I was talking to my friend, Erin, about my journey to minimalism, and I mentioned that I got rid of a lot of clothes.
My bedroom looked as if it had been ransacked.
All of the drawers were open, the closet was open, and hangers were laying everywhere. Two large trash bags sat in the middle of the room, and each was close to being full. My bed was also under a pile of clothing.
My decision to get rid of clothes was based on the following criteria:
1. Is this a free, participation t-shirt?
I participated in six 5K runs last year and in several the year before. Each event gave out a t-shirt, which I promptly sliced up. Ultimately, I don’t like t-shirts, so it really made no sense to hold on to any of them. If I had not tried to upcycle, the t-shirt yet, it went into the donate bag.
2. When did I last wear this?
If I couldn’t remember the last time I wore the article of clothing, it went in the donate bag. This meant that it wasn’t one of my most favorite things to wear.
3. Is this comfortable?
If I knew that I stopped wearing a pair of pants because they were no longer comfortable, they went in the donate bag. Of course, this led to criteria number four.
4. Does this fit me?
I mentioned that I was very unhappy five years ago (read Re-learning How to be Free). Due to stress and a major change in my life, I lost about 10 pounds, which was the least I’ve weighed as an adult. I actually weighed less than I did when I graduated high school. I looked good and could fit into a size 0, but I didn’t think this was normal or healthy. Yet, I bought a bunch of clothes during this time.
As happiness returned, I gained my healthy weight back. I didn’t get rid of the clothes, though, because they were from high-end brands. I didn’t want to donate them either, so I set them aside. (More on this later.)
5. Where did I buy this?
If the clothing item was from Old Navy, Forever 21, H&M, or Kohl’s, it got tossed in the donate bag. Erin referred to these brands as “throwaway” clothing. I liked that!
In the end, I had four bags of clothes to donate to Goodwill. This was in addition to the two bags that I had already donated. That is a lot of clothes.
I also had over 100 clothes hangers with nothing on them. This actually blew my mind. Think of the space that 100 items of clothes take up in a closet. All of a sudden, this space was empty.
It may be hard to imagine that anything is left after this purge; only the best remains.
I love shopping at J. Crew, Banana Republic, and The Gap. I haven’t been able to shop there in a while, so all of my remaining clothes are a couple years old. It doesn’t matter though.
The styles are classic. The quality is high. A great wardrobe remains.
No more shopping at the discount stores. It will be better for me to save up for one nice item of clothing rather than fill my closet with five items that will shrink after the first wash.
Quality over quantity from now on.