Monthly Archives: April 2015

5 Simple Steps to Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

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Simplifying your wardrobe can seem like an overwhelming task. Our clothing has an impact on our self-image, our emotions, our bank account, and our home organization. If you live in a climate with 4 distinct seasons, a change in season offers a perfect time to think about your wardrobe and take action. Since spring has arrived, I decided it was time to take on my wardrobe. As opposed to a complete purge, I took a simpler approach. Here are the 5 simple steps I recommend when spring cleaning your wardrobe.

1) Decide on your goals:

Is this a quick sift through your clothing items or a complete wardrobe overhaul. I have been swept up with the popularity of the capsule or minimalist wardrobe. I had a go at Project 333 and the 10 Item Wardrobe. Even though these options still represent my ideal, I have found the changes too drastic and quick. For my 2015 wardrobe spring cleaning I decided on a more basic approach. I set two goals: a) contain all of my clothing to the storage space available in our master bedroom, and b) put away winter clothing and take out summer clothing. Your goals can be as small or big as you would like. Just remember to set your goals before you start pulling clothes out of the closet.

2 ) Take all of your clothing out and categorize:
This step is important because it can provide you with invaluable insight. It may be tempting to go through a drawer at a time, but spring cleaning is about going the extra mile. Take all of your clothing out and categorize it. This gives you a good understanding of how much clothing you actually have. As someone who has never paid much attention to what I wear, I was shocked at how much clothing I owned the first time I laid it all out in front of me. The experience was even more enlightening when I began categorizing my clothing. I had regular categories like ‘work’ and ‘casual’. I also had extra (potentially unnecessary) categories such as ‘house casual’, ‘nice t-shirt’, and ‘camping’. Step number two provides you with a necessary ‘big picture’ understanding.

My category piles.

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3) Purge:
For many, this step may prove to be the most challenging. Many minimalists advocate shedding yourself of any clothing items you have not worn in the past year. Personally, I don’t subscribe to this idea. With limited space in my budget to purchase new clothing, I prefer to hold on to items for at least one additional year. The one question I do ask myself is ‘Do I love it’? If the answer is no, than I don’t keep it. This is my purging method. I rid myself of 12 clothing items during this spring clean. Minimizing visual and physical clutter is still a priority, so I will continue to purge throughout the year.

4) Shop your own wardrobe:
You’ve set a few goals, categorized your clothing, and shed yourself of unnecessary pieces. The next step is to ‘go shopping’. I am not talking about going out to a store. I am talking about looking ahead to the summer and shopping your own collection for your seasonal wardrobe. By taking this approach, I have been able to rotate through my clothing and avoid unnecessary purchases. One strategy I use is that I don’t pull out my entire seasonal wardrobe each year. This means that everything that is taken out is worn and that pieces will last for several years.

5) Organize and store remaining clothing items:
Now that you have selected your wardrobe for the next season, it is time to put it all away. Take time and care with this step. You will be more excited about your clothing if you organize and display them in a pleasing way. Also, taking care to store your winter clothing well will facilitate the ‘shopping’ process in the fall.

My closet organizing.

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Following these 5 simple steps will help bring a renewed sense of clarity to your wardrobe. It may not be a complete and total overhaul, but it is a step on the Journey to Simple.

Tote Bag Traveling – How to pack for an entire weekend in your purse

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I recently went on a ‘girls weekend’ trip to visit a friend in Montreal. I was excited to spend time with my dear friends, but I was also excited about taking on another packing challenge. As I prepared for the weekend I thought to myself ‘If I can pack for two weeks in a carry on bag, I must be able to pack for a weekend in something even smaller’. Part of my excitement was the fun of the challenge, but I was also excited by the idea of jumