While I love our new apartment, the closet space and storage options are significantly smaller than our old place.
I’ve recently stumbled upon some minimalist YouTubers and I’ve gotten very inspired to downsize.
Supposedly, the majority of people only wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time.
Taking a look at my things, I realized I definitely fall into this category.
Since moving from California to Bordeaux, my style has changed a lot.
I’ve held onto many articles of clothing thinking that maybe someday I’ll wear it again. I’ve also had other pieces that I couldn’t bear to give up because of how much I had spent on them or because of their sentimental value.
Looking through my things, I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the pieces that I’ve kept. What was I thinking went through my head a couple of times, as well as a props to my younger self for being so confident in such skin revealing clothes–things that I would never dare to wear now.
The reality is, my life has changed a lot over the past couple of years!
Living in Bordeaux, there are definitely different codes to follow. In general, young women dress more conservatively than young women in California (and generally speaking, French men dress up more than Californian men.) Plus, now that I’m a teacher in Bordeaux and no longer a university student in California, it makes more sense for me to have clothing that I can wear both during work hours and while off duty. (I work with younger kids, meaning I’m moving, sitting criss-cross applesauce in circles, and bending over and picking things up a lot–short dresses/skirts are no longer possible!)
On top of my style changing and becoming a bit more conservative, I also fall into impulse purchases. If something is on sale, I am likely to cave. I also find salespeople to be super intimidating and I guarantee you if an employee is helping me look for clothes, I will probably end up regretting that purchase because I felt pressured into buying it. Yeah, I need to get out of that habit real quick…does anyone else fall into this?? I have no idea how I can be so headstrong in other aspects of my life, but when it comes salespeople, I crumble.
But I digress.
I am no style expert and I’m still figuring out my personal style, but I do know that for me clothing makes a big difference in how I feel. It doesn’t matter how good someone says I look in something–If I feel self-conscious in what I am wearing, I am very unlikely to enjoy myself and wear that piece again.
Decluttering my wardrobe, I only held on to the pieces that I always feel good in.
What I have realized about my own “style” (if you would even call it that) is I like being comfortable and I don’t like things that are skin tight or show a lot of skin. I also tend to gravitate towards more neutral colors (with the exception of powder blue, my favorite).
I now have some big bags of clothes to donate and what I own has significantly decreased.
Here are some of the questions I asked myself while creating my “keep” and “donate” piles.
Have I worn this in the last 90 days?
Chances are if I haven’t worn something within the past three months, I’m not very likely to wear it anytime soon. If I haven’t got a use for something, it will go to someone who does.
How do I feel in this?
Do I feel attractive? Do I feel comfortable? Like I said before, it doesn’t matter how good people may say I look in something, if I feel uncomfortable, I’m not going to enjoy myself. There was this long skin tight red dress I wore once that JP adored. I HATED THIS THING. I felt like the whole world was staring at me that day (partly because of the bright color, another part being how tight the garment was). I was miserable! I’ve been reluctant to donate the dress because of how much JP liked it, but I realized if I’m not feeling good in it, there is no point in hanging onto it.
Why am I holding onto this?
This question brought up a load of answers. There were some items I’ve told myself I’ll get fixed or hemmed for several months now…if I haven’t got something fixed by now, I’m very unlikely to get around to doing it. Then, there were other clothes I’ve kept because of a memory I had while wearing that particular item. I don’t want to place so much emotional value on items. I need to remind myself that I’ll always have my memories and that is much more valuable than any piece of clothing.
And then there’s the, but I spent $$$$ on this!
For those pieces that are making me cringe because of their price tags, I will try to sell. But if I don’t get around to selling within the next month, off to the donation center they go!
I’m not planning on reinventing my wardrobe overnight and I’m not ready to transition to full on minimalist, but I do want to start actually using what I own. I also want to invest in quality items. So even if something is a bit more pricey, it will be justified as I’ll get more use out of it.
I also want to gain more control with my emotions as it relates to shopping. I’ve had way too much of an attachment with this, sometimes I’ll get such a high from going on a shopping spree and other times I’ll feel really low when trying something on and it doesn’t look “good” on me. Though, I have a lot to share that I’ve learned from my shopaholic tendencies, and that subject will be dedicated to another post…
What about the rest of you? Do you wear everything you own? Is it easy for you to live a decluttered life?
Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to gain your insight!