Ever since I can remember, I've loved shopping for clothes. Being raised by a single dad who couldn't afford to keep up with the many trends a teen girl MUST have, as soon as I was able to get a job and my own money I spent it on shoes and clothes. I definitely remember walking to Kohls in middle school to use my first babysitting payday for a new pair of sneakers. By high school I was working at Aeropostale and my room was buried in clothes. I had trouble getting rid of things for as long as I could remember. The day I found my FIRST cotton sports bra still buried in my underwear drawer was the day I moved into the apartment with my husband. I held onto that sucker that I CLEARLY WASN'T fitting into for over 20 years. I hope that gives you a vivd picture of how much of a hoarder of clothes I am.
Since having 3 babies in 3 years, my body hadn't yet found a size that stayed consistent each postpartum period. I had my kiddos back to back to back, meaning I was still nursing when I was pregnant. For the last 4.5 years I've been pregnant or nursing and my wardrobe reflected that. I had an excessive amount of clothes from pre-pregnancy life that I just held onto. The trouble with holding onto SO MUCH CLOTHING, is you run out of space for the actual 10 things you wear. I was consistently getting dressed from the chair in our bedroom instead of my closet or drawers. I woke up one day and just was OVERWHELMED with the amount of clothing I had that wasn't making it into the closet or into the drawers, and just how the heck am I rewashing things that don't even fit me at this point.
Since the start of the year, I've been steadily shedding the baby weight and am finally at a size and shape that I am no longer hiding in oversized t-shirts or maternity wear. I had purchased a few items to help me jump start my capsule wardrobe for the summer, and I was ready to walk into my closet and see the floor again and space between hangers. Here's how i went from clothes hoarder to a minimalist wardrobe:
- TAKE EVERYTHING OUT- I took every single clothing item out of every nook and cranny and put it on my bed. Seeing the massive mountain of clothing was a physical representation of how overwhelmed I was feeling by clothes and laundry.
- TOSS IF IT DOESN'T FIT- I started throwing most anything I haven't worn since before kids into the bin to get rid of. I was as ruthless as I could be. I did save a few things that I would like to *fit* into eventually. These were classics like denim, chambray shirts, and a few dresses that I would essentially rebuy anyways.
- TRASH IS TRASH- I threw away any honeymoon lingerie, old underwear, old shoes, socks without mates, worn out stuff, exercise clothes that I had zero emotional attachment to, and anything stained. Trash was trash.
- DO THIS WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD- I did this when I felt great about my body. I wasn't doing this because I was upset about stuff not fitting, because my closet was being hateful, I was doing this because I was ready for a fresh start.
- HANG UP YOUR CLOTHES - I hung up most of my clothes, put exercise clothes and shorts in drawers, saved the 2 pairs of jeans that actually fit (I haven't worn real denim in 3.5 years due to babies y'all), and put the few wintery items in the back of the closet for next season.
- BE IMPRESSED - I impressed my husband by the sight of my side of the closet's floor for the first time since before we moved in.
I totally made this sound simplistic, because It really was. I read somewhere to not buy anything to organize or minimize and I couldn't agree more. I kept thinking I needed to buy another dresser, but I knew in my heart that REDUCING the amount of clothing would be a better choice. I was ruthless, y'all, ruthless. I saved so few sentimental t-shirts (I'm not a t-shirt quilt gal). Everyone has their methods for purging your closet, the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone is JUST FREAKING DO IT. Carve out time, text an accountability friend, and get to work. You'll feel 50lbs lighter for sure.
Admittedly, I am a creature of habit. I wear the same rotation of items on the reg. I think this has a lot more to do with my personality than the fact that I am a stay at home mom. Some of my favorite mommas have the legit best style that isn't minimalist by any means. I have always been super casual, and even at 31 I am no different. I roll out of bed and without any deep thought process grab my summer uniform, and I'm ready quickly. If I know I'm going somewhere I need to be a bit more dressed up, I'll leave the t-shirt behind and grab one of my more trendier options. All this to say, if you my friend are super casual and wear the same rotation of outfits- me too girl, me too. I don't feel even the slightest bit bad about it either.
What is in my (nursing friendly) Minimalist Wardrobe:
1. These T-Shirts From Old Navy: I literally have these and a few other Old Navy tshirts in my desired colors of charcoal, olive, heathered gray, and red.
2. These Linen Shorts from Old Navy: I haven't found the perfect jean shorts yet, so these linen pull on shorts are my legit fave. I have them in black, chambray, and olive. And yes, I wear the same 3 shorts on rotation.
3. These button up tanks from the Universal Thread line at target in chambray stripe and olive green (of course).
4. A few trendy floral embroidered shirts to dress up my SUPER casual look on the weekends!
6. Workout Clothes are a must. I definitely simplified to as minimalist as possible, but I love having options for the gym or my runs.
I'm no expert on minimalism for myself or kids. My girls' closets do NOT mirror what is going on in mine and thats ok. My kids are constantly growing changing sizes and destroying clothes during playtime and life. What's holding you back from minimizing your closet? I still have a few pairs of goal jeans lingering in my closet, but the majority of my closet is what is being worn. There's no perfect closet, no perfect style, and definitely no perfect way of doing this. This is what worked for me. What's your current uniform these days?