I’ve always loved fashion, and when I was a teenager, I thought that people who were well dressed were successful, strong and powerful, and I wanted to be like them.
So I was drawing inspiration from different celebrities, and most of them are fashion chameleons. They always looked great, but they were never in the same outfit twice so for me buying clothes to keep up with them was the obvious thing to do.
But the more I was buying, the more confused I was.
First of all, I wasn’t listening to myself, what I felt comfortable in or what I liked. So I was wearing what I loved on other people and then felt discouraged because it never felt quite right for me.
Secondly, I was buying clothes to cover up my insecurities that ranged from body concerns to thinking I’m inferior. So no matter what I bought the vulnerabilities were still there.
Obviously, buying to feel better wasn’t working, and when I finally created the closet of my dreams, I noticed that it wasn’t what I expected it to be. My mornings were lonelier because I was dressing up in a different room than my husband, and I also needed to try on a couple of different outfits before I felt comfortable.
The same thing happened with makeup. I owned every colour, be it in lipstick, eyeshadow, nail polish just so I could replicate the looks I loved on others, thinking it I would feel better about myself. But of course, it didn’t work.
The stress of spending, keeping up with fashion and the confusion I felt was enough to start me asking myself what if there is another way to live? Then I stumbled upon a video about the KonMari method by Marie Kondo, and I was astounded. People were getting rid of 50% of their belongings and more. I quickly ordered her book, and I started decluttering as soon as I read it.
After my first decluttering session I felt so much better – my closet was emptier, I knew more about myself and picking what to wear seemed easy. After I finished decluttering my wardrobe, I tackled shoes and handbags, and then I completed all other categories in the house.
I loved the process, but the closet was something I kept going back to because I felt there was still lots to do.
I probably decluttered my wardrobe five times until I got to a point where I was happy with it. Finding your style and building your confidence to make decisions can take time, so I’m glad I was patient. I also tried to challenge myself to get dressed with less, but I realised that it wasn’t quite right for me, since I love putting together an outfit to feel my absolute best. But I did discover the concept of a capsule wardrobe which I fell in love with, and I am still using it today.
And to this day, transformation in my style and closet is the one area that I am most proud of because this is what I enjoy most, but it was also the messiest and most overwhelming in the beginning. And many people might think that I still have a lot of clothes but I use everything I own and I get a lot of joy out of it. And I am sure, with time, I’ll be able to let go of some more.
NOW LET’S LOOK AT BEFORE AND AFTER
The first two pictures show what my closet looked like in the beginning – I had over 100 pairs of shoes (some were stored in the hallway), probably around 60 handbags (there were more stored in the top of the picture, but it’s cut off) and I didn’t even know how many articles of clothing I had.
I just know the drawers were packed and every time I bought something I needed to reorganise something else to find a place for it. I also remember holding onto three different sizes – my usual size, which was the majority of my wardrobe, then I had a “when I’m skinny” size and a bigger “just in case” size. Needless to say, I just kept the one, and I still do. It is such a great feeling to know everything in my closet fits.
Now my closet is a dream. It’s easy to see what I own and creating an outfit is fun. I pack away seasonal items since I live in a country with four seasons, and this makes dressing up effortless, so I don’t need to go through articles that are not appropriate for the season to get to the ones that are. The drawers are spacious, and I have lots of room to display my items. I also have a drawer dedicated to my (and my husband’s) summer wear and every time I open it I smile. I love it so much I keep it in the winter even though I don’t use it as much.
I keep my coats and jackets in the hallway downstairs along with my scarves, shoes and handbags. I love how a handbag or a scarf can add a pop of colour to an outfit and change the whole look.
I also transformed my dressing table to make it cleaner, and since I don’t own nearly as much makeup then I don’t need an extra table, so I just put it on the top of my chest of drawers and made a little space for some makeup inside the drawer. I’ll probably transform it into a table with some storage so I can sit more comfortably, but I’m in no rush.
That is my journey with minimalism so far, and of course, I had great results in other categories as well, but I don’t have many pictures from before. But let me know if you are interested to see more and I can share my after results in other areas as well.
I hope you enjoyed this and that it inspires you to find out for yourself how minimalism can transform your life 🙂