After the new home glow and moving in together high, reality slowly started to creep in. Like most other couples moving in together, we knew we would have to eliminate some of our personal belongings now that we would be living in shared space. Unlike most other couples, our shared space happens to be a 35 foot RV with a 43 inch closet (that’s 21.5 inches each for those of you keeping track). Living in an RV forces you to become more thoughtful about the things you own and while eliminating large items like furniture and kitchen appliances was easy, sifting through my wardrobe was a bit more challenging.
After laying out everything I owned across all four seasons, I identified what I could toss or donate in order to get my expansive collection of clothing in check–and into a 21.5 inch space. Even if you’re not living in quite the same confined quarters, anyone can take a hard look at their closet and use this list to create some much needed space (even if it is for something new to wear!).
When I knew we were going on this journey, I decided to start paying closer attention to what i actually wear versus what I think I wear. Because I was already living in a tiny apartment pre-RV, I had to go switch each season’s clothes out every few months. At the end of each season I’d have some real talk with my wardrobe and decided if I didn’t wear it, I wasn’t going to keep it.
2. Too Snug for Storing
Though I typically maintain the same weight, there have been slimmer years than others. It can be difficult to give up on the size-too-small top or the jeans that once fit just right. I had to accept I could only wear what fit today, and if I lost the weight in the future all the better reason to go shopping for something new.
3. “For Work” Wear
Now that I was going to be working remotely full-time, I didn’t have a need for a lot of my “for work” clothes. I did keep a lot of my nicer things for in-person client meetings, business trips, and formal occasions. However, I eliminated a lot of work-casual wear I had bought specifically because I thought it’d be good to wear on a regular day to the office.
4. Sentimental Saves
I cannot tell you how many t-shirts I owned, kept and never actually wore because they reminded me of some great time from a former life. A Messrs McGuire t-shirt from a favorite pub during my time studying abroad in Dublin or an old high school graduating class t-shirt. I reminded myself that I could still have the memories without keeping the tangible stuff and put them all in the “toss” pile.
5. Guilt Garments
I so easily guilted myself into keeping a ton of items that were either gifts or given to me–even though I didn’t actually like them or they didn’t look good.
6. Damaged Goods
If it had pilled, pulled or been patched it was time to toss. I discovered a multitude of items that had impossible to remove stains or unmendable holes.
7. Duplicates and Multiples
If I had two similar items, I decided to cut one loose. I had no need for three black blazers or eight white tank tops. Pick the favorite, best looking option and donate the rest.
8. Cheap Tricks
Anything I’d be afraid to wash for fear it would deteriorate before my very eyes went in the donate or trash pile. Hint: anything from Forever21, H&M or similar.
9. Outdated Outfits
Anything I’d be embarrassed to be caught wearing in an accident–tossed. Anything I wore five or more years ago–tossed. If I couldn’t recall if I wore it in high school or college–tossed.
10. Just Plain Painful
Whether it’s tops that scratch or cut or blister boasting flats, there’s no room in a minimalists’ closet for apparel that actually hurts. I ditched all my sky-high heels I knew I’d never wear and made room for multi-functional, comfortable options.