In mid-July, I mentioned I had read the book The Joy of Less by Francine Jay and I took quite a bit from that book (see my full review here) when it came to my own life. I wanted to tell my decluttering story. It’s not one that involves my becoming a true minimalist by any means. I went from hoarding to a new goal. My new goal was to have a curated wardrobe and home that only holds pieces that I truly love. I didn’t even know what I had, and I just wanted to get rid of every piece to start over.
I did not declutter my life in a day. It has taken me a month to post this because it have taken me a month of doing a little bit every day. I am now at a point where I am happy with progress I have made.
Throughout the process I had to keep reminding myself why I was getting rid of stuff.
If it doesn’t fit right?
Get rid of it
If it’s damaged and I don’t have any intention of fixing it?
Get rid of it
Have old papers and documents from years ago or that you’re not referencing on a daily basis?
Get rid of it
I started small.
I decluttered my makeup first.
Last year I went through a phase when I bought a ton of make up, and went to quite a few makeup events. I had over 100 lip products. There were too many to truly enjoy the shades that looked good on me because I was wearing the other shades I had purchased that I needed to “get use out of”. I went through my collection for a week trying every. single. product. Unless I knew it was super old (those just got tossed). I just kept telling myself the mantra “the money has already been spent, it’s just taking up space”.
After trying everything and getting rid of everything that didn’t work on my skin or was the wrong color for me I had gotten rid of probably half my makeup. The only thing I still had a ton was lipstick. I had between 30 and 40 lipsticks.
At this point I put the lipstick shades up head to head. All the nudes together, all the reds, all the pinks, all the dark shades. Anything that was a similar shade I put head to head choosing the lipstick I reached for more often.
This was a good warm up. I am not emotionally attached to my makeup. Compared to clothes which are more of a passion for me.
Next, I tackled the clothes
For clothes, I have three closets. I basically have 2 whole closets (2 half closets that I share with Luke and one whole closet for myself). One closet holds both our seasonal and occasion clothes, one holds Luke’s dress shirts and my bottoms, and the other hold all my tops, dresses, jumpsuit and rompers.
The above system is the result of my declutter. Before there was very little organization. I would just kind of put clothes where they fit. This was my downfall getting ready in the morning. I would spend so much time pushing the clothes around in my jam-packed closets running back and forth between closets to find that one top I was looking for.
Back to my closet being packed. My goal for the clothes declutter was to make seeing the clothes in my closet easier so I could make full use of my entire wardrobe. In the “Joy Of Less” a quote that hit a little too close to home was that we use 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. I definitely felt like that applied to me.
This task felt extremely overwhelming.
I broke it down into categories. First, I started with button downs. I wear these all the time. Button downs are a staple in my wardrobe so I have quite a few.
Another piece of advice that stuck with me from the book was chose the pieces you love first. Out of the 40 button downs I had I pulled out five at time and chose my two favorites from each group. Then I went through the leftovers and decided why I would be keeping them. I now have half that.
After my button downs I followed the same process with my t-shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, jeans, blouses, tank top, jumpsuits, jackets, rompers, dresses, and shoes. As you might have seen from my Instagram I got rid of about seven large bags. This process took about a month. I did this a little bit at a time so I wouldn’t just get overwhelmed and give up.
When I was finished, I felt weightless. It gave me the confidence to go through old papers and tackle my bathroom products (I had 5 bottles of moisturizer for some reason)!
Beyond the Declutter
Now I can see what I have to avoid buying similar products and I have been strictly following the one in one out rule. In fact, I generally with think about something for a few days to a few months before buying something and that helps me decide what no longer fits in my wardrobe.
This has also made me more prone to investing higher quality pieces. I have a pair of boots from Forever 21 and I absolutely love them. I wore them to death last fall and winter. They were my go to when I didn’t know what to wear. When I opening my closet this season to get them out, I noticed all the places the faux leather was peeling and knew I wouldn’t reach for them as much.
At least with leather boots you are able to take care of them by polishing them, but with cheaper ones you are just counting the days until you have to get rid of them I’m not saying you need designer pieces, I’m just saying paying the extra $20 or $30 dollars for a few more years of use might be worth it. It is for me.
After about a month of working on these small tasks a little every day and putting my strategies in place to make sure I never get to this place again I feel free.
I feel free to buy pieces I think will add a new layer of dimension to my wardrobe without thinking, “how is this going to fit into my closet?”.
I feel free to have space and surfaces to work on and focus on my goals instead of every open space covered in stuff.
There is so much to do and to many things I want to do to spend my time stressing over my stuff.
I didn’t take any before photos, because I wasn’t sure how this process would go, but here are some pictures from after the process.
This the only thing I bought for this declutter, everything else I had from college or my parents house. I picked up this Pack – A – Purse at Bed Bath And Beyond. It’s actually on sale right now over there, but I also found the same thing at Target and Amazon.
Have you guys read this book or tried to declutter? Do you have any tips I didn’t touch on here? Let me know in the comments below!
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