blogtober, blogtober, Minimalism, Minimalism

My Fall Capsule Wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe exactly? Minimalists like to define it as a set number of clothing items to reduce the troubles of decision fatigue & allows us to understand the benefits behind owning less. Courtney Carver, the writer behind the book, Project 333 goes a step further & challenges those to have 33 items of clothing for 3 months. I attempted project 333 for myself during the pandemic & I did take note of the benefits. But overall, I don’t necessarily like to limit myself to a set number of clothing pieces. I simply ask myself how often I wear something? Does it fit the person I wish to be? And is it practical? Otherwise, I let it go. And over the course of the summer, I’ve downsized my wardrobe extremely to the point where 95% of my clothing is gone! As the new season approaches, I look forward to revamping my style & curating a capsule wardrobe that allows me to create classic outfits.

As I’ve decluttered over 10 bags of clothing in the past few months, I’ve also made a few replacements along the way. I’ve been in a style rut & wanted to enter my fall season with a bit more style. Summer tends to put myself in a style rut [ especially when it’s hot ] because all I wear are athletic shorts & basic tanks or tees. Fall fashion is elite. And I’m so excited to share the pieces I’ve bought & put together.

Denim Denim Denim

A classic pair of jeans is a staple in any wardrobe. As a millennial, I still find skinny jeans to be the most flattering at times, but I have been wanting to branch out to different styles. I purchased a pair of the viral 90’s straight leg relaxed fit jeans from Abrocrombie. And I totally understand the hype! I can’t wait to rock these with some sneakers & basic tees all fall season.

Business Beige

To jazz up your dressier occasions, why not swap or add a pair of beige slacks to your wardrobe along with the typical grey or black. I personally love incorporating lighter shades to my fall wardrobe to showcase a brighter look. No white after Labor Day, who? I also love adding knits to make your look a bit more casual.

Stick To The Basics

The majority of my closet is filled with basic tees & tanks. Lately – I’ve added a few fitted crop tops to my wardrobe. I love pairing tighter tops with baggier pants to create a bit of definition. I love layering these with flannels, cardigans or jackets to stay warm. I recommend you have a basic white, black & grey t-shirt & tank & then go from there. Stick to shades that are the most flattering to you. There’s no need to own the entire rainbow.

Sneakers

I’m trying to get away from just living in Uggs until March (although if you are from the East Coast, it’s pretty much inevitable). Last fall, I purchased this pair of Sam Edelman sneakers in this white & beige shade. I thought they would be a perfect minimalistic look to any pair of jeans or leggings.

Birkenstocks

It’s hilarious to me Birkenstock clogs are back in style. I wore these almost daily in high school. I haven’t yet purchased these, but am looking to add these to my capsule wardrobe soon to add variety to my shoe collection. I feel like they would be perfect paired with my A&F jeans.

Dainty Statement Jewelry

I strongly believe you can enhance an outfit by just adding a few statement jewelry pieces. I love pairing my rose gold B&T necklace with a crop top & jeans or adding a pair of gold hoops.

Oversized Sweaters & Cardigans

Of course, it’s not fall without that cozy sweater weather feeling. I love pairing them with black leggings, a warm beverage & a book in hand. They are like warm hugs! For the most part, I prefer neutral shades like beige, grey or black , but I also love wearing Halloween themed jumpers to be festive.

Water Proof Boots

On the east coast, I feel like it’s crucial to own boots that are weather resistant. Whether it’s walking through the pumpkin patch or the muddy Renaissance fair, I’m so glad to have boots that will be easy to clean. During the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I purchased a pair of black water proof ankle boots & I have a strong feeling I’ll be wearing these a lot this fall season!

Graphic Tees

During my recent declutter, I let go of a ton of old graphic t-shirts that were faded or had holds in them. I still believe we don’t need to own an entire drawer filled with graphic tees, but I do think it’s fun to own a few to make an outfit more unique. One of my favorites is my zodiac sign flower t-shirt.

Even More Inspiration

Pinterest is my favorite site for finding fashion inspiration. Here are a few photos that depict the style I’m going for lately…

pin it for later
pin it for later
pin it for later

What clothing styles / pieces are you looking forward to wear this season?

