I try to do exactly what it says on the tin. Have I chosen the best time in my life to do it? Probably not.
I am 35 weeks pregnant with my second. My body is nothing like it was 2-3 years ago. Not just because I am growing a human in there but the fact that less then 2 years ago I went through the same experience followed by 11 months of breastfeeding. Zero exercise in between (unless you count power walking to catch the next bus or train and carrying an ever growing baby on a daily basis). So I totally get it, my body shape has changed dramatically since before Brendan was conceived. Therefore all my work / comfy clothes might not ever fit me or who knows, they might but I won’t be able to find out till at least another year.
Still I thought I have to reduce the amount of clothing I own. It is just too much. At the moment we are waiting for our built-in cupboard to be built in our newly refurbished bedroom so our clothes are just tossed into our 3rd bedroom and I tell you, we can’t even close to door it is so full. ONLY CLOTHES!!! It is just pure madness.
So here is my list of 7 how to tackle mountains of clothing I accumulated throughout my 20’s.
#1 – No rush. I won’t be working on this project this afternoon. ( That would I think just kill me ) I have given myself at least a year if not more to try to get rid off things. The idea that I have to enter the 3rd bedroom and start sorting clothes just too daunting I don’t even want to do it. So I decided I take only a few items each week to select and sort through. Once or twice a month when we decide to have a quiet weekend – a couple of hours here and there. Slowly, baby steps.
#2 – Create piles – I have taken some boxes and label them as Charity / Loft / Keep. This way I will be able to just go through items and throw them into the right box.
Breaking down these boxes a little:
- Never wear
- Needs replacing
- Haven’t worn for 2-3 years
- Didn’t know they exsist
- Doesn’t fit
- Don’t like it anymore
- What was I thinking?
For example, I have a cardigan I bought 2 years before the Man and I decided to start a family. Thinking that this will be the perfect cardigan for when I get pregnant. Have I ever worn it since. Nope? Am I mental still keeping it? Yes, so off it goes!
- Seasonal clothes – Might just throw in there everything and sort it when that season comes around.
- Sentimental items – That jeans I bought from one of my first salaries – yes, I was 18 and I still have the jeans. Last time I wore it?! Probably 10 years ago.
- Special occasion clothing – Probably not the best time to sort them with a massive bump BUT still. Let’s put it this way, if I had a wedding/christening/party next week would I wear it? If it is a no, then off it goes to the Charity / or eBay pile.
Keep (will move into the new wardrobe)
- Work – Keep about 7-10 combinable outfits. The area I work in (media, but not the glamorous one but the one behind the scene) doesn’t require extra smart so maybe one shirt if I ever go again for an interview. So will keep simple casual dresses / tops / nice jeans.
- Day-to-day – at the moment it is a capsule size. 5 stripy maternity dress and 5 black leggings . Done! After baby is born – everything which has access to a boob.
- Glam – I added only for you, lovely readers because my glam-keep category for the next year to come will be ok-ish clothing with toddles snack stains and baby milk vomit, the rest is up in the loft.
Undecided. (which for now stays in the Keep box)
I won’t be boxing these items up but will store them in my “Keep” pile in the wardrobe. If they will be sitting there day in and out and I won’t be touching them, then I will know what to do. Move them to the Charity pile and say goodbye.
So… back to the original list.
#3 – Stick to basic colours – Navy, grey, cream, white, a little bit of black. I would say that is the easiest as 90% of my clothes are in these colours therefore it is the hardest to decide which to stay and which to go. But since summer is approaching I will start with that pile. Luckily we have the amazing Pinterest to help so here is one of my favourite for the Summer & Spring / Stay at home mum selection to start somewhere.
#4 – Thinking about the bigger picture – saving time. Recently read an article in Stylist about the Uniform challenge. Wearing the same outfits to work for a whole month. Their feedback at the end was how much time they saved in the morning / how less stressful it was / how surprising it was that no one in the office even noticed it. Although having a capsule wardrobe is not about 2 piece of clothing for work for the rest of your life but to have fewer items you love wearing. So it is finding the balance but the aspect of saving time in the morning just too appealing not to try.
#5 – Quality over quantity. I know me, it is much easier to cash out on an item in H&M in the sale when it comes to a simple black top then looking at an organic-100%cotton-handmade-fairtrade-localmade item from a cute little online store or boutique. My usual questions in my head while looking at the price tag. What if I don’t like it after all / What if it doesn’t become my all time favourite? / I spent the money on it and now I don’t have anything to wear (again). Finding brands and trusting them will be a key. Switching to fewer / ethical items is something I know will benefit my wardrobe and my general view on the fashion industry. Also these items are usually much nicer / better quality / unique and overall makes me feel better.
#6 – Buying second had. I love eBay. In fact about 80% of my wardrobe is from there. Great bargain from there are true satisfaction to me. Try it – it gets addictive but good fun. I usually set up 10-15 filters (e.g. T-shirt / size 10 + size 12 / white / V-neck / 5-10 brands) and check on them weekly /set up an email alert to see what has been added. Also you can ask the seller to send your item/s with as less plastic packaging as possible. I usually recycle them and send my stuff out in those postage bags by changing the label. Other option is Charity shops but I have to be honest they are not my cup of tea. I am more of the online shopper but that is just me.
#7 – A challenge! Not buying anything for a whole year. On the 1st of May I will be entering my 4th month of not getting anything for myself (that includes beauty products). Created by the amazing Mamalina (whose interview will be coming soon so stay tuned) with the hashtag #saynotostuff. I know I am in one of the easiest year for not getting anything as I have pregnancy outfits from 2 years go + will be breastfeeding for the rest of the year and battling extra baby weight. But still, wanted to give myself a new challenge. And starting a capsule wardrobe have to go hand in hand with me stopping to get anything new. If you think a whole year is a bit too long – try Project 333 – a fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. Here is their printable starter pack!
I realised that this post is turning into a book now so I better wrap this up.
Just one last thing… this week is #FashionRevolutionWeek – It marks the anniversary of the collapse of the Bangladesh factory complex that killed 1,138 garment workers and injured a further 2,500.
Take action for fair wages for workers and for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Here are the six ways to shop mindfully. and to get involved.
Thank you for reading and as always comments are most welcomed. Even if it just a simple “I wish you luck you crazy-hoarder”.