How to Minimize Your Closet

My minimalism journey includes my closet. There are the items I kept and the items I replaced. Both were important. I sectioned my closet which was easy since I hang things by category and then by color.

I went through each “department” in my closet and drawers, basing my numbers off a combination of several other blog posts on capsule wardrobes. I wanted an idea of the amount — a number in each category. I emailed a couple of fellow bloggers and asked about corporate/church clothing. It seemed the closets I was looking through were very casual and I wanted to up the ante. I gave myself some space to get through the process and I didn’t have a number in mind. I just wanted less stress, less stuff.

I looked at several websites to get my “basic necessity” list. I also categorized my clothing with a little more detail. Instead of “bottoms” and “tops” I wanted to know where I was doing well with minimizing and where I had a surplus. I counted after going through my closet about 5 times and getting rid of ten 30-gallon bags. This made it a slower, less overwhelming process — since I was working with a category — and it kept me focused on the areas I had too much of instead of being overwhelmed by the whole of the project. Then I made a list of things I didn’t have — one white and one black button-down shirt — and things I wanted to replace — black heels, leather jacket. I made sure I had the basics — blacks, browns and a few navy colors in staple clothing. Those are the timeless items you use as building blocks. Then, I had fun.

I called a local consignment shop and actually found the 2 button-down shirts, an amazing pair of black heels (gave away 3 pairs of shoes with that replacement), AND the leather jacket… The ladies at this shop are bomb and fun and we had a great time. OF COURSE, there were tons of things they showed me, but I stuck to my guns (and my budget) and said “No thank you”. I love that I can put things on layaway there. It helped me in a couple of ways. I could afford much nicer brand clothing because it was second hand and I could take 3 months to pay it off. It also allowed me to reflect on buyers’ remorse. I ended up putting one item back during the couple months my stuff was on layaway. Had I made the purchase all at once, I would have allowed an item I didn’t need to sneak back into my closet

I really try to look for one good item that replaces more than one thing I already have, so I’m downsizing while replacing. I’m also getting great at trying everything on (I still don’t like it, but holy cow I like clothing to fit well) and making that quick decision if I want it or not. I wanted a pair of denim shorts. I tried on probably 25 pairs but when I found the pair I wanted, I knew immediately. And I don’t need 6, I need one. I’m having fun with my clothes again because I like everything I have. Taking the time to try on everything in your closet is VERY important. You can’t lie to yourself when you have it on. The same goes when buying new. Here’s a list of my work in progress — Remember it’s different for everyone. For someone with 20 pairs of shoes, the fact that mine are at 38 seems excessive. It’s all relative. Going from about 200 down to 38 is a big change and this is a work in progress. Nearly every time I open my closet I pull things out. I have a trash bag and a donate bag in my room because this is an ongoing project and I get excited about continuing to downsize, maximize, and de-stress my life. It’s also not JUST my closet — the entire house is getting an overhaul. So be gentle.

With still so much, I remind myself of the 10 thirty-gallon bags I’ve hefted out of my room. Writing this list makes it easier to see where I can scale back. Currently, I have 189 total items. Yes, it’s still a lot. Yes, I can cut it back and yes, I’m certain I will. This is a reflection of A LOT of work and is a milestone to regroup.

SHOES: 36 4 boots (2 brown, 2 black — one heel, one flat in each color) 2 short boots — one gray and one tan 1 winter boot The other 29 pairs are a combo of heels, flats, sneakers, flip flops, booties, hiking boots, etc…
Dresses: 29 Dressy: 8 Work/Church: 14 Casual: 7
Dress pants: 2 one tan, one black
Casual Pants: 8
Sweaters: 6
Wraps: 7
Blazers: 9
Button-down shirts: 7
Skirts: 12
Shorts: 7 Dress: one brown, one black Casual: 5
Dress capris: 2 1black, one brown
Long Sleeve shirts: 26 Dress: 13 Casual: 13
Short-Sleeve Shirts: 12 Dress: 6 Casual: 6
Sleeveless Shirts: 20 Dress: 9 Casual: 11
Coats: 6 Dressy: 1 heavy, 1 light Casual: 1 heavy, 1 light 1 jean jacket 1 leather jacket

Originally published at

Jenn is Mom of 18, Transformational Coach for Christian women, host of At A Crossroads with The Naked Podcaster, Author, Runner, Minimalist, & Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

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Jenn Taylor — Mom Of 18

Mom Of 18 Certified Birth & Bereavement Doula® Adoption & Surrogacy Doula Breastfeeding Counselor Reno, NV 15+ Years In The Foster Care Sector, Blogger, Podcast