How To Have A *Realistically* Minimalist Wardrobe

I’ve been wanting to give my closet a good declutter for a while. Since I started being more conscious about the clutter in my home, I’ve gotten a lot better about not overloading my wardrobe. But I’ve been having the feeling my wardrobe needs a purge for a while now. I can always tell that it’s time to declutter when my laundry starts to feel hard to keep on top of. Ideally, I just do one load of laundry for myself a week.

I’ve been doing a bunch of research around minimal closets. I really want to continue to focus on having a more sustainable and minimal closet. I just think it’s easier to maintain, makes getting dressed easier, and overall is a big time and money saver. It can be hard, but  I’ve got a bunch of tips and tricks to share with you guys. 

how to create a minimal closet

Make A Game Plan

I think before you even TOUCH your closet you need to make a game plan and set some goals. To start, I looked at a bunch of different minimal closet checklists, capsule wardrobe guides, and so on.  SO MANY things I read really seem to fall on the number 30, for the number of items in your wardrobe (excluding undergarments and accessories), so I made owing approximately 30 pieces part of my game plan.

Then one of the first things I realized was that I definitely needed to allow myself a couple of different wardrobes. As someone who lives in a place where summer can hit 100 degrees and winter can hit below 0, it seems silly to have one wardrobe for both those occasions. 

This is also very relevant to motherhood. You can probably relate to needing clothes for early pregnancy, late pregnancy, and postpartum and if you plan on having more children it may not make sense to just get rid of all of those clothes. 

So make a plan for what pieces you need for each type of wardrobe that you realistically need. 

I started by listing out the pieces I needed for the warm weather, the cold weather, and those items that would be needed for both. 

Time To Purge

Next, I pulled out everything I owned with the exception of what I was wearing and some things I had down in the laundry. 

I decided that it would be interesting to see how many pieces of clothing I actually had. I ended up with 118 pieces. 

It’s usually pretty easy to get rid of the low-hanging fruit first. Anything you know you haven’t worn in forever or that doesn’t fit, go ahead and get rid of it.

Organize Your Clothes Into Categories

Secondly, I went through each piece of clothing and set everything into different categories. For example, jeans, jean shorts, sweaters, casual dresses, dressy dresses, t-shirts, tank tops, and so on. 

Then it was time to go through each category and decide what I could toss. 

Consider Your Colors

Having more neutrals in your wardrobe works really well because you can mix and match them. However, don’t feel like you can’t wear color! Choose colors that you know look good on you and that you are drawn to wearing. If it’s not a flattering color then go ahead and toss it into the donate pile.

Actively Pull Out Clothes That You Don’t Need For This Season Of Life

I created a basket for my “new mom” stuff. My second baby is now over a year old and I’m no longer nursing and not relying on my postpartum wardrobe anymore. So, I’m weeding out anything still hanging around in my wardrobe from that postpartum period. 

I’m not donating this stuff just yet because I don’t know that we’re done having babies just yet….haha that’s right guys you heard it here first – the Branciforte family might keep growing! But don’t hold your breath or stalk my Instagram for baby bumps anytime soon because it’s not something we’re planning for 2022, and if you’ve been following me for a while you know it took us 2 years to get pregnant the first time, so if a third does join us, it probably won’t be in the immediate future. 

ANYWAYS, I do want to hold onto my postpartum favorites, but I don’t need them taking up space in my current wardrobe. 

Use The Rule Of One

When it comes to things like little black dresses, you really only need one. I had two. One of them I feel is more flattering than the other so I kept that one and donated the other.

However, the second one I got engaged in so I was a bit sentimentally attached to it. But I haven’t worn it in many years so I decided to get rid of it. It’s tough but it’s really just taking up space and I wasn’t using it. 

Decluttering Gets Easier With Time

If you are thinking I’m making this look easy just keep in mind that I’ve been going through this process for maybe the last 4 years. I’ve been through a lot of different seasons of life and a lot of different wardrobes for various reasons. I’ve gone from being a teacher to being in an office to being a mom with pregnancy and then postpartum clothing. Then I started working from home and didn’t need my office clothing anymore and began to focus on a wardrobe more appropriate for motherhood. I do still like to look nice and put together so there has consistently been clothing coming in and out of my home.

There has been a lot of change and a lot that I’ve needed to get rid of or it would have all just piled up on top of us in our smaller square foot home. 

You get better with practice. So just know if this is your first time going through your wardrobe it’s okay if you are struggling a bit to decide what to get rid of. 

Also, I do have a Declutter Your Closet Guide that helps you with every single step of decluttering your closet. You can check that out here

Some Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Stuck

It’s very common to start feeling stuck or overwhelmed when going through your closet, especially if you have a very large wardrobe or have never done it before. Here are some questions that I ask myself when I’m unsure about what to do with a piece. 

Have I worn this in the last year?

Do I like the way it looks on me?

Is it comfortable?

Is it versatile and easy to style?

If you say to yes to all of these then it is definitely a keeper. If you say no to more than one of these questions then you can probably let it go. 

Focus On What Fits Your Lifestyle

You might find yourself drawn to a certain style when you see it on Instagram or Pinterest but ask yourself it that is how you really dress. What really fits your lifestyle and what are you most comfortable wearing? 

What are you doing day to day? What are you more prone to wear on an average day? 

One of my favorite tricks is to ask myself if I had to get dressed on a regular day and closed my eyes and reached into my closet and grabbed this item, would I wanna wear it? If it’s not flattering, uncomfortable, or not well fit, just get rid of it. It’s taking up valuable real estate in your closet.

My Decluttering Results

After I got through purging my whole wardrobe I was able to move 46 clothing items. This leaves me with 72 items that I’m keeping in my everyday wardrobe. This includes my cold weather and warm weather wardrobe. So essentially I have 36 items per wardrobe. I feel like this is pretty good.

This won’t be a one-and-done thing. Decluttering your wardrobe is a process and new pieces will come in and eventually you’ll need to go through the process again. Or maybe you weren’t completely honest with yourself the first time and kept a lot of pieces you don’t actually use. The more you do it, the easier it gets. 

Keep in mind that a minimal wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to have a boring neutral wardrobe. If you have that great baseline wardrobe, then it’s easy to add in and take out more fun and trendy pieces. Then you can still fall back on that quality pair of jeans and other reliable staples in your wardrobe. 

Hey There!

I'm Kallie!

Also known as That Practical Mom

I’m all about helping you simplify the chaos of life so you can slow down and enjoy it.

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