I never really understood school uniforms. Probably because I never had to wear them. I went to public school growing up (and loved it!), so I was always able to choose my own clothing as long as it fit within a few boundaries. There was a sense of freedom to choosing what I liked, and I started doing laundry in my teen years as my choices were more particular, and I was extremely paranoid of my jeans getting thrown in the dryer (long legs= no high waters, please). College came, and I became part of the “Wear Your Jeans at Least 3 Times Before Washing Them” club; everyone was part of this club because no one had time for laundry. Not too far after, motherhood arrived, and I started my new “part-time job”, doing laundry. As more kids grew in my belly and more business shirts needed ironed, I became, well, over it.
And this was when I started my first wardrobe capsule.
It didn’t start out as anything too technical. I just looked in my clothes closet and realized I didn’t wear half of what was in there. Then I looked in my kids’ closets and realized half the laundry I did every day was just because they had too many clothes–and so they then changed their clothes several times a day for “fun”. It might have been fun for them, but it did lead to disagreements when getting ready to go places outside the house (because it’s not appropriate to wear shorts in the winter or sweaters in the summer). So, we had to get a handle on some things. Too many clothes meant too many options. Too many options almost always lead to overwork for me and a disaster in my laundry room.
So, once we got past the point of trial and error, I made a plan. And that plan was to get rid of everything I wasn’t wearing. I didn’t start off too dramatic. I simply went through my closet and divided it into four piles: throw away, give away, put in the attic, and keep in the closet. The throw away and give away piles were easy because I simply wasn’t wearing that stuff and wasn’t going to. The “put in the attic” pile was clothing I couldn’t part with yet, because I might need it, but at the same time I didn’t really need it. Time would tell if I missed it or not. The “keep in the closet” clothes were those pieces I always went back to. You moms know what I’m talking about! They were my staples; the ones I wore everyday no matter how much was in my closet. My new clothes closet looked something like this:
*5-10 shirts, a variety of styles from simple to business casual
*5 pairs of my favorite jeans/pants/shorts
*a handful of tanktops and solid shirts to layer with
*a drawer of workout/sleep clothes including all my LuLaRoe leggings!!
*2-3 Dresses (Also LuLaRoe–because they’re cute, comfy, and versatile)
*one black dress, one light dress (on the fancy side for both)
*All of my favorite jewelry to spice things up.
My life just got ten million times easier, I love what I’m wearing every single day, and I’m not focused on what to wear because it’s all great, simple, and it fits me. Now I have the freedom to be comfortable since I mostly spending my day dressing other people anyway!
Soon after, I did the same thing for the kids including separating out a few items specifically as church clothes or school clothes. My girls have 3 summer dresses designated specifically for church; there’s no arguing on Sunday morning. They know these are church clothes, and they love it! Oliver has 3 nice shirts for church or dress up events, and he is happy to wear them when it’s time. School clothes take over the majority of our year, and though my kids aren’t in uniforms, they do have a dress code. So we have those clothes separated, and they know exactly which clothes are for school. Summer is a free-for-all. We mix patterns and colors, wear dresses or bathing suits….and hopefully not birthday suits. Ha! But, really, summer clothes are play clothes. I’m fine with my kids being kids, getting messy, not matching, and having the freedom to dress themselves a bit. I love watching them be themselves and develop their own style.
David’s clothes make it easy to capsule. He simply chooses from a few of his standard styles, and we just narrow down what he’s not wearing. Men’s clothing is easy like that! Style doesn’t change too much, so we always find him new hats and new shoes to spice things up.
We’ve been doing this for about two years, and each season we change it up and add new clothing purchases. It’s been really helpful! Winter still seems to get a little crazy because of bulky clothing items, but that’s just part of life.
Now that we’ve jumped into our minimalism journey, I’ll talk next about friendship and relationships. I love a few close friends, my go-to people! I also love a lot of acquaintances and being in a bigger community. I’ll post next week about how to narrow down good friendships, how to invest in the ones that bring you life, and how to create healthy boundaries as an introvert (or even more so for me, an empath). Thanks for reading along!