Moving SUCKS. This is a true fact. It sucks, it’s hard, you lose stuff, you spend a lot of money, and there’s always the interesting challenge of trying to arrange your old stuff in your new space.
You all know by now that my husband and I just moved from Missouri to Minnesota, and we’re staying with my parents for now. Before we moved, I took stock of my closet inventory. Here were my counts back in August (not including winter gear, gym gear, jewelry, and lounge clothes):
Normal closet inventory:
Completer pieces: 12
I don’t think that’s a huge number, so I thought I was in good shape to move. And then I got a really good look at the clothes storage space I would have in my parent’s house.
Here. I’ll show it to you.
But be warned.
…are you ready?
Here we go.
THAT’S ALL I GET.
This was a huge shock to my system, because while I may not have had THAT many clothes, what I DID have was everything luxuriously spread out over 2.5 closets, an entire 6 drawer dresser, a 5 tier shoe rack, and a delightful set of hooks.
I know. I was spoiled.
And now all I got was this 2’x16″ closet space and two dresser drawers to work with. There was no way everything I had was going to fit. I was going to have to significantly cut back on my wardrobe…. essentially forcing this closet maximalist to become a closet minimalist.
In order to cull the herd, I focused on three questions:
- Do I LOVE wearing this? I knew I would need to wear these pieces over. and over. and over. and over again, so I had to make sure they were pieces I would be ok living in.
- Can I wear this AT LEAST 3 different ways? If I couldn’t use a piece in a casual look and at least two work looks, then I couldn’t justify the space it would take up.
- Can I take this piece from early fall into winter? I don’t have a lot of extra space right now to store off season clothes, so what I have is what I’ve got. The absolute earliest we can see ourselves closing on a new house is December, so that’s a good 3 months (minimum) of fall and winter weather I need to be prepared for.
A lot of hard choices and tearfully packed long term storage containers later, here’s what I get to wear for the next 3+ months. I’ve added images of similar items and linked to posts featuring stuff so that you can get a sense of what I’m working with.
NEW CLOSET INVENTORY
2 pairs of casual pants (mint cords, olive)
2 pairs of dress pants (black, eggplant)
2 skirts (burgundy pencil, grey pleated)
3 sweaters (oatmeal open weave, fair isle, violet)
1 dressy (green fit and flare)
Completer pieces (in the parlance of What Not To Wear): 10
4 blazers (tweed, camel, plaid, black)
4 cardigans (black, tan, navy, cream)
1 navy puffer vest
1 ridiculous black and white plaid poncho
3 scarves (ivory lace infinity scarf, burgundy knit infinity scarf, plaid blanket scarf),
2 belts (black, cognac)
2 pumps (black, nude),
2 boots (cordovan quilted riding boots, black booties)
Grand Total: 51
So far I’ve been living with this collection for a week and a half, and… I’m surviving. I can definitely tell that I’m going to have to get creative with the pieces I have, which I’m sorta looking forward to. Luckily, I have almost unlimited jewelry storage, so I haven’t had to cut back there at all, and that’s really helping me feel like I have a lot of creativity.
I can also fit a few more things in there, which is GREAT news, because I can’t really see myself cutting out shopping for an indefinite period of time. Like I said in my last budget post, I’m hoping to get another skirt in a more neutral, versatile color, maybe something like this pretty one here. Or maybe I pull the trigger and spring for this beauty, which is hands down my biggest fall line crush. Plus, my new job involves a lot of meetings and events, so I’d like to get a go-to business professional dress. Hopefully something like this dress (neutral but not TOO plain). But I will try to be very intentional about my clothing purchases, and try to adopt a 1 in 1 out policy when possible.
I’m also hoping to give you all an update on how this experiment is going once I’ve been at it for a few months. Who knows, maybe I will decide that the minimalist lifestyle is for me (….unlikely).
Have you ever had to live off a limited wardrobe for reasons outside your control? What would your absolute must-haves be?