I have taken rather ruthless measures in an effort to get my clients’ wardrobes to match the capacity of their closets. The measures I take on myself are no less ruthless.
Yup, that’s my closet to the right. ALL of it.
Perhaps you have heard the Pareto Principle applied to closets before. You know, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Even with a wardrobe as limited as mine, this rule still applies, (although I may wear closer to 40% of my clothes.) I wear white company polo shirts and jeans, six days a week (which is closer to 85% of the time).
Admittedly I’ve simplified my daily wardrobe in an extreme way, but the point is, we usually don’t need to put a lot of effort into that 20% we wear 80% of the time. Often THEY choose US. Instead, the effort needs to go into that 80% that fits into just 20% of our time. You don’t have seven days a week to wear them in. It’s closer to ONE! So be particularly strict with the clothes you rarely wear.
Given my limited number of shoes, you might conclude that I can’t possibly LOVE shoes. Not true. In fact, I won’t buy a pair of shoes UNLESS I love them and plan to wear them regularly. I know I won’t wear 20 pairs of shoes regularly.
I don’t wear clothes I no longer love. I donate them. I donate them so often I have a dedicated shelf in my garage to collect items heading to Goodwill. This leaves room open in my closet for new clothes, that I DO love!
Other than my work shirts, there’s no short sleeved shirts hanging up in this closet, because I don’t wear them in the winter. I keep a clear plastic bin in my basement for seasonal clothes and when the weather gets warmer I will bring out the short sleeve shirts and sandals in exchange for the flannel shirts and boots.
It may surprise you to know that I don’t feel even slightly deprived with this limited number of clothes. I have all the clothes I want. I love what I’m wearing. I spend only a few minutes rotating the seasonal clothes (because I don’t have too many clothes.) I can easily see everything I have, because they are not covered in bags and shoe boxes. I don’t need those bags and boxes for protection because I wear my clothes so often they don’t have time to gather dust. The exception is my suit, which is bagged because I rarely wear it.
The boxes on the bottom are for shoe care and travel items. Speaking of traveling, I have just the one suitcase up top. I’m much happier traveling light.
I realize that my business and the lifestyle connected with it are unusual and that much of what works for me won’t work for you, but the next you are trying to free up some space in your closet, I would simply recommend that you ask yourself, how many of your clothes do you actually wear and feel good in?
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