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The Minimalist Closet: How To Fall In Love With Less

Minimalism has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple decades because it’s a simple philosophy that you can apply to any area of your life, from the way you work to the way you dress.

In this article, we’re going to be focusing on the latter. Our wardrobe is one of the most common areas of excess in our daily lives.

The more clothes that we have, the less that we enjoy them. By reducing the clutter of your wardrobe and owning less, you’ll feel what it’s like again to appreciate the clothes that you do have.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how to create a minimalist closet filled with stuff that you actually enjoy wearing. With a few simple and practical steps, we can all spend less money on filling our closets and more time wearing clothes that fill us with pride.


The Benefits Of Having A Minimalist Wardrobe

There are several benefits to minimizing your life and reducing unnecessary clutter. Creating a minimalist closet isn’t about just throwing a bunch of stuff away because it’s trendy.

That’s not what minimalism is about, it’s about learning to be happy with what you have without being pulled towards excess. Cause at the end of the day, you know that you don’t need half of the clothes in your closet.

But you keep them there anyway. Why? Because it feels good to know that you have them, even though you don’t really need them.

Now it may seem like a daunting task to start purging your closet, but here are the benefits of creating your own version of a minimalist closet:

  • More money – By selling some of your clothes that you don’t feel like you need anymore, you’ll pocket a few extra dollars that you can use to enjoy yourself.
  • Getting dressed becomes less overwhelming – When you look at your closet and don’t see hundreds of potential outfits to put together, it becomes a lot easier to pick out what to wear.
  • More pride – By removing the clothes that you don’t truly need and only wearing the ones you truly value, you’ll take a little more pride in the clothes that are on your body.

This goes for any area of your life – when there’s less clutter, there’s more room for the things that matter.


a bedroom without clutter


How Many Items Of Clothing Should A Minimalist Have?

Minimalist wardrobes are flexible – there’s no hard requirement stating that you have to maintain a certain number of items in your minimalist closet.

This isn’t extreme minimalism, you can have 20 items, or 50, or 80, or 1o0. The only thing that matters is that each piece of clothing you wear serves a purpose and actually matters to you.

Minimalism is about investing in the things you love instead of accumulating the things that you like. 

The goal of putting together a minimalist closet is to accomplish the former. As you start to remove things from your closet, trust your inner wisdom regarding what should be in and what should be out.

Tying yourself to arbitrary targets does more harm than good, so just trust your intuition and don’t feel the need to set a maximum requirement. 


5 Steps To Putting Together A Minimalist Closet

Now let’s get into the simple 5 step process for forming your minimalist closet.

This process won’t be easy. The expression “out with the old and in with the new” isn’t always as exciting when it comes to your clothes.

There may be items that you’re hesitant to get rid of because they’ve been in your life for awhile, which is totally normal. We’re naturally wired to hate limiting our options because there’s a potential for loss. 

Just know that despite what you’re feeling, you will re-adjust to the new normal. After a week or two, you probably won’t even remember the clothes that you thought were so important in the first place.


picture of a man in a suit


Step #1: Separate All Of Your Clothes Into Three Piles

The first step in creating your minimalist closet is taking inventory. To get this process started, you’re going to separate all of the clothes you have into three piles – Yes, No, & Maybe.

The “yes” pile is for the clothes that you’re absolutely keeping no matter what. This pile is for that favorite hoodie or that tanktop that you always wear to the gym.

The “maybe” pile is for the clothes that you’re not sure about. These are the clothes that you may like, but aren’t sure if you really love. If you’re feeling a little internal struggle, then throw it in the maybe pile and come back to it later.

The “no” pile is for the clothes that you don’t care about. If you look at an item and don’t feel anything, then that’s a good sign it belongs in this pile. 

If you love it, you’ll throw it in the “yes” pile immediately. If you’re having an internal debate, you’ll throw it in the maybe pile.

This process can take days depending on how busy you are and how many clothes that you have, but it doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as it gets done eventually. 


Step #2: Address The No Pile

By now, you have three piles of clothes. First up, we’re going to attack all of the clothes that you threw in the “no” pile.

