I love your blog! I love your simplicity, resourcefulness, and the way you steward your money so well!
I have a question. You know how your closet of clothes is rather small? I really want to learn how to be like that. I feel like I always buy things that are really cheap (b/c that’s how my mom taught me to shop and it feels rewarding when I get a good deal), but sometimes I don’t always wear all that I have or I end up not liking it and giving it away…
How do you keep your closet so minimal? And do you have any general shopping tips? Or specific ones for people like me who have a small budget and go a bit crazy with the sales and clutter?
Thanks! I’d really appreciate any of your input!
First of all, thank you so much!!!
My closet wasn’t always that small. When I got married, I had to reevaluate my spending habits of what we really needed versus what I wanted. Marriage has really helped me to have a frugal mindset. I can’t afford to go shopping often. It also helps that my husband and I are both very practical when it comes to things. We only keep items in our home that we need or use regularly. Otherwise, we either find a way to make money off of it or donate it. I’ve borrowed that mentality for my wardrobe. That’s how my closet stays minimal.
I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t like shopping. So when I go shopping, I am fast. I learned that the more time you take, the more you’ll over-think and rationalize an unnecessary purchase. My strategy for shopping is to not even touch the clothes. I scan them. I look at the print. I see what kind of fabric it is before I touch it to see what it really feels/looks like. This helps me to sift through the cheap fabrics and colors/prints I don’t care for. I don’t buy cheap fabric clothes because (a) they look cheap, (b) they don’t last, and (c) most are trendy and not classic – I want long-lasting clothes for less, not cheap clothes for less. (A few stores that sell overpriced cheap clothes are Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, and Forever 21. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy from them. If you see something you love, go for it. Just remember it won’t last…like my sequin flats.)
Purging Your Closet
- First, try on all your clothes and see how they fit. If they don’t fit or flatter, they’ve gotta go. No questions asked.
- I learned this great technique from Kjrsten. She once mentioned that she organized her closet by putting the clothes she’s already worn in the back of the closet so that everything would be worn once. I thought this was a fabulous idea and have done this a time or two. It makes you see what items you want to keep going back to and the ones you can’t find a way to wear. Those go.
- Take them to a consignment store for $$, sell it on ebay, go to a clothing swap, trade with your friends, and get rid of those clothes!
- Emily: Settle on certain numbers of clothing for each category: seven pairs of jeans, ten blouses, seven sweaters, etc.
- Rinse and repeat.
- Find ways to rework your old clothes such as DIY projects.
- If your shirt/dress is a little big, take it in or use a broach.
- Make your own skirt.
- Use a dress as a top or skirt….or turn a dress into a skirt.
- Use a button-down dress as a coat.
- Use ribbons as belts.
- Use scarves as belts.
- Check out thrift stores, consignment stores, garage sales, and ebay but look for quality items. For thrift and consignment stores, check to see if they have any sales on certain days and only go shopping during those days. And don’t be afraid to bargain at garage sales. They just want to get rid of their junk fast so most of the time, they’ll take whatever.
- Try to wane yourself of the sales paradox. Only buy something (on sale) if you reaaallllly love it and you can think of at least three ways to wear it. If you kind of like it, don’t buy it.
- Janelle: Save up and splurge on quality clothes you love that will last you years.
- Alex: If you like something, set a price you’d be willing to pay (Me: without looking at the tag first). If it is more than what you think it is worth, don’t buy it.