My Version of Minimalism: How to Edit a Wardrobe

I remember reading books when I was the Style Editor of a women’s magazine about how to edit a wardrobe. In other words, how to minimize the clothes in your closet to be most efficient — quality, not quantity. The photo below was me, at a time in my life when I was NOT embracing the idea of editing my closet. I was more focused on how to emcee a fashion show in harem pants.


I was also the girl who’s closet bar collapsed under the weight of her wardrobe.

Then slowly, as I moved west and my lifestyle changed, I started shedding those pieces of clothing, one by one.

Then, this January, that process got another burst of momentum. Sean and I attended a TedX event in Whitefish, and heard Joshua and Ryan from The Minimalists speak. To sum it up, these guys (who hail from Missoula) talk about why they quit corporate America, gave away all their immaterial possessions and started living with minimal “things” and maximal “life.” I haven’t been able to shake how awesome their presentation was. I wanted that.

So “moving into a yurt” became a good excuse for me to actually find my own definition of minimalism. Editing my closet was exhilarating!


OK, it wasn’t quite like visiting Iceland (above). More like… feeling like weights are being lifted off my shoulders. My mom is a great role model for editing. Owning a women’s clothing store for 28 years in a small town can’t be easy… plus, she’s got to look the part every day. But I’ve always admired her for actually wearing the clothes in her closet, and maximizing what she has, and knowing exactly what works for her body type. She’s got a few years on me, but I feel like I’m finally getting there.

Here’s what helped me through the clothing purging process:

  1. Start with a Google Search: Unless you’re committed to trying eBay on your own, find a consignment store. Consigning made me feel awesome about offloading some of my more pricey stuff and getting a kickback.
  2. Google again: For the clothes that either don’t sell at the consignment store, or don’t get chosen for consignment, you’ll need a thrift shop to donate them to. I would recommend searching women’s shelters, where they’re in need of quality clothes for women who are entering the workforce after a hardship. After reading a bit about it, you might just feel better about bringing all of your clothes to a shelter like this. Good idea, and good for you.
  3. Get out some heavy duty trash bags. You’re going to need them. One bag for trash (underwear, socks, anything you can’t give away). One bag for consignment. One bag for the thrift shop. And then go to town. Really look at your stuff and decide what you love.
  4. Drop off your stuff. Just pull the band-aid off and do it.
  5. Repeat. Repeat this exercise once every few weeks. Once you get rid of the first load, the second, third, and fourth are easier. Your mind starts letting go easier, and you can see clearer when you look into the closet.
  6. Love your wardrobe as is, replenish with necessities and spend your money wisely. Travel! Pack light! Love how you look in every single piece of clothing you own.

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