Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism (in fashion, and now more about it in life in general), and I’ve also been reading a lot about personal finance and saving money.
- I have a lot of stuff.
- I buy a lot of stuff
- I don’t need nearly this much stuff
I’ve done a lot of closet purges in the past couple years—and even one in the last couple months—and I feel like I’ve cut down to stuff that I do really like. It might not all be stuff I wear or use regularly, though, and that’s where lately, I’ve been running into an internal debate.
Do I toss it or keep it?
At first glance, minimalism-wise, it makes sense to toss, donate or sell a bunch of the stuff. But… Does it really?
In recent years, I’ve written a bunch about my various style evolutions (and devolutions!), so as I went through my closet, determined to purge it so it was the minimalist chic dream closet, I found myself a little nervous about throwing out perfectly good clothes that I might come back to. If I’m trying to not buy a lot of new stuff, does it make a lot of sense to simultaneously cut down on the stuff that I already have?
For example, if I get rid of my business casual blazer because I haven’t worn it in a few months, but then in January, have a meeting where I desperately want to wear the blazer, am I more inclined to go buy a new one? Heck, yes. And I almost ditched my high-top Converse sneakers a few months ago, but ended up sticking them back on the shelf. Two months after that, I had my mini-epiphany, and they’re back in heavy rotation in my daily wear.
So, my solution was a bit of the best of both worlds: I used two old storage bins and loaded them up with clothes, shoes and accessories I hadn’t worn in a while (and used my labelmaker to list exactly what type of clothing was in each because I’m an organizational nerd like that) and stashed them in the basement for now. It’s not the most elegant solution, but my thought was that in a few months, I can revisit what I stored, “shop” the boxes, and slowly start to shift stuff to charity if I really didn’t miss it, or bring it back to the closet if I did.
I did that two months ago, and I have to say, it actually helped: I was sorely tempted to buy a few new things for our trip to California for February-April, but rummaging through/shopping that box netted me the pieces that I thought I needed, or at least, close approximations. I have a running secret Pinterest board of clothes that I want, and usually just adding a piece to the list makes me as satisfied as one-click ordering it.