Pre-2018: I would find myself checking out my friends’ wardrobes, stalking Instagram/Pinterest bloggers, or window shopping and therefore buying way too many items that I didn’t ever wear or simply weren’t me. I would literally have shoes I wore once, headbands I never wore, and multiple items in my closet with tags on them… for years!! AHH!
Let’s back up to 2010… I worked at Aerie, sister store of American Eagle, and got a nice discount and a lot of free stuff. My wardrobe greatly increased from my three years there. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it at the time, but I would find myself collecting anything and everything from those stores, along with others. While I had a full closet, I would still feel like I had nothing to wear (you know the feeling). I never realized my terrible habit until my friend Brittany pointed it out and asked why I have so many items with tags on them. My response was “Well, I don’t want to waste it” or “I need certain plans to wear that”. I then knew I was a shopper that bought a lot of clothing and accessories because they were “on clearance”, “in-style”, or only for that “special occasion” (that never came). How DUMB and what a waste of money!?! Most sane people go shopping to buy things to wear that night, and I was over here waiting for that fancy date or NYE moment to whip out a silly dress and dangly earrings.
It was time to take some drastic measures! A few years back, Brittany helped me with my first declutter haul. I somewhat hated her for it, but she knew me well and knew my go-tos of my wardrobe. We went through every item of clothing and every accessory I owned. She would say things like “Jess, you have this shirt in three colors! Pick one!” or “If you had to choose between this sweater and this one which would you want to wear?” I had eliminated so. much. stuff. and it felt sooooo good. Now don’t get me wrong, seeing these piles and thinking of all the money that I had spent on these things was hard, but I knew I was setting myself up to shop smarter from that point going forward. I would look in my closet and experience a sense of relief knowing what I saw-I loved!
This sensation carried on and now here in January 2019 I can confidently say I have reduced my wardrobe by 75% since my first “declutter haul”. I still find stuff to sell, donate, or trash EVERY DAY. Of course there were a few hiccups over the years and regretful purchases, but also a lot of help with the Netflix documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Importance Things — which changed my life!!! I really have become more aware of what I spend my money on and not to just buy things because they’re cheap or in-style! I know what I feel comfortable in and what I tend to reach for in my closet. So thank you Brittany and The Minimalists at http://www.theminimalists.com for kicking my butt into gear 😉 This was the start of my love for a decluttered, smaller wardrobe and life and it will only go up from here!