Capsule Wardrobe Phase 2: the Re-Eval

If you were with me last month, you probably remember my fantastic closet transformation as a result of Project 333. We sectioned off 33 items for our capsule wardrobe, and then boxed up all the extras we thought we might want to keep (or were sure we couldn't get rid of just yet).

I'm here to help you figure out those leftovers. 

This is serious stuff right here. Phase 1 gets you excited and on track, but without Phase 2 you are likely to fail and return to your old ways. Want a simplified wardrobe to be your lifestyle? Then stick with me. This next part's all about making it last.
Normally, Phase 2 does not come until you're 3 months in with Project 333 (33 items for 3 months; it's designed to cycle out as each season changes). But Texas weather is hot and confusing and I never know how to dress. And apparently April is an awkward seasonal transition? So I felt the need to do this now.

Also, I wouldn't want you to get stuck in Phase 1 and forget about me...or those leftovers hanging out taking up space in the back of your closet.

Let's begin!

Chunk your time. This is going to go so much better if you have an allotment of time without any other demands. Just like Phase 1, we need to have time and space to spread out and look at things clearly.

Assess what you've got. How has Project 333 been going for you so far? This is your chance to analyze exactly what your wardrobe is or isn't doing for you. Did 33 items constantly feel like not enough? Were there any items you didn't wear at all during the past month? Be honest. Journal it out, talk out loud to your clothes, make a mess.

  • If 33 items felt limiting (or downright torturous), maybe you have too many items that aren't working for you. Perhaps nothing matches, or maybe none of your items are multi-purpose. Try to notice a pattern. Maybe one pair of dark jeans or a neutral cardigan would fix most of your outfit woes. If that's the case, allow yourself to buy one item. If you're not seeing a pattern, try to stick it out for another month before changing things up.
  • If 33 items felt really good or maybe even like too much, then purge a little more. Weed out one or two items that are similar, take out the hoodie that you've had for-ever and keep moving. Congrats on living with less!
Now, on to that box stowed in your closet. 

Air it all out. Pull out any items that you saved back from your initial 33 items. This includes shoes, jewelry, accessories, everything. (Leave your 33 items separate.) Dump it all out onto your bed or other uncluttered surface.

Seasonal items. If you're saving cold weather items (or warm weather ones if your seasons are reversed), then pick one box that you're allowed to fill. Make it fairly small. You don't want to scapegoat half of your old clothes inside that seasonal box. This box must fit all of your seasonal clothing + shoes + accessories. Be sure to ask yourself, "Is this worth keeping for 6+ months? Anything you save takes up your valuable time and space. What I noticed was that most of my clothes could fit all seasons depending on how they're layered (which is perfect for the simplified wardrobe). Hooray!

Move at a steady pace. When you open up that box, you're likely to feel all of your old attachments to each item. This is normal, but dangerous, so keep yourself moving. If you didn't miss it this past month, then you don't need it. Handling items as little as possible, start putting things in bags to donate.

When you're still not sure, let time help you out. This minimalistic lifestyle is still new to me, too, so I found myself left with a little pile of Uncertainties. Clothes I genuinely like but haven't gotten much wear out of yet. However, 33 items felt simple and freeing and I really didn't miss anything that was in that box. I didn't need any of it. Still, I couldn't put them into the donation box.

To solve this issue, I opted for sort of a cop-out. (Did you know the term "cop-out" used to refer to confessing to a crime, thus "outing" yourself? Nifty, right?)

I took my uncertain items, folded them neatly, and placed them against the wall adjoining my closet. They're a huge bother, because they make my otherwise neat bedroom look cluttered. But this forces me to notice them on a daily basis. Are they worth keeping around?

IMPORTANT: do no leave your Uncertain Pile there for more than a week! It encourages you to clutter up the rest of your bedroom. When you hit the deadline, everything must go.

Next month, I'll be coaching you on Phase 3: Minimalist Shopping. Remember, you can email me with any questions!