Blog, Minimalism

Do you have too many clothes? – Here’s how to know

Too many clothes, hmm? Is that possible? It depends on who you ask. The popularity of walk-in closets today have made it so that people can have an entire little room dedicated to their wardrobe.

Some people have entire big rooms dedicated to their wardrobe. It can be argued that these people have too many clothes, but insert a minimalist into the conversation and they’ll tell you that if you have more than a week’s worth of clothes then you have too much.

Do you have too many clothes? – Maybe (probably..!), here’s how to know

Minimalists have mastered “simulating” a full wardrobe while really only possessing a few pieces.

Minimalists purchase versatile, high-quality, and charming items of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create endless variations. If a minimalist purchases one new shirt, that could mean they now have five new outfits.

You don’t need a wide variety of clothes in order to be fashionable. And a packed closet doesn’t necessarily mean you have something to wear. Familiarize yourself with what’s in your closet, know what you have, and that’ll give you a better sense of what you do and don’t need. 

Why Have Less Clothes?

Having an overflowing wardrobe is a lot. Firstly, we need to address wrinkles. When your clothes are stuffed in your closet like sardines they’re more liable to cease and fold.

Having them scrunched in your closet on top of each other like that also makes it harder to know exactly what you have in there.

How many items of clothing do you have to pull out in order to look them over fully then squeeze back into the closet. This takes a lot of unnecessary effort as well as double the time it takes you to get dressed.

It’s extremely beneficial to know what’s in your closet. When you have less clothes, it’s easier to keep track of what you have. A mental note of your closet allows you to put together outfits in your head before you even get out of bed. The challenge of getting ready is half done then!

Did I mention how much it flexes your creativity? When the clothes are minimal in design and quantity, you’ll be more likely to explore ways of animating your outfit a little.

This can lead to successful experiments with minimalist jewelry, accessories, hairstyles, fashion rules, as well as more acts of self-care. 

Minimizing the amount of clothes taking up space in your closet has the added benefit of creating more storage space for your home.

Instead of having a large dresser for your undergarments and pajamas, you can secure a small set of drawers or bins to store your delicates and place it in your spacious closet.

Another upside to decluttering your closet is that you have the opportunity to enrich the life of someone else.  The best thing you can do with your extraneous clothes is donate them.

You never know who might need them more than you and it’s a great way to recycle material instead of creating waste.

If you want some extra cash? You can get it for your clothes. Sell your clothes to a consignment shop or online—and you’re still doing great for the planet!

How Do I Know If I Have Too Many Clothes?

You can look at your closet and tell if it’s busy, and most of our’s are. Clothes are precious to us because our image is precious to us.

We’re so conscious about how we go out in public that we’ll wake up even earlier in the morning everyday to spend over an hour applying makeup whether we plan on leaving the house today or not. In our minds, our wardrobe has to be ready for any event, trip, or occasion.

And that usually leads us to amassing a large amount of clothes. We even hang onto clothes that we don’t (and are never going to) wear. Other than that shirt that’s been hanging all the way in the back for a year, there are signs that your closet might be a little overcrowded.

  • There are clothes on the floor of your closet. 

If you have so many clothes that you don’t have enough hangers to accommodate them, then you probably have too many. You shouldn’t have to place shirts, pants, dresses, or skirts on the floor for space.

  • You stumble across clothes that you don’t remember buying. 

Do you frequently have to ask yourself “Where did this come from?”?

  • There are clothes in there that you’ve never worn. 

Why do you have them then?

  • There are clothes scattered around outside the closet. 

If all your clothes can’t even fit in your closet, that’s also a pretty clear sign. If they can, you probably just need to tidy up.

  • You have duplicates. 

We’re not talking about three pairs of blue jeans. Jeans are minimal and versatile. We’re talking about three low-cut pink dresses.

  • You take too long to get dressed. 

Having such a wide array of options will leave you standing in front of your closet for hours—putting all these different options together and contemplating this overload of combinations. 

  • You’re spending too much money on clothes.

