This new life motto started in a place where all good philosophical ideas begin: my wardrobe.
Let’s rewind to a few years ago when my closet looked like… Actually, I’ll do one better. My shoe closet looked like this:
I was 26 years old with my first corporate salaried position. I was already working on my intended career path. I earned enough money to be comfortable as long as I could get my spending under control. The biggest category I wasted money on was clothing. I thought, “If I can reign in my spending in this one category, my financial future will be bright.”
So, I decided to declutter my closet in an effort to think less about clothes. At the time, I had a few different wardrobes within my closet:
You get the gist…
I needed to sort things out, but I felt so overwhelmed. Under some bit of providential luck, one of my fave bloggers wrote a post about how she, as a hugely popular fashion blogger, manages to avoid having bulging closets in every corner of her house. And that’s when it hit me! If this woman, who is sent boxes & boxes of free clothing every week, can manage her stuff in an organized and efficient manner, there’s hope for me yet.
One of the key points she made about decluttering a wardrobe is that the stuff she owns that’s on the B-team or C-team is the exact stuff she gets rid of first. Or, in my words: If it’s not a banger, it’s a no for me.
I identified my A-team clothes — the things that were my go-to, always looks good, always feels good items.
Then, I sorted my closet to find that I had a ton of things that were B-team and C-team…and if there were a D-team, things that would be on that roster. I had things which:
And yet, I kept those things under the guise of: “Someday, I’ll wear them.”
The problem with having a closet full of clothes and nothing you ENJOY wearing is that every morning you shuffle through hanger-by-hanger only to end up wearing your token “you” uniform — but only after you’ve wasted 10 minutes in there.
10 minutes x 365 days = 3,650 minutes of your year fruitlessly hoping that YOUR closet was more complimentary to YOU
Calculating that number made the lightbulb “ding” in my head. I don’t want to waste OVER THREE-THOUSAND MINUTES each year on something fruitless. So, I cleaned out my closet, ridding it of the B-team and C-team.
The result was that I could walk into my closet, have wayyy less options to choose from, but always feel really confident in any outfit I put together.
It’s been 4 years since I started that initial decluttering, and now I own about 2 suitcases worth of clothing. I own 7 pairs of shoes, if you include the jewel-toned boots I bought myself for my upcoming birthday, which I technically don’t get to wear yet. I own 5 purses, each of which is non-duplicative in purpose.
Some people would call me a minimalist — which is laughable — but I get where it’s coming from. I don’t own a lot of stuff. I just own stuff I really like to wear and flatters me. I don’t go shopping with a twisted view of myself that I can buy anything that looks great in an advertisement or on a mannequin, and it’ll look the same way on me. I feel like I really know my personal style, my body, and what makes me feel most confidently “me”.
I’d say I have a maximalist aesthetic with a minimalist ethic. I adore patterns and bold, exciting pieces and jewel tones and whimsical styles. I just don’t get out of hand in owning a bunch of stuff I never wear.
And that lesson applies much farther than my closet.
By taking inventory of any one area of your life and identifying your A-team and B-team (or worse), you can decide if the extra baggage is really helping you.
In your wardrobe, do you want a bunch of things or only pieces that make you feel most confidently “you”?
In your dating life, do you want a rolodex of options or a guy who best compliments your present & future life?
In your career, do you want to lean on that steady-paying job that feels a little like death every Monday morning, or do you want a career you’re truly excited about — even if it’s a financial set-back to get there?
The “bangers only” mindset shouldn’t be applied to all areas of life all the time, of course, but I think you can wisely decide when you should take inventory of an area and figure out where you’re holding on to B-team players.
I’ve found that it’s extremely beneficial to periodically take inventory of your life, figure out where you’re clenching onto unhelpful things, and then question what’s motivating you to live that way. In doing so, you find the key to freeing yourself of things that aren’t for you and finding the things that truly are.
Priska Jordan is a blogger and writer who recently moved to South Carolina with her handsome husband. She is the editor of The 30s Guide to Life.
The 30s Guide helps millennial working women solve closet overwhelm by curating intentional wardrobes.
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