Hannah and I were chatting recently (she’s the newest member of the I Heart Planners team), and she was telling about her capsule wardrobe experience. As soon as I heard about it, I knew we couldn’t keep this info to ourselves, so I asked her to share about her less stress, fewer rules, capsule wardrobe here on the blog. And – of course – we also made a wardrobe planner printable pack to help you. I’ll let Hannah take it away:
Hi! Hannah here! Wife and mommy to two little girls and a work from home mom. I go to the gym on a regular basis, and I go to church three times a week. You may spot me browsing for Rae Dunn at Home Goods or browsing the Target aisles to escape the apartment, but other than that, I’m at home all day, every day.
In the three years, I have done a lot of research on minimalism in the home. I have completely redone several areas of our house trying to simplify and I have never regretted this lifestyle change. My closet on the other hand. That's where it gets personal. I had researched Project 333 and other capsule wardrobe websites. I even made a Pinterest board with ideas for closet breakdowns. I just couldn’t bring myself to make such a huge commitment! But I was a new mom who had no plans to return to her office job, so I purged my closet and got rid my office clothes, and I moved on giving myself a pat on the back.
A few months later, I tried the hanger trick. Maybe you’ve heard of it? You turn all your hangers around in your closet. Then you set an alarm on your phone for 6 or 12 months from now and whatever isn’t turned back around, get rid of it! The problem I ran into was this: I was pregnant when I turned all my hangers around. So, it really didn’t help me very much since I couldn’t wear most of my stuff anyway, and then came along the postpartum clothes which are bigger and baggier and easy to breastfeed in. I didn’t feel like it was fair to expect myself to get rid of so many things just because my body was in such a sizing transition! So, I purged my closet again and got rid of several items, and I moved on giving myself another pat on the back.
That brings us to now! Someone asks for some information about capsule wardrobes, and I begin my research again. Inspired, I emptied my entire closet yesterday just for the fun of it. I had no intention of putting pressure on myself to get down to a certain number of outfits. I honestly just wanted to evaluate where I stood. How many clothes do I have? Should I keep them all?
Since the point of most capsule wardrobes is to simplify and take away decisions and stress from your life, I did not set any hard and fast rules. (Some blogs and websites encourage strict rules and have pages of guidelines to follow.) I just wanted to see how far I could naturally purge and organize before I started stressing myself out with too many do's and don'ts. I did not touch my workout shirts, my pants, my underwear, my pajamas, my coats and my jewelry. I only worked on everyday shirts and tops, sweaters, cardigans, skirts, dresses and shoes.
I started by pulling every single item out of the closet. I then used children's closet organizers to separate each season and one for postpartum-wear. Next, I began putting items back into the closet. Some things I easily separated into the proper season. (My sweater dresses went straight into the winter section.) Some I was unsure of, so I kept in the current season we are in (summer). There were probably about 20 items I pulled out entirely and put in a bag to give away. Once all the clothes were back in the closet, I counted how many items I had in my summer section. My very rough goal was somewhere between 30-40 items. It was an even 30. I knew I had a few items in the laundry, so I estimated that I have about 35 summer hanging clothes. This number was good with me, so I moved on to shoes.
I kept all my sneakers (four) since I am very into fitness and wear each one for different sorts of training or events. I kept all but one pair of my flats because I don't need two sets of black flats. I kept two out of my three heels. I rarely wear them anyway, but the dark burgundy heels match with very little while one of the two others (nude and black) will match with everything. I also purged two pairs of flip flops that I no longer need or wear. This brought my shoe shelves to a very balanced space. This entire process took me less than 2 hours. My kids were napping when I started and awake when I finished, but some blueberries and a little help from Netflix helped me finish up the last little bit.
Going forward for the rest of the summer season, I will only choose from the clothes in the summer section. When autumn comes (I think that I will judge based on weather and not a specific date.) I will bring the autumn clothes to the front of the closet. Right now, there are less than 10 items in the autumn section. I will put together about 30 pieces from the other categories and have that be my capsule for the autumn season.
I am really excited about this venture. I think that it will not only make day to day decisions easier about what to wear, but it also made my closet much more organized and easy to maintain neatness.
Update: One month later, and I am definitely loving it! It seriously makes getting ready each morning incredibly easier!
After going through this process, I’ve put together a wardrobe planning printable to help guide through the pack. Click the image below to download it.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey in capsule wardrobing! Are you interested in more printables for your everyday life, like this one? Be sure to check out the Sweet Life Society! You'll be blown away by all the different styles, types, designs and functions of our printables. We'd love to have you in the Club! Click here for all the details.
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