If you’re dipping into your savings, frequently going on retail-therapy trips to the mall, or just tend to wake up with new shopping bags and two hundred dollars less in your account than there was yesterday, it’s reasonable to assume you’ve amassed quite the haul.

  • Your closet has every color known to man. 

There are more colors in the world than pairs of clothes that you need. So if your closet is a little too colorful, that can indicate a wide assortment.

  • You have more than 7 of anything. 

It’s the number of completion, and corresponds with how many days are in a week so you can have a new combination each day.

More than 7 pants, 7 shirts, 7 pairs of shoes, 7 dresses, skirts, belts, ties—whatever it is, 8 or more of it is quite a lot. Of only the clothing items that were just named, at least 8 of each clothing item would mean at least 56 articles of clothing in your closet!

If any of these apply to you, then there are some simple steps you can take to weed out what’s taking up space in your closet. You’ll need to take every item of clothing and accessory out of your closet in order to make sure you examine everything thoroughly.

Lay the pile out on your bed and from what’s in front of you, (1) remove articles of clothing that are damaged, stained, frayed, in poor condition, stretched out, aren’t your size, haven’t been worn in a year or more, or that you just don’t like. Now that you’ve gotten rid of everything that you shouldn’t wear, (2) remove any duplicates, unless they’re minimal and versatile.

Those three low-cut pink dresses? Decide which is your favorite, then part with the other two. After you’ve done away with the duplicates, you now have the “Maybe” pile.

Now would be a good time to (3) try on new clothes or clothes that you haven’t worn and decide how you feel about it. What you like, keep.

What you don’t, don’t hang on to. Next, you’ll want to (4) pick up each piece individually and ask yourself the following questions: “Does my self esteem increase when I put it on?”, “Is it comfortable to wear?”, “Can it go with a lot of different pants/shirts?”, “On what occasion would/do I wear this?”, and “Does it represent me and the best form of myself?”.

Use your best judgement to toss items of clothing that don’t pass the test. Voila! And now that your clothes have been minimized, we’ll explore measures you can take to keep it that way. 

The Best Tips For Maintaining A Balanced Wardrobe

  • Coordinate your closet with the seasons. For example, during the summer time you can remove all your long sleeve shirts from your closet. Stow them away in a storage bin, or just scoot them to the back of the closet so they don’t create noise.
  • Declutter regularly. You should aim to do this once a month—less frequently if you don’t go shopping often, more frequently if you do. 
  • Take pictures. Take pictures of your favorite outfits so you can recreate them at a later date. The photos also help you become familiar with the items in your wardrobe. 
  • Shopping fast. No, not “shopping quickly”—not shopping at all! As in, “fasting from shopping”. Allot periods of time (try for a month or more) where you’re not allowed to introduce anything new to your closet, and stick with it!
  • The Swap rule. The rule is simple: for every new clothing item you buy and bring home, you have to take one clothing item of the same sort out of your closet and discard it before you put the new one in. This method keeps you mindful of what you buy and why you’re buying it. Plus you’re less likely to buy if you’re losing something in the exchange. The rule also maintains a consistent quantity of clothes in your closet. 

Wrap Up

We think the more clothes equals more variety, more outfits, more combinations, more.

While that may be true, some outfits and combinations you won’t even get to experience because 1) you have too many outfits to wear, 2) clothes end up everywhere, 3) you can move on to the next thing without worrying about how this shirt might’ve looked with this skirt (probably really nice), and 4) there are so many options that you spend more time contemplating what to wear than actually getting ready.

Getting your closet down to a set of essentials clears the air entirely when it comes to your wardrobe choices. Minimizing your closet ensures that every piece that you do have in there feels good on you, looks good on you, and can be paired easily with several other things. 

Closet-confusion is terrible, especially in a time crunch. A simplified closet makes it incredibly easy to throw on clothes when you’re running late in the morning or slip on something to run a quick errand in. The truth is that minimalist style is popular, both in fashion and interior design.

In addition to that, the lack of stimulation from the waterborne selection will ignite a creativity that will fuel you to find other ways outside your outfit to express your radiance!