-B

Lifestyle, organization

I Tried The Swedish Death Cleaning Method & This Is How It Went

As blunt as it may sound, we are all going to die one day. And all that stuff you’ve accumulated over the years can’t be taken with you. I recently decided to try out the decluttering method called Swedish Death Cleaning to further understand this morbid decluttering technique & see if this mindset is beneficial to downsizing our lives.

What Is The Swedish Death Cleaning Method?

According to the spruce.com, Swedish Death Cleaning is a method of organizing and decluttering your home before you die to lessen the burden of your loved ones after you’ve passed. Typically, those of the older generation or those battling terminal illness will lean towards this method of cleaning. But I say, you can never be too old to downsize your belongings. From personal experience, the reasons I’ve leaned towards more minimalistic ways of living was due to family members passing on & then having to find new homes for their “cherished” items. It really placed things into perspective. And I think this method goes beyond the idea of becoming a burden to others & instead allowing yourself to free your space of excess clutter in a guilt free manner.

As morbid as it may sound, I truly think this method of decluttering can put perspectives on what you find important. Instead of simply asking yourself, “does this spark joy?” You are furthering it by asking, “would my family want to have this in their lives?” Now this isn’t saying you should just get rid of everything you own that makes you who you are. Obviously, we are all different & what we may enjoy may not be special to someone else. So, I think an even better question to ask yourself may be , “is this item worth holding onto / storing?” I recently went through my sentimental items again to see if I could condense the containers even further since my storage space is rather limited. It’s so fascinating to see what we deem as so near & dear to our hearts. I’ve talked about ways to declutter sentimental items in the past. Recently, I downsized said keepsakes by taking digital photos of the item instead of letting the physical belonging age in storage. And in other cases, I tried to see if I could repurpose or display the trinkets somewhere in our home. A quick take away I tell myself is, finding ways to give life to said items instead of having them collect dust in a box in the back of a closet.

You May Also Like: How to Declutter Sentimental Items

It Allowed Me To Examine My Home From Top To Bottom

The Swedish Death Cleaning Method has you question every aspect of your life. And I realized, I still hold onto items just in case I need it one day. And we know from my previous decluttering post, those “What If I Need It One Day” Items are such a waste of space. For example, in our spare closet, I kept our Halloween costumes from last year thinking we would MAYBE wear them again this year. And in all honesty – we never wear a costume more than once. So, during this decluttering session, I let those go. And as silly as it may sound in the middle of July – I also went through seasonal decor for both Halloween & Christmas. Most cases, I wait until that season to let go of broken or unused decor, but this method of decluttering allowed me to go through those areas here & now so I am not burdened by the clutter a few months from now. I also was able to take inventory of wrapping supplies & came to the conclusion, we don’t need to purchase any new supplies this year. Yay!

Giving Items New Life / Purpose

If we cherish an item so much, we should allow it to have significant meaning to our lives, right? Books should be read, journals should be written in & toys should be played with. It’s sad when belongings get stored away never to be used again. Think of the Pixar movie, Toy Story – wouldn’t you rather give those items a chance at a second life? We almost grow this sick attachment to your stuff for an array of reasons. But the Swedish Death Method allows us to understand the importance of only keeping what we truly need, use or want. Everything else has the luxury to be used by someone else. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right? And finding purpose for something sparks so much more value than having it sit unused. For example, when I moved out – I was gifted a few ornaments that hung on our family Christmas tree. It always makes me happy to see those ornaments being used & passed down so when we have a family of our own – our kids can enjoy them as much as I did.

It’s Not Just a Burden To Others

It becomes a burden to you! And so, why can’t we just let those items go? According to the Swedish Death Method, reasons for having difficulty letting things go can be due to fear, our clutter instinct & our hoarder instinct. And as I said before, us humans have the tendency to hold onto items “just in case”. Swedish Death Cleaning grants us this freeing & eye opening perspective to let go of that burden for once & give yourself the gift of space.

