Declutter/Minimalist Challenge (a.k.a. 37 Things)

While G and I were in New York, she told me about this closet decluttering idea called “37 Things” that she wanted to try. ( The idea is to divide your wardrobe into 4 “capsules” that coincide with each season. 37 things are allowed in each seasonal capsule, not including pajamas, workout clothes, or underwear; however, included in the capsule is outer wear (sweaters, jackets, and coats) and shoes. The idea is to pare down one’s wardrobe to the color scheme one wears the most. One is left with the coordinates that can be mixed and matched to make endless outfits.

After returning from our trip and getting a day of rest, we dug everything out of my closet and began the experiment. We first discarded all the pieces that I haven’t worn in the last year (or beyond). G had the arduous task of being my strong-minded, unyielding accountability partner. She gave me no longer than a heartbeat to answer the question, “When was the last time you wore that?”  There were three articles of clothing that we struggled over: my wedding dress, my grandma sweater, and the dress I wore to her Missionette’s Honor Crowning. I’m not going to rehash why logic for keeping those pieces here, so let it suffice that I won the argument.

The second step of dividing what was left into seasonal capsules proved a little more difficult. We decided, since I live in a climate that only has two distinct seasons, summer and winter-ish, and I wear most of my clothes all year long, I would have two capsules: work and everyday. We got it down to 32 and 23, respectfully. I was quite proud.

G tried to whittle my wardrobe down even further, but I wasn’t having it. Her argument was that I had to purge more to find my base color scheme. Once I identify the colors I wear the most, I could then buy additional items to round out my 37 things. My counter argument was that I already know what my base color scheme is (brown and black), I don’t care if I had an item that only goes with one outfit, and I hate shopping so I don’t want to replace anything.  G countered with the fact that I wasn’t playing by the rules. I then countered with the fact that I’m wasn’t playing at all, so I don’t care what the rules are. And so it went until I eventually proved more strong-willed than she, but she did a good job. Not everyone can work with a whiny, begging, justifying baby like me.

I am happy with the results. No more overstuffed closet means no more wrinkled clothing, no more wasted time flipping through an endless collection of old clothes, no more lamenting because I have nothing to wear.  It takes no time whatsoever to chose the days outfit, and I’ve mixed and matched clothing that I didn’t before.

The biggest bonus: I’ve been looking rather fabulous lately.  Thanks, G.


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