat permanent stain, or a rip in an unflattering area. You’re not going to end up fixing the whole, the stain will never come out, and why would you even bother with that rip. Find a recycling location near you – they might be able to salvage the remaining fabric. (Some donation sites even have recycling programs within.)

Step 6: One time trend. Those pieces you bought just because they were “in style”. You wore it maybe once to experiment, but never again.

What will you do for Future Purchases?

>>> Pick from brands you know, love, and trust. I noticed that when my values are in line with the company I am purchasing from, I feel so good about what I’m contributing to.

>>> Thrift and/or vintage. When buying second-hand, you are likely to be more selective when picking out pieces and in that way they will mean so much more.

>>> Listen to your gut. You should feel at complete ease when putting it into your check out cart or shopping bag. It’s not an impulsive selection based on a fleeting feeling. It’s based on a truthful judgment because you’re listening to your inner self.

>>> Does it excite you? Does it inspire you? You can easily put together in your head, several outfits with this piece.

AVOID IF:

  1. It’s just a really, really good deal.
    Uhm. No. It’s just a trap taunting you into wasting your money.
  2. It’s different & you want to try something “out of your comfort zone”.
    There is a 99% chance you won’t wear it. EVER. If pink is “not your color”. It is not your color. Well, at least not in this moment. Maybe later on when your style changes, but when it does, you’ll know. Don’t fight when your gut tells you.
  3. You could alter it.
    Yeah, don’t bother. The time, energy, and resources that are wasted does not make that trip worth it. Not to mention, you’re putting more money into fixing something you’re paying for when you could purchase something that knocks altering out of the question.
  4. The online return policy sucks.
    All of us have a specific body-type and there is always a 50% chance that the clothing item will not fit how you expected.

I hope this was helpful and will inspire you to keep a wardrobe that constantly inspires you and makes you happy.

X,

Joan