Journey of a Fashionable Minimalist: Episode 6 – Out of sight, out of mind
This post is part of a series called Journey of a Fashionable Minimalist, telling in part my decluttering and minimalism journey, as someone who has always been interested and invested in expressing herself through outfits and accessories, and other related things I’ve learned through minimalism. The series is due to be completed by the end of 2019. Read all posts in the series.
Hi! So it’s been some time since the last episode of Journey of a Fashionable Minimalist. After being unhappy with, and trying to fix my style, I decided to go through my wardrobe and remove any item of clothing I was unsure about, or didn’t really like. Surely that would help me get a grip on my style?
It seemed like a good idea at the time, so, I folded and packed all those clothes into a suitcase. I decided that if I didn’t think about the clothes in there, after several months, I would donate them. It wasn’t hard packing the clothes in the suitcase, maybe because I wasn’t really getting rid of them immediately.
Shortly before I’d made this decision, it was mid-to-late 2017 and I had just moved out of my parents’ house. Nick and I found our current apartment, and we loved everything about the place except for the relatively small wardrobe. To this day, we absolutely love the space, the location, and everything about our apartment, but if there was one thing we had to fault, it would still be the size of the wardrobe. A little too small. If I’m honest, it has actually helped me downsize a lot, but when we first moved in, it was really, really difficult.
My wardrobe inventory and working with what I had
I continued to wear clothes from the rest of my wardrobe, finding it much easier to deal with a wardrobe that was essentially smaller. It was not all that much smaller, but it was smaller nonetheless. I mentioned in Episode 4 that I had kept a wardrobe inventory, but after logging over 200 items, I barely had a chance to log any more than that before I donated the clothes.
At this stage, I had under 100 items, but it still felt like too much. Way too much. I knew I was only wearing 10% of my wardrobe – you know that statistic they talk about, how you only wear x percentage of your wardrobe. It was because of this reason that I felt like I still owned too many clothes.
I will admit to getting very fixated on the number. When you adopt a more minimalistic lifestyle, you can often get caught up in the numbers in the beginning. Numbers are a fantastic, wonderful guide, but when you get too worked up about how many items you own, you lose sense of why you began in the first place. It’s not about the number. It’s about being happy with less.
I liked the outfits I was wearing, and I liked the clothes I was wearing more than the clothes I’d packed away. I knew that for a fact. I was definitely happier with having less, at least in comparison to what I felt before I buried half my shit in a suitcase. But was I actually happy?
The suitcase of clothes
I found myself forgetting about the clothes rather easily, but not that I’d completely forgotten about them – just that I knew I was “hanging onto” a large amount of clothes I didn’t want, but I didn’t like them that much either. I knew there was a checkered long sleeve top in there, but I knew I wouldn’t reach for it, so it just stayed there.
After some time had passed, I opened the suitcase of clothes, and rummaged through it, and I regretted it rather quickly.
- I shouldn’t have kept those clothes packed away for that long if my intention was to eventually get rid of them.
- I should not have looked through the clothes again.
These are things I have learned from since. Sure, they were out of sight, out of mind, but because I hadn’t removed them from my home immediately, they were not “gone”. They were just out of sight, out of mind. And that wasn’t enough. Guilt came rushing back the moment I opened the suitcase and looked at the clothes again. I felt like they needed to be worn and loved again, when I didn’t even like them that much.
So take it from me: if you’re decluttering, and you decide you don’t love something, just give it a new life: give it away to someone, sell it, upcycle it, or recycle it. I will write about this in a future episode, but that guilt you feel is something you need to get over. The money has been spent. You have tried to wear the item. Guilt is exactly what can lead you back into hoarding: the topic I discussed in Episode 1.
I still wasn’t really happy.
Although I thought that downsizing my wardrobe would improve things for me, the problem was still glaring at me in the face.
I wasn’t happy with the amount of clothes I had. What’s more, I didn’t really like a lot of the clothes I had.
I was pretty fed up. I realised that I didn’t really have a personal style. And if I did, I sure as hell didn’t like it. 😕
It was time for something new.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of Journey of a Fashionable Minimalist. Next episode I’ll be discussing my many wardrobe cleanses, which, if you follow me on Instagram, you would be all too familiar with! I also discuss my journey in finding my personal style over the past two years specifically.
🗒 There are several more episodes in this series, which will be posted periodically until the end of 2019.