The Longer You Hold On To Something The Harder It Is To Let Go

There are items I’ve had in my possession for YEARS! And some of those items, I can’t even remember why I kept it in the first place. But because I’ve had it forever, I just assume it’s for a good reason & so, there it stays in a storage bin or drawer. And the tough reality is a lot of items hold a certain form of value. Whether it was a gift from someone, holds a memory, reminds you of a special someone – these reasonings cloud our judgement. For example, when my dad passed away, I decided to take a few of his shirts home with me. I would sometimes wear them for comfort, but mostly – I’d just store them in my dresser as a security blanket if you will. It was almost like having his clothing made the feeling of him being gone sting a little less. Over time, I realized having those pieces of clothing was actually making the grieving process more difficult. And in all honesty – I don’t think my dad would really care if I had his clothing or not. So, a few weeks ago I ripped the bandaid & donated those few t-shirts. And I feel a lot better. A great reminder to myself is , “the item is not the person”.

Conclusion

I personally love the concept of The Swedish Death Cleaning Method. I find it so freeing. I love how it allows myself to really ask myself, “does this item serve a purpose?” & “would someone else want this when I’m gone?” And in turn these simple questions can give you the push to let a few extra things go. And ultimately – you can stop the excess clutter from affecting your life in such negative ways.

What are your thoughts on the Swedish Death Cleaning Method?

if you are interested in learning more about this decluttering method, be sure to check out Margareta Magnusson‘s book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.

-B

organization

Overcoming “What If I Need This One Day” Type of Clutter

One of the biggest questions that runs through a lot of people’s minds during decluttering is, “what if I need this one day?” Even I’ve battled with such obstacles from time to time. Those “just in case items” seem necessary to hold onto because you think you are saving money. “What if I need this quesadilla maker on the off chance I want to make a quesadilla?” “What if we go to Paris in the near future – this beret [ i’ve never worn before] may come in handy at that moment!” What if the person who gifted me that item [ I never use] questions where it is when they visit?” The scenarios could go on & on. And if you let this category of item get to you, you’ll find yourself in the midst of becoming hoarders.

The Scarcity Mindset

Sometimes the reason we develop clutter is through fear. We are afraid we won’t be able to attain said item again in the future. Many times this correlates with socioeconomic status & the growth from lower to higher income. It’s a subconscious fear you won’t be this well off forever. So, you decide to hold onto things with the notion you won’t be able to attain it later. But regardless of your socioeconomic status, everyone should follow the 20×20 rule instead.

What is the 20×20 Rule?

If you can replace the item in 20 minutes with $20 or less, you should probably donate or sell said item. From my experience, anytime I finally get rid of something, I rarely regret or need a replacement in the future. For instance, over last summer we hosted an engagement party at our home. We purchased a bunch of paper plates, foil pans to hold the food selection & plastic cups & utensils. We ended up only using not even half of the supplies, so I stored it in a cabinet for a while. This May will be a year since we hosted said party & we haven’t used the items since. The paper plates have begun to yellow & quite honestly in our town home, we don’t have the best storage space. So, although I thought, “we could use this for our next get together or party.” I ended up donating what was still useable to a local shelter. I’d much rather let those items go now & repurchase supplies when we do decide to host another party. Now, we have plenty of space for other necessities in this cabinet.

Doesn’t That Waste Money?

A lot of the reason for hoarding is due to the thought of “saving money.” If you hold on to xyz now, you don’t have to spend money later. But what I found with the kept party supplies was, they became unusable over time. Nobody wants to use paper plates that are discolored or broken plastic utensils. Who’s to say, when a get together did arise, I wouldn’t have purchased new supplies anyway? I find, when we fill our home with clutter – we aren’t truly saving money. We are losing time & energy, we are purchasing storage bins to keep the clutter contained. We are purchasing more cleaning supplies to keep the chaos of our homes at bay. I’d much rather let go of the unused items & spend a little cash in the future than fill my home with unnecessary things.

Conclusion

Even though you may think you need to hold onto every little thing you decide to purchase. In reality – there is a slim chance you’ll ever use that just in case item anyway. Save your home from the clutter & finally let those items go. Do you still own any items that make you say, “will I need this one day?”

-B