zero waste

going minimalist: clothing + accessories

During our Great Purge of 2016 (see my previous post on our inspiration from the documentary “Minimalism”), I culled every last lackluster item from my closet until I was left with a simple minimalist wardrobe of clothes I love. No more belts I may someday wear if I someday start wearing tunics; no more fancy pumps I wear to weddings once in a blue moon; much fewer dressy slacks since I work in a very casual office environment.

zero waste minimalist wardrobe closet shoes

It’s easy as can be to choose what to wear when each item is carefully stored (or folded) and sparks joy.

zero waste minimalist wardrobe closet shoes

There are busy, tiring, stressful days as a working mom when I just want to kick off my shoes and crawl under the covers. I know that some days, we won’t have the energy to neatly fold and put away the laundry. And that’s okay. Life gets in the way.

But as long as we make a sustained effort to limit the flow of new stuff into our home, and continue to discard things that no longer spark joy, we can relish the zen of an uncluttered closet.

zero waste minimalist wardrobe closet

I loosely follow the guidance from Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering primer, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I highly recommend!). Here are my own habits for keeping my clothing and accessories pared down and organized:

  • Hanging blouses, sweaters, jackets, and dresses. Marie Kondo strongly advocates folding just about everything, but I have much more space for hanging than for folded garments, so I prefer to hang ~75% of my clothing.
  • Folding t-shirts, socks, shorts, pants, and leggings. I watched a slew of YouTube videos until I mastered the art of KonMari folding. It’s life-changing, indeed – if you take away nothing else, at least learn to properly fold your clothing. It saves space and will definitely bring you joy. After a bit of practice, it becomes second nature. Even my kid’s clothes are folded KonMari-style 🙂
  • Ordering items from light to dark. I’ve long been in the habit of hanging items  from light to dark – it’s easiest for me to pick an outfit from a specific color group.
  • Investing in wood hangers. At 50 cents each, the IKEA Bumerang hangers aren’t cheap, but they are beautiful, durable, and serve the added purpose of curbing the expansion of my wardrobe. I bought a limited number of hangers, such that for every new purchase, I need to cull something old from my closet. I’ve been adhering to this system for over three years, and it’s worked great! (Capsule wardrobes are my destiny, no?)

zero waste minimalist wardrobe closet wood hangers


  • Choosing simple, minimal jewelry. I finally realized that I’m just not that into statement necklaces. The ones I bought in the past collected dust, invariably unworn. I donated my old “fashion jewelry” and kept only the pieces with sentimental value – pearls D gave me when Baby K was born; the earrings I wore on our wedding day; a few dainty necklaces I’ve been gifted over the years. While I always struggled to keep necklaces untangled and organized, my little jewelry collection now fits in a small Pottery Born jewelry box I scooped up on eBay. And to mix things up, I subscribe to RocksBox, a fab designer jewelry rental service. (If you’re interested, use code LIZBFF8 to receive a free month!)

How do you stay organized? Any tips for keeping clutter at bay or adapting to a KonMari lifestyle?




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  • Reply
    Lisa | Simple Life Experiment
    January 18, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Your closet is looking so lovely and tidy, Liz! It must be such a pleasure to walk in there! I too have been discovering the KonMari philosophy lately; I read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up last year and am currently reading Spark Joy. I’m not really into the folding methods and particular storage advice that she gives, as I already have my own ways of doing those things, but I just love the underlying philosophy of keeping only the things that bring us joy, and of really appreciating our possessions and treating them well. When we only own things we love, and really value those things, everything in the house seems to just fall into place and feel right!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Your closet is so lovely!

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