Why I Don’t Declutter All the Clothes I Don’t Wear
Updated: Apr 16
One pretty common rule in wardrobe decluttering 101 is to donate or recycle any items of clothes that you haven’t worn in the last 6 months -1 year. But to be totally honest, even though I’m pursuing a more simplified life and closet - I don’t follow that rule. I don’t follow that rule because it doesn’t make sense for me, at this point in my life.
It’s Not Practical
I’m a recent grad from university and my life is in complete transition - so is my closet. I haven’t settled into a “career” or even a set path and every job I do tends to require a different dress code. This summer for example, I worked outdoors and wore mainly athletic wear but while I go to potential job interviews, I wear slacks and a blazer. To declutter all the clothes I don’t wear would be impractical because realistically, at my stage in life, I will likely use them in the next 12 months. It seems silly to me, to plan on later expending more energy on thrift shopping and sourcing items of clothing that work for different jobs I do because I decluttered everything right away.
It’s Not Budget-Friendly
Because I just finished school, I’m on a tight budget, so it doesn’t make sense to pass on something that I might repurchase soon after (even if I do get it at thrift prices). At my stage in life, saving money is important to me and clothing is not the priority so I would rather keep and store what I have than spend more money.
It’s Not Sustainable
By donating a bunch of clothes and later repurchasing similar items, I increase the demand for those items on the market. I know in some articles, people mention borrowing items they need for just a one-off occasion. Although that sounds fantastic in theory, and if I had a twin sister that was my size, I totally would - it just doesn’t work for me. None of my friends or family are my size and it would look like I’m a kid playing dress up. So for me, it doesn’t seem sustainable to keep donating (and later purchasing) items when, I can use what I already own.
So, what do I do with all these items I’m not decluttering?
I keep a few different mini capsules for different occasions: formal wear, office wear, athletic wear and summer wear. These all fit into 3 boxes under my bed. Let me go into more detail:
My Office Wear Capsule consists of 11 pieces (blazers, blouses, skirts and two formal pants) that I can mix in match should I be in a position that requires a formal dress code.
My Formal Wear Capsule consists of 3 fancier dresses, 2 heels and 1 clutch purse that I rotate for fancier occasions.
My Athletic Wear Capsule doubles as clothes I would wear if I was fixing something, painting, etc. and is composed of 4 leggings and 3 breathable tops (which packs down super small!).
I can definitely go into more detail in regards to these “Mini Capsules” in future blog posts, and show you the items that I keep stored and aren’t currently in my capsule wardrobe. Let me know if that would interest you!
For me, living simply and minimalism is a mindset and a journey - it doesn’t matter what number of items you own. Although I keep and store a lot of clothes I don’t wear, I think I keep it to a minimum (for me), and the wardrobe items that I do have in rotation feel like the perfect amount that works for my lifestyle right now. I’m happy with where I’m at in terms of capsule-wardrobing and pursuing a more simple and minimal closet (and lifestyle).
Do you keep only the clothes you wear? Do you have “just in case” items in storage? For the same reasons I mentioned or do you have different reasons? Comment down below!