I am on the journey of minimalism and since minimalism is so popular right now AND you are reading this, I am assuming you are too. Quite frankly, I am fascinated with minimalism and get so much inspiration from my favorite youtuber : A Small Wardrobe. She is of course on the extreme end of minimalism but has valuable, quality insights and shares so many great tips! I can ONLY recommend her channel – she is amazing!
If you want to learn more about minimalism, A topic covered by so many people that are way more qualified than me to talk about this. I can highly recommend The Minimalists. or as mentioned above A Small Wardrobe. I will spare you from attempting to explain the benefits of minimalism to you.
So to keep a long story short, I decluttered and was left with 10 Ikea bags of clothing, shoes and bags that I didn’t wanted in my life anymore.
But what to do with all the decluttered clothing – sustainability in mind?
I shared a lot with my friends. That made me happy “knowing” that some beloved items got an even better home and are appreciated. I gave Ikea bags of clothes away via a local Facebook group. Where people from the neighborhood can give away (all kinds) of things, I am sure that if you check in your facebook you will find something similar for your area. I met very nice people due to this group and it was a really good experience.
I did send few pieces to recycling that were broken and beyond repair and donated a lot to a second hand shop here in Sweden, my choice was Myrorna. The more “fancy” items I left to a second hand boutique here in Stockholm that sold my stuff for me. The one I chose is called “Camillas Kläder”. I was not getting rich of selling my stuff, nevertheless I am happy that the secondhand boutique in particular was able to sell a lot and I do not have to worry about it anymore. To be frank, clothing is like buying a new car – once it leaves the store it drastically goes down in value – IF you even find a buyer.
Another alternative I used was the secondhand homepage (or app) Vestiaire Collective. (If you are using this link you will get a 15€ voucher) When it comes to selling at Vestiaire Collective, it depends strongly on how “fashionable” your items are at the moment. But I managed to pass on a hand full of items. What is more sustainable than second hand?
It is now a lot easier to dress in the mornings
One example I like to share where I had a “minimalist” approach without even realising or knowing the term: Since years, I own one pair of Jeans shorts. I purchased a pair of jeans second hand and cut the legs off, since that was/is way cheaper then buying a new pair of shorts. Whenever I need shorts in summer, or go on vacation in a warm climate, I will bring this pair. It’s the only one I own which elevates it to the best pair I own. There is no question on what to pack/wear – it’s that pair of shorts. Easy!
And I want this kind of simplicity in every aspect of my life.
I decluttered my clothes. Decluttered my eyewear collection. I work for Synsam, a glasses company in the nordics that collects old glasses and sends them to people in need – Vision for all. So that was an easy decision. In addition to that I also went through my apartment, getting rid of nick nacks. Sorting out books (that was though) going through all drawers, cupboards, paper works, cosmetics – literally everything! I am still continuing to sort out, minimise and see what I actually need as I am writing this. I have to say there is something nearly therapeutic to the whole process of decluttering. I also faced and tackled mental clutter which gave me head space and the feeling of lightness and freedom.
I am at a point where I am feeling happy for every item I can let go and even more important: Not buy anymore. In some areas I am way better then in others. Clothing/shoes continues to be one of the hardest topics for me.
I am pretty happy with my closet now (I am far from 33 pieces) but I have to say that I am getting to a point where I feel that I can’t sort out anymore. Like a blockade. This is why I need help in form of cold, hard data. Which brings me to something that is helping me. A app called Stylebook. (maybe I should tell you that I am SO not sponsored by anyone I mention in this post – maybe you are finding yourself in a similar situation and this can help you, the same way it helped/helps me.)
The meaning of minimalism/sustainability isn’t to throw everything away just to have an excuse to re-buy a new, sustainable produced wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong. it is tempting – but not what we are here for. I am working with what I got, caring for the pieces I already own. Yes, I still have clothing items bought years ago from H&M in my wardrobe (18%) And I will continue wearing them until they are broken down.
As a consequence I stopped buying clothing at stores that do not produce ethically, sustainable and are not aligned with my values.
Anyway, about the app – it did cost me 40SEK which is around 4 €. This is is basically a “virtual” closet with your stuff, once you feed it with your clothing data. I am not gonna lie, it has been time consuming to add everything in my closet in there. Firstly it gave me an overview on how many items I own in a specific category and I realised that some areas are totally fine (Dresses = 9) and some are not. In my case I realised that I own way too many “light sweaters” (18). So I started to document my outfits I am wearing on a daily basis. Which the app then breaks down in the before mentioned cold, hard data. Calculating cost by wear, colour pallet and much more.
My favourite feature is the assembling of outfits from my own clothing. It’s a little bit like in the 90’s movie “clueless” where Cher is choosing her outfit on the computer – what can I say, I really think it’s fun. Also it feels a bit like “shopping” in your own stuff. I am someone that gets their outfit inspiration from Pinterest and then I see how I can achieve “the look” with the items I have.
Pretty soon I realised which my go-to pieces are while assembling outfits and which items I never chose in an outfit. Backed by the data, you can even search for the items that you wore the least. Again, it is a process but I feel that I am on the right track and I was able to say good bye to even more items that I am trying to find a new home for. Why holding on to the pair of high heels that I never wear – just because they are from a designer brand? No. I changed, my values changed and with that my wardrobe is changing as well. I started with this app 2 months ago (Summer) Which means that I have to continue working with this also during the other seasons, especially Winter. Since I am living in Sweden. But I am motivated! Please let me know in a comment below if you are in the process of decluttering yourself! Hopefully this post was of any help.