My Clothes Problem. (and how to minimize your closet)

I want to start by saying it is not mandatory to reduce your closet to the size of mine. Please, find a place of comfort and stick to it. You do not want to make yourself unhappy.

The beginnings to a problem: Short after my first regular job, at 17 in 2016, I was in need of some new clothes. Just like a lot of teens that get jobs, I was now responsible for buying my clothes. I went out to all my favorite stores and just grabbed what looked cool, tried it on to see how it looked, then tossed it into my basket if I liked it and bought it. I didn’t think about it all too much. I would just buy more hangers and make space in my drawers, because buying new clothes became a regular occurrence for me. I would pass the main shopping centers in Kalamazoo on my route from work and home. The convenience made it easy to just stop into the clothing stores and pick up more items I thought looked cool. Since I still lived with my Father, I had a large spending income and no other financial worries besides gas for my car. What makes that so significant is that I had just graduated high-school and worked all the time. I had a lot of extra cash sitting in my young teen pocket. Thus began my ongoing spending problem. I was buying clothes and wearing that new outfit until it didn’t feel new. I didn’t like what I wore, I didn’t like most of the clothes I had, and I didn’t like how I felt. I would love to say that I had just one day decided to organize my closet and feel better about my clothes. Unfortunately, I had to go through a much more difficult and stressful process.

Do you see that pile of clothes behind me? I bought that entire pile… -2017

Do you see that pile of clothes behind me? I bought that entire pile… -2017

Trying on clothes on my way home from work. -2017

Trying on clothes on my way home from work. -2017

At the end of summer 2017 my two older sisters (Chloe, Grace) asked if I wanted to move out. I said “YES!” because I was recently graduated and wanted out of my house. My new room had a small closet and I could not bring my collection of clothes into that house. I gave most of my clothes to my brother (Noah) because by this point we basically shared my clothes and I didn’t want to leave him without any. So, I grabbed everything I thought I needed and called it good. I would have just been able to buy more clothes if needed, right?

Noah and I wearing fresh Rue 21 Mens shirts when I got home from work.-2016

Noah and I wearing fresh Rue 21 Mens shirts when I got home from work.-2016

A more accurate photo from the timeline of living with my sisters- 2018

A more accurate photo from the timeline of living with my sisters- 2018

Well, with my newfound rent responsibility and buying my own food, I lost the luxury of buying new clothes and I was left with what I had chosen to grab. I also didn’t have the same route past the shopping district on my way home. This was a bit shocking to me because I was so used to just stopping by Kohl’s and grabbing another set of grey T-shirts or pair of pants. I started to sleep a lot during my free time… I had troubles each month coughing up the rent to give to my sisters… I don’t remember the time in that house being positive, more like a transforming experience. (There are plenty of YT vids during this time if you scroll to find them) The monthly guilt, the cluttered room, and the dirty piles of clothes pushed me to make a change.

This a video of me talking about moving and my struggles… (Its a clickable link to the video) -2017

This a video of me talking about moving and my struggles… (Its a clickable link to the video) -2017

So now to the point of why you are reading this:

This was the start to my minimalism kick that has continued to last me. I got rid of all clutter and focused on what had purpose. That process helped me find more purpose too. I took a few steps to get rid of the clothes that were not making me happy, and to narrow down my closet.

  • Start by taking all of your clothes and cleaning them. — if you have this step done already you are better than 18 year-old Chichin — 

  • Sort the clothes by Socks, Pants, Shirts, Sweats, Underwear, ETC.

  • Make a decision on how many items you want in your closet.— I chose the number based on how many hangers I could grab with one hand — (I dont recommend you take it to that extreme, take your time to think about how many shirts you’ll want to wear before washing all your clothes or how many loads of laundry do you want to have to do?)

  • Then, decide on a few rules. -- The ones I made were: Have I worn the item in the past 3 months? Gone. If the item has any noticeable damage or stains? Gone. Does this Item match/go with the others that were chosen? If not, Gone.—

  • Choose what to get rid of.

  • Donate the outcasts (There is someone out there for that old Hurley T)

My closet at the end of 2018

My closet at the end of 2018

Some of my clothes -2018

Some of my clothes -2018

There is no point in making it more complicated, stick to your rules. You must be very decisive and strict to meet your goal. I chose 25 Items out of 147 items. Even if your goal is to remove 10 items, be strict on the items that you chose to keep. Sort them out and make decisions. Some of the items were really difficult to donate. But after they were gone, they were out of mind. The most difficult Items were the ones that I thought to myself “oh I haven’t worn this in forever, I may want to wear it again.” Thats a trap! You just told yourself “I haven’t worn this in forever” so just remove it from the pile! I can tell you from experience, as soon as you drive away from the donation drop, you start to forget you had even owned it. Also, when you get home to a refined closet and a clutter free room, something about your productivity goes through the roof!

 
My Closet now- 2019

My Closet now- 2019

 

I am proud of the clothes I have chosen to be in my closet. I am proud because every morning I don’t sit and have to piece together an outfit. I have reduced my closet from 147 different t-shirts, pants, jackets, and sweats to exactly 24 chosen and purposeful items (Not including socks and undies 🧦). I grab and go because I have limited my choices to what looks good together. I don’t mind wearing anything in my closet. I feel good, I think I look good 🤷🏼‍♂️. This is the minimalism that I pursue, making my day easier by reducing the distractions. Thank you for reading and consider following me on instagram and subscribing to my blog! Have a Great weekend!

-Christian Bolt

P.S I do miss my Hurley T..