There are a variety of different routes you can go down when it comes to what to do with these clothes. You can:

  • Give them to a friend
  • Donate them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army
  • Throw them out
  • Sell then on Facebook Marketplace or some other online platform


Step #3: Address The Maybe Pile

The “no pile” should have eliminated a bunch of the fluff from your wardrobe. However, we’ve still got some decisions to make when it comes to the maybe pile.

The point of addressing the hard pile first is to leave the maybe pile alone for a little while so that you can attack it with a clear and refreshed mind.

If you really want to go all out with this exercise, then feel free to get rid of the maybe pile as well. There’s nothing wrong with doing that if you genuinely don’t feel attached to anything in that pile.

However, there’s probably several items that will find their way into your finalized minimalist closet. As you take out each item of clothing, simply ask yourself the question: “Do I love wearing this or am I keeping it around just cause it’d be nice to have?” 

The answer to this question should tell you exactly where it belongs.


piles of clothes in a minimalist closet


Step #4: Discover Your Style

When creating a minimalist closet it’s important to feel confident and comfortable in whatever you wear.

Now that you’ve discarded all of the clothes that don’t matter, it’s time to start thinking about what your style is going to be. Chances are, you probably already have a style you just don’t know it yet.

The easiest way to figure out your style is to ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I lean towards bright colors or dark colors?
  • Which fabrics do I like wearing the most?
  • Do I like clothes with prints/patterns or simply solid colors?
  • What do I prefer wearing to the gym/bars/dates/family gatherings/work?

These questions will give you a solid handle on what you naturally feel comfortable with, which means you can then fill your wardrobe accordingly.

I personally love wearing solid v-necks and black jeans because I think it’s a simple look that can be pulled off in almost any scenario besides very formal events. Other people I’m close with can’t stand wearing v-necks, so it really just depends on what you like and what you’re comfortable with. 

An authentic, timeless wardrobe that’s handcrafted by you will complement your personality and make you feel most like yourself.


Step #5: Deciding What To Add To Your Minimalist Closet

Once you’ve settled in on a style, you may realize that you need some more clothes that match your style. Figuring out your style and color palette means that you know exactly what you want – the question is do you currently have enough of what you want?

If you’re realizing that you need a couple more professional skirts for work, or a few more v-necks for nights out with your friends, then it’s time to get out of the credit card and spend some money.

Before you start adding clothes to your closest, ask yourself these questions before making purchase decisions:

  • Do I have the following item already? Don’t get repetitive and add more of the things that you already have. 
  • How long will I wear it for? Be careful about buying trendy clothes that are seasonal, this can create a snowball effect that leads to your closet building back up again.
  • Where will you wear it? If there is a situation where you would consistently wear this item of clothing, then it’s a good purchase. If you can’t envision an event where you would wear it, then put the credit card down and don’t buy it.
  • Does it match your overall style? Keep consistent with the overall style that you’re going for. Don’t feel the need to diversify your wardrobe if what you’re buying doesn’t actually align with the way you want to look.

There’s nothing wrong with adding to your minimalist closet as long as you don’t go overboard.  Only purchase the clothes that you feel like you really need and that fit with your overall style – you’ll feel much better about pulling your credit card when it’s something that you really feel like you need.


minimalist closet full of suits and ties


Final Thoughts On The Minimalist Closet

Hopefully, after reading this article you can find a way to fall in love with your new wardrobe of less.

Too often, we’re convinced that our needs are wants. We spend money on books that we never read, clothes we never wear, and decorations that we don’t even notice after a couple weeks.

Minimizing your wardrobe is a great way to start the process of making room more room for the things that matter. It will feel great when you look at your wardrobe and don’t start imaging a million different outfits that you can put on your body.

But it goes deeper than that – creating a minimalist closet can be the first step towards removing unnecessary clutter in other aspects of your life as well. 

Realizing how little you can live with is a liberating experience. Apply the philosophy outlined in this article to other areas of your life and see what happens! You may be surprised just how little you truly need in order to thrive.

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