Things I learned by getting rid of 70% of my clothes

I have always enjoyed decluttering things. It was like therapy for me. A fresh start. Through the years, I got rid of a lot of clothes. Because I had too many, and they didn’t fit in my closet anymore. So every year, I decluttered about 10% of my closet. But a month later, I had 10% more clothes in my closet. It was a vicious circle. 

And then I moved into my little apartment, before this one, with my boyfriend.

I had to do a big declutter because I needed to share the closet with him.

I needed to be ruthless. But clothes were always my « passion.» I needed them like it was my identity. I needed them to feel confident, and for some of them, it was so hard to let go.

But I wasn’t happy; I had no money left. And I needed to do something. 

I needed to have less. So for a weekend, I put every piece I had on my bed, and I decluttered about 40% of my closet. Things that didn’t fit, that wasn’t my style, and everything else. 

I also did project 333. For 3 months, you only wear 33 pieces of clothing, jewelry, and shoes. And I finished it. Before moving in, I also made a big declutter. Through the years, I can say that I got rid of 70% of my closet. 

And here’s what I learned: 


You don’t need these clothes

When I did project 333, I realized that I really didn’t need a lot of clothes to go to work every day. Even with only 33 pieces, there are some of them that I only put on once! I was sure that having these clothes on the shortlist would help me to wear them more often but not at all! 

Now I know I don’t want to have many clothes. I just want to have clothes in which I feel confident and that fit my body and my lifestyle. 

So you can have choices but no need to have a room full of clothes to be happy. The most important thing is to have clothes in which you feel great and that fit with your lifestyle and your personal style. 

It’s also what I learned during our move. My closet is not finished yet, so it’s been 2 months that I had a lot of clothes in card boxes, and I don’t miss them. I think I will have some surprises when I’ll unpack them!

You won’t put on all these clothes that don’t fit or in which you don’t feel confident. 

It’s my big struggle to keep clothes that don’t fit right now because I want to lose weight, and I keep them just in case. I also keep things because of my fancy self.

But you know how many times I wear these clothes: never! 

You need to get rid of your fancy self. I will give you an example. I bought a dress for my graduation 5 years ago. I told myself that it would fit my graduation, and it wasn’t the case. It was a really beautiful little black dress, but I had no opportunity to put it on. And I got rid of it in the last declutter I did before moving in. 5 years, under my bed for nothing. So don’t buy clothes that don’t fit right now or if you order clothes that you don’t feel great in them or you can’t breathe because it’s too tight, return them. Anytime you want to buy something, think about when you will wear it. If it’s only one or two times, what about renting it?

You can find approximately everything that you need on the second-hand market. 

With the ecological crisis, it’s important to recycle, donate, and so on. With all of my decluttering, I sold a lot of clothes on the internet. Now you have a ton of websites that help you to find or to sell clothes. 

But before, I wasn’t interested in buying second-hand clothes. And finally, about a year ago, when I looked at my finances and how it’s possible to have a basic denim one-third of the price of a new one, I definitely knew that it was for me. Okay, sometimes you’re a little bit frustrated because you don’t find the exact clothes that you absolutely want, or you’re disappointed with your order because it’s not exactly what you ordered (it happened once). But most of the time, I’m really happy about what I order. And to be honest, I think 50 percent of the clothes I bring with me on holidays are second-hand. So think about it.

The cost per use is so important. 

I really like to think about the cost per use of all the things I own. When I’m buying something, I ask myself if the cost per use will be okay. For example, if I buy a cashmere sweater for 100 euros and I wear it every week during winter, it’s about wearing 26 times a year. So after one year, I have a cost per use of 3,84 euros. (I took my calculator for this). But what if I keep it for several years? After 3 years, the cost per use would be less than 1 euro! 

So when I want to buy something, I always think about the cost. Okay, it’s expensive, but would I use it very often? If the answer is yes, I don’t have a lot of doubts. 

Quality over quantity 

It’s about what I said just before. If I buy something that is quality, I won’t buy it several times. I know that I will keep my cashmere sweater for several years. 

I know it’s something that happens to you too. You know when you buy something cheap, and it’s of bad quality? You wear it once, then put it into the cleaner, and it’s all twisted when coming out. But you told yourself that it was okay because it was cheap, so you bought another one and another. First of all, it’s not really ecological, and secondly, you will lose a lot of money. Because 5 euros here and 10 euros there, in the end, it’s a lot of money. 

Finally, with these kinds of bad quality clothes, your cost per use is high for something you wear once!

So if you don’t have a big budget for your clothes and you want quality, shop secondhand. You can have a pair of really good quality jeans for the price of a fast fashion one.  


Nobody cares about what you’re wearing

Okay, so you think that everybody will make fun of you because you’re always wearing the same outfit? Nobody cares. It’s not because you notice this when you are with someone that everybody notices this too. 

In her book project 333, Courtney Carver explains how, even with her position in Marketing at a big company, nobody noticed that she only wore 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months. She didn’t tell anyone about her experimentation, and after 3 months, she started talking about this with her coworkers. Nobody noticed! And nobody cared! 

And it was the same when I did the project too. I needed to shop my closet, I needed to find ways to wear my clothes differently, and I just didn’t think about it very often. Before, clothes were my number one priority; I was obsessed. But I needed to find a way not to feel this way. And this project helped me to find a way. 

I know that clothes can give you confidence. It helps you to feel different, to stand in a crowd. But what is really important and what people will notice is when you will irradiate when you are in clothes in which you feel great. 

I hope this post will help you to declutter the clothes that you don’t love, that don’t fit, and in which you don’t feel fabulous. 

I’ll see you in the next one!