It’s taken me awhile to sit down and write this post, partly because it’s a BIG shift from my usual content, but also because it involves a commitment that I’m not quite sure I’m ready to make. And yet, here I am.

It started with the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I look at a lot of “style” and “outfit” pins on Pinterest, and a few of these capsule wardrobes have popped up in my searches. At first, I thought it was crazy. I mean, I love clothes. I have probably over 250 articles of clothing. That’s not counting shoes, under garments, or workout gear.

But, the seed was planted.

I began to notice that every morning I would look at my GIANT closet (remember, it’s half of my bedroom) and think I had nothing to wear. Getting dressed was a struggle- I would spend at least a half an hour trying on different tops and bottoms only to end up in the original things I tried on. I would buy more things, thinking I needed more selection, but the morning routine never changed. At the same time, I did feel like I was wearing the same things over and over again. It was this realization that finally pushed me over the edge into my first capsule wardrobe.

I had read a couple of blogs that focus mainly on minimalist wardrobes, and they all have slightly different “rules.” The first step is to empty your closet. It doesn’t really work the same way if you just stare at your clothes hanging up and pick out things to put away or give away.

Honestly, emptying my closet was slightly horrifying. As the empty hangers piled up, I literally found myself in shock over the number of items I had. I think that part is crucial to being uber-picky with regards to the items that make their way back into your closet.

Some people like to have a target number of things, either a grand total or a certain number of shirts/pants/shoes, etc. Also, a lot of capsule wardrobes tend to be super neutral and everything goes together. That’s really not me. As a newbie and self-professed clothes hoarder, I decided to just pick out the things I REALLY loved, were SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE, and ACTUALLY WORE and put them back in the closet. Then I would see where that landed me as far as total items. Plus, I had to make a little allowance for our slightly confused weather at the time.

I bought two underbed storage bags to keep the clothes that were out of season. Spring and summer items that I didn’t choose went in different boxes (at the top of the closet) with plans to get rid of them if I hadn’t worn them by the end of the summer. I made a large pile of things to donate, which required me to “get real” about the likelihood of me wearing those items ever again.

The process took a couple of hours, which wasn’t horrible in the grand scheme of things. I did have to wait until I cycled through some things that were in the laundry (because obviously, I was wearing them). But the second I put everything away and looked at my now-bare closet, I felt my mind clear. No joke. It’s almost like the physical clutter of the closet had been transferred into mental clutter. Turns out, this is a thing.

Like, there are studies.

declutter 1

 

Then, I felt something really odd…I was compelled to keep going. Like a junkie trying to get a fix, I ransacked the kitchen cabinets. I filled boxes with dishes, decorative items, linens, etc that I was not using. Once I was in the mindset of getting rid of things, it wasn’t hard at all to toss items in the Goodwill bin. I removed a lot of decorative items in cabinets, on cabinets, or in drawers.

Even ones I made myself. 

And now we have arrived at the point of this little rampage. Between magazines, catalogs, blogs, and Pinterest, we are constantly bombarded with stuff. How to have better stuff. How to makeover stuff. How to DIY stuff. How to knock-off the stuff you saw at Pottery Barn. Don’t you ever wonder what happens to all those cute, sometimes seasonal crafts/projects that we bloggers make and share?

Yeah, they get thrown in a drawer or bin and stored. Every year I add more crafts and decorative items to the bins. Sure I can reuse them, but why would I when I can just make more stuff? I mean, I’m pretty handy and decent with a paintbrush. So I make more stuff.

My house is not large. It was not built to house all of this stuff.

All of my attempts at organization have failed because there is no place to store all of the things I have made or bought in the years I have spent blogging about all the things I have made or bought.

I have found myself drowning in knick knacks, fabric scraps, and spray paint, and it’s time to really think about how that affects the time I spend cleaning it, organizing it, or generally complaining about it. Time that’s taken away from things that are more important.

moments

So this is my plan, or pledge rather: I am going to share my journey to rid myself of excess things, room by room if necessary. I’m going to explore the idea of minimalism in the areas of my life where it makes sense. I will continue to craft and do projects, but in a more meaningful way. I will not buy 100 items at Goodwill because they were only $1.00 each. I will post more recipes. Because food.

I believe there will be value in my new approach, so I hope you’ll stick with me for the ride.

7 Responses

  1. MARY FRANCES

    Rachel…I have been trying to do this too. I went through my kitchen a while ago…and need to do it again. I don’t buy many craft things either…unless I have a specific project in mind or it is something I need…like a new door wreath because the others have been used to DEATH. I give to Goodwill or the Salvation Army all the time. I have also been thinking hard about the wardrobe capsule. I live in PA so I would definitely need 2…winter/fall and spring/summer. But I know what you mean about the “stress” of the stuff. It makes me so nervous sometimes and I wear the same stuff all the time too.
    Thanks for taking the plunge and I plan to follow along! Love your blog…all the incarnations of it!!
    Mary Fran

    Reply
    • Rachael Evans

      Good luck with the next step – clothes!! You can have a capsule each season if you like! I actually just switched a few pieces out of mine for more summery items (I had a few sweaters and long sleeve items from earlier Spring). It’s been fun! I’m hoping to share more progress this week! Thanks for your support!

      Reply
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