Living with Less: Why I Got Rid of Half My Clothes

It's been about two months since I considerably downsized my closet, taking huge armfuls of sweaters, tops, purses and shoes, and shoving them into garbage bags destined for secondhand shops. And even though I still ask, What to wear? each morning, I've found that the answers to that question are much more satisfying now.

I realized I haven't really said much regarding this wardrobe overhaul of mine, so I figured it was time for some details and updates.

What prompted this wardrobe overhaul? Well, we were in the midst of our apartment move—packing up all our belongings and moving within a 2-day time frame from when we found our new place—when I was overwhelmed by all of the stuff we had. Much of it was kitchenware and food, furniture and books, things that took up space but served useful purposes.

But then I came to my closet and I just couldn't bear the thought of moving all of those clothes on top of everything else. It just seemed excessive to me. Add to that the fact that the closet in our new apartment was significantly smaller than what I'd enjoyed in the old apartment? (See a little sneak peek at the new closet.) It's then that push came to shove.

In a moment of fortunate haste, I decided to divvy up the clothes, separating the ones that I love from the ones that go unworn month after month or that I only wear because I feel like I need to get some use out of them. 

I've cleaned out my closet dozens of times before, but this was the first time I'd ever been so ambitious and decisive while weeding out my wardrobe. "Like" no longer cut it. Now, they had to overcome the threshold of "Love." As I stuffed garbage bags full, I noticed that the "Love" pile was significantly smaller than the "Goodbye" pile.  This should be interesting, I thought.

I still held on to the "goodbye" pile for another month after we moved (mostly because I was so busy unpacking that I didn't feel like going out of my way to donate them, but also because, you know, just in case). And I found that I didn't have any use for the castoff clothes after all. Even though they were sitting right there the whole time, I found that I didn't miss them and never went rummaging back through them to rescue anything.

I was content wearing only my favorites and having less hangers to flit through to find them. It was something of a relief.

That's when I got rid of the clothes for good.

And you know what? I can honestly say that I haven't regretted the decision to downsize one bit.

Related Posts
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Shopping My Closet for Crafts
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  1. This is something I have in the back of my mind to do when we move, I've been hoarding clothes that "I'll fit into someday" or "I'll have a use for someday" and they take up SO MUCH SPACE! Emotional and physical. Thanks for this encouraging post!

  2. I know. It is hard to take that leap and actually do something about it! I'll be posting later this week with some tips for how to do just that!

  3. I seriously need to do this, but I also need to change the style of my wardrobe. It hasn't really changed much since college (t-shirts & jeans), but I'm finally starting to tire of wearing that every day. And adding a little color never hurt.

    Only reason I haven't tossed/donated my clothes is because I'm toying around with using the material for other projects. But I might have to just deal & donate them.

  4. My husband and I are trying to do some downsizing this summer. This week I've started on my books this week, and clothes will be coming soon. It's amazing how we need so much less than we think we do.

  5. @ apockylypse - Yeah, I held on to some of my favorite pieces, as well, for fabric re-use. But only a small handful, which I see as being resourceful!

    @ Amanda - I know. Less really can be more, although it's incredibly hard to live that way!

  6. I love doing that! I hate owning a lot of stuff and it feels so good to get rid of it. I like living more simple.

  7. I've been using old clothes to make clothes for the kids and other sewing projects. I have to stop myself from cutting up things we still wear! I honestly love getting rid of things.

  8. I did this last summer! It feels wonderful, doesn't it?! I could honestly gid rid of more- and I probably will this month.

    I filled 10 trash bags when I did this- it was awesome. As for shoes, I'm down to flip flops (two pairs), running shoes, dog walking sneaks, garden clogs, basic pair of black flats, a pair of hiking boots and a pair of winter boots. I love getting rid of stuff. It's too fun.

  9. I love this! I just got rid of a lot of clothes, and I've made a decision that everytime I buy something new, I donate that many "old" items.

    I still have an old basketball t-shirt that I can't get rid of (it's...9 years old...) but I figure if that's the only thing I really hoard...then I'm okay with it.

  10. I downsized my clothes a few weeks ago, but with the intention of buying more clothes of a more professional style. With my budget though I know I won't full replace the number of items I got rid of.

  11. I've been reading through your blog for a few days now and I love it. I read a bunch of blogs but yours comes off really genuine and uniquely you. It doesn't sound like you're trying to be someone else, which I appreciate.

  12. I just did the closet purge as well! Couldn't bear the though of hauling all of those clothes down to Florida. And it's hothothot down there, so it was a good excuse to get rid of my sweaters (which I NEVER wear). I only kept one!

  13. Good for you!! Less is more and you're proving it girl!

  14. i like to go through my wardrobe every 6 months and get rid of anything i haven't worn that season. it always feels good.

  15. I've been trying to really create my style lately, so downsizing and changing my wardrobe has been happening off and on for a few months now. I'm incorporating more feminine prints and more color, getting things I can layer like cardigans, getting more every-day skirts and dresses, and purging my closet of clothes I've had since I was maybe 16. I've been losing weight as well, so there's been the every now and again purge of clothes that no longer fit. It's a process and sometimes hard to part with some things, but it's been really good to clean out things I no longer wear or want! I actually 'donate' to a friend of mine first and once she takes her fill, it goes to a charity group in the area. :) Reading this, though, makes me want to go through and get rid of some more. Maybe this weekend I'll do that. :)

  16. I did this earlier this year too and it feels so good to wake up in the morning, look in my closet, and realize that I love (and actually wear) everything in there!


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