Living in a country that has mainly just one season, (hot) it is kind of easy to have a small wardrobe. But still, when I got to Thailand 2 and a half years ago, soon my 23 kg belongings and clothes, from arriving here, started to build up. Market trips, cheap shops and big chain stores started to fill up my closet. I never felt like I had enough cute running shoes, or enough gym clothes or enough pairs of shorts from H&M.

In the beginning of 2018, when I decided to make the decision to not buy any new items of clothing or shoes for 4 months, I also started to evaluate what I currently had in my closet.

I decided to go through all my clothes and really decide if this item was useful, adds value to my wardrobe and is decent quality. When I go through my closet I always make four piles.

  1. Keep – Items that I wear and are useful to me. I make sure that I don’t have doubles, or that I am keeping it just because I feel sentimental towards it.
  2. Trash – Any clothes with holes, that have been worn too may times, and that are not of good quality. It is easy to sometimes hold onto items that you think “O, I will for sure fix this soon, or I can stretch this T-shirt for a few more years”. Let go of all clothes that honestly rather belong in the bin.
  3. Donate / Sell –  These are clothes that might be too big or too small, that you don’t feel like suits you anymore, are doubles, or clothes that have been pilling up that you just don’t wear anymore.
  4. Unsure – These are clothes that I still feel I need or use, or can’t let go of yet. I will keep them in my cupboard for maybe a month and then re-evaluate. Did I wear these items during the month?  Would I miss them if they are gone or would someone else find more joy in them.

These four piles make it so easy for me to evaluate what I have and need and let go of things that I don’d have place for anymore. Now, I actually get to enjoy and wear all the items I still have. (I still feel like I can let go of a few more things, and I am in the process of doing so)

The idea of donating clothes also brings me such joy and gratitude. We have so much, we have more than we ever need and there are so so many people who can only dream of having a fraction of what we take for granted. Looking at belongings from that perspective has been so eye-opening for me, knowing that I already have so much and that there are so many people that don’t. Sharing, donating, gifting, is such an amazing way to help out some people who actually need some clothes more than I do.

Another factor that has also been making it a lot easier for me to not go on shopping sprees was watching the documentary “The True Cost”. (Just watching the trailer now again, has brought me to tears). I don’t want to walk around and know that these cheap shorts that I bought were made by workers who were treated badly, not paid well and who work in horrible conditions. It doesn’t seem worth it to me. The poverty, greed and horrible conditions break my heart.  I don’t know all that much that I can actually do about it, but I know, that by not supporting these big chain stores and buying cheap clothes, I am taking a stand. Through this I am saying I do not support that, and don’t want to be a part of people being treated badly, and even dying because of their work environment.

Just being more conscious of what I wear, where I buy it and what I actually have is the key to having a minimalist wardrobe.  Keeping that in mind ,when I sort through my wardrobe, has been so helpful.   I am ready to scale down even more, and work on some fun capsule collections and Project 333. (Where you only dress in 33 items for 3 months!) Investing in quality, local and ethically made clothes and supporting conscious individuals when purchasing clothes is my goal.

Minimizing my closet has been such a fun “project” and has spilled over into other areas of my home. I want everything I own to have a purpose and add value to my life. Evaluating items with these questions have really helped me.

Next, I will be working on a post about how I minimized the rest of my home. x


Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Learning to live a more minimalist lifestyle, didn’t start off that easy for me.

I always liked stuff. Little things on my dresser, decorations and clothes. Lots of clothes, shoes, handbags and products.  I am also very sentimental, so every card, every note, every book, every gift, and bag I would keep and store away.

When leaving for South Korea, I had a bunch of boxes in storage with books, notes, clothes and memorabilia from University. I could not let go and throw stuff away.

Once in Korea, I lived by myself for the first time, and suddenly I could buy things and hoard up even more unnecessary things. Too many clothes, too many shoes, too much stuff!

When leaving Korea after 4 and a half years, I had accumulated quite a lot of stuff that I needed to fit in 2 suitcases to lug back home to South Africa. This was a mission, but I managed to donate, sell and get rid of quite a few things and felt happy that I could let go of some of these. Read more