Building a minimalist wardrobe is a great introduction to living consciously. In the beginning it can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry. I’m here to help. By the end of this post you will learn everything you need to know and be ready to step out and create your very own real life minimalist wardrobe.
Let’s get something straight first. Decluttering is not easy! Pinterest, Youtube and the rest of social media may want to make it look this way, but it’s not. It takes time. It takes effort, and most importantly – it requires a lot of patience. But if you’re truly passionate about minimalist fashion and looking to make some great improvements in your life starting with your closet, you’re in the right place.
This step-by-step guide will be your manual for building a casual minimalist wardrobe. It will take you through the whole process and help you sort out your closet with ease. Just follow this minimalist wardrobe checklist.
AN EASY-TO-FOLLOW GUIDE TO BUILDING A MINIMALIST WARDROBE:
Step 1: Block out time in your calendar!
This step is very important and should not be skipped (Nor should any of these steps, but this one in particular is VERY important). Sorting out your wardrobe takes time. Depending on the size of your current closet, you may need to block out a whole day or even a full weekend. You need to be fully committed to your task in order to get it done efficiently and as fast as possible. So make sure you don’t add anything else to your to-do list for this day/weekend. Remember, the final result will be so worth it, so try to keep this in mind when planning your wardrobe clear-out. And don’t forget to pencil it in your calendar!!
Step 2: Get into the right mindset!
You blocked out the time and now the big day is here. Now what?! First things first. Get in the right mindset. Have a good breakfast, make a coffee, put some makeup on and do your hair. Doing your makeup and hair will help, as you need to be feeling at your best when trying outfits. (We’ll dive deeper into this concept in step 6.) But for now, take my word for it and remain focused on your mission. If you need some extra motivation or a reminder why you’re doing this in the first place, read this post about minimalist fashion.
Step 3: Take all your clothes out of your closet!
That’s right. Clear some space to pile your items and take EVERYTHING out. No, not just the things you don’t like, don’t fit, or ‘don’t know how it got in there’ stuff. Do you hear me? I said EV-RY-THING!!! You need to go through each and every single item in order to decide what will stay and what will go.
Step 4: Split your clothes into categories!
We’re all about organization here, so let’s split this clutter into 5 main categories:
- Tops and Blouses
- Sweaters and Cardigans
- Bottoms (Jeans, Leggings, Pants, Skirts & Shorts)
- Dresses and Jumpsuits
Once you have it all laid out in an organized fashion, you’ll get some good minimalist wardrobe ideas.
Step 5: Go through each single item and put your favourites aside!
Once you’ve split your clothing into categories, go through each garment one by one and put aside your “favourites”. Your “favourites” must be the items that you wear all the time and you will definitely keep, so there’s no point in trying them on.
Step 6: Time to try on everything else!
This step is definitely the most time-consuming one, but it’s crucial for your minimalist wardrobe. You need to try your clothes in order to make the best decision of what to keep and what to get rid off. Talking from personal experience, when I was decluttering my closet, I realized that I almost parted away with some beautiful items that I wouldn’t know I still want to wear and really enjoy, had I not tried them on!
But don’t get me wrong. Don’t get sentimental and start keeping pieces because you have so many good memories with them, but won’t ever wear again. That’s NOT our goal! Remember, we’re striving for minimalist wardrobe essentials here. What we want to keep are staples that will pair well with the rest of our apparel and carry us through the seasons!
When trying items, notice how you feel about them. Are they the right fit? Do you still feel great about wearing them? Would you wear them in the next 3-6 months? If you didn’t own this piece already, would you buy it right now? If the answer is NO, that’s your cue to let go.
If you truly want to create a capsule wardrobe consisting of clothing that you love and will happily style and re-style over and over again, you need to learn to let go of what’s no longer making you happy or serving you. This is easier to be said than done, so be kind to yourself and take as much time as you need. Detaching is never easy but it’s so healing and liberating!
Step 7: Split items that you’ve tried in two piles – a “maybe” one and a “goodbye” one.
Now you’ve tried on all your clothes, you should have a clear idea about what you want to keep and what you’ll part away with. Add the items that you will definitely hold onto, to your “favourites” pile. Now, make a pile of the garments that will go. And you should have a third pile left with the “maybe” pieces. We will talk about them further in step 9.
Step 8: Go through the unwanted items (the “goodbye” pile) to decide whether to gift, donate or sell them.
Put aside the pieces you want to gift and sell.
Now, for the leftover clothes that are damaged or too old, don’t throw them away! You can donate them to an animal shelter or a textile & fabric factory (search for clothing banks in your area, they are usually by big supermarkets). Or alternatively, you can repurpose them into new items such as cleaning clots.
Step 9: Put everything back in your closet!
This is the best part!! After a long day of tidying, it’s so exciting to put everything back and discover all of this new extra space you’ve got!
Remember, the “maybe” pile we mentioned in step 7? Make room for it at the front of your wardrobe. This way they will be in front of your eyes (so no excuses to not wear them) and you can see if you’re going to make the most out of them over the next 3-6 months.
Step 10: Repeat the process after 3 months.
You’re not done yet. Creating your best minimalist wardrobe is a process, and this process takes time. Sure, you could go through it once, chuck out half of it, and say you’re done. But until you actually experience day to day with the collection you’re left with, you won’t know if it’s done. Maybe you’re missing a staple. Perhaps there’s still a couple of items that you were sure you were going to wear but have just been collecting dust since your last clear out. This is why you should be repeating this process every 3 or 4 months.
Not only this, but you also need to be mindful that we naturally accumulate things over time, even when we’re trying not to. So chances are that in 3 or 4 months, you’ll have a load of items you picked up along the way, and now you will have to decide whether or not to keep them. As the saying goes, “What get’s measured, get’s managed”. So keep an eye on what you get, and this includes gifts.
Once you’ve completed a few rounds thought out the year, you’ll be well on your way to mastering your closet and creating a minimalist wardrobe women would die for. If you’ve had a go and realized you’re missing some key items, then check this post about 19 Basic Pieces You Must Have In Your Closet to get those much-needed staples and see some minimalist wardrobe examples.
This post was all about an easy-to-follow guide to building a minimalist wardrobe.
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