Minimal Wardrobe – 6 Steps To Creating a Minimal Wardrobe

In last months newsletter I talked about the 3 benefits to having a minimal wardrobe.  Now it’s time to take action! Check out my 6 steps below that break down the process to ensures that you will complete the challenge from start to finish.

Intentional Living wardrobe.jpg

6 Steps to Change and Creating a Minimal Wardrobe:

1. Goal Setting

Sit down and think about what your goals are: for your clothing, style, your carbon footprint and where you would like to donate items you are letting go of.

  1. Questions to ask yourself for goal setting:

  2. What is your style?

  3. How would you describe it?

  4. What types of fabrics do you like? Ie. cotton, synthetics

  5. What are some basics that you already have?

  6. Where can you look to for inspiration?

  7. What stores support your ethics and goals?

Be specific about what basics you want and which items you would need to create your basic minimal wardrobe. Get informed, watch some videos and read up on the specific style your are looking to create. This will further inform your decisions and help you define your style before you go through your clothing.

2. Letting go

Before you let go of of items that don’t match your new goals and style, be sure to pick where you are going to donate your items. If you are selling items choose which avenue you will use, there are many consignment stores out there that would be happy to take them.

It’s important to plan where you will give your unwanted clothing items because from experience I’ve seen that it’s easier to let go when you know where your items are going.

Questions to ask yourself when letting go:

  1. Does this item match my new goals and style?

  2. Does it fit well and do I like the fabric?

  3. Is it easy to wash and maintain?

  4. Why is it important for me to keep this item?

  5. How often do I use this item?

  6. How much do I love it on a scale of 1 to 10?

  7. Why was I keeping this item?

Letting go of items is more than a physical act, there’s an emotional attachment to our belongings and beliefs.

3. Responsibly donate or trade clothing

Be sure to do the research, beforehand, where your unwanted clothing items will go. As mentioned it will help with letting go and ensure items leave your home and stay out of landfills. Doing your research will also save you the time of running around since local organizations usually take clothing on specific days and times.

Don’t know where to start, here are some options:

  1. Check out your local organizations and what they are accepting

  2. Host a clothing swap – Live Green Toronto is coming out with a how to guide soon!

  3. Check in with you local community center to see if they need any items

4. Organizing your clothing

When putting items away, it’s key to follow two basic principles. One, zone, where you keep like items in one location. This ensures that you see and use your clothing. Two, give all of your items a home, yes everything! There are many other options to arrange items however I find these two the most effective and easiest in helping maintain an organized space.

Other suggestions are to hang clothing from dark colours to light, starting from left to right. The eye and brain automatically have an easier time processing when things are organized by colour.  

Another organizing strategy is to roll items in drawers instead of folding and stacking. This allows you to see what you have so you wear it keeps the space neat and clean because you are not searching for items.

5. Reassessing + Reflecting

This is an ongoing process that will continue as you live with your new changes. I notice that clients can let go of most of what they don’t need the first time they declutter. However, I strongly encourage clients not to feel bad when they can’t decide on items. It can be very overwhelming to let go of so much at once. Taking the time to hold onto items your not sure of is ok.  This allows you the time to see what’s left and what you are using now that everything is organized and visible. It also gives you an opportunity to reflect and process why you had these items and if they are still important to you, which is vital to changing habits and getting to the root of your clutter.

Reassess what’s left helps you figure out your next steps and if you need to purchase any basic items. Having a basic capsule wardrobe, as mentioned in my other blog posts, is a great place to start and then adding a few fun unique pieces to spice it up.

6. Habit Changing

Lasting change means changing habits after a declutter. Taking the time in step 5 to reflect on what why you were keeping items, helps you gain awareness as to why you had so much to begin with. Take one habit at at time to change and look at what you can replace it with. Eventually with practice and repetition it will become a new habit.
Some habits you can look at changing to help you maintain an organized and minimal wardrobe are:

  • To buy less

  • buy sustainable pieces and/or buy second hand clothing

  • Have a list of items you need so you don’t buy things on sale  

If you are looking to buy more sustainably and avoid fast fashion there are numerous stores in Toronto that can support you.There are also local designers and stores that aim to carry sustainable sourced items.

Want to learn more about how you can have a positive impact on fast fashion!

Check out Fashion Takes Action, a Canadian Non-For Profit Organization taking big steps to make change in the industry and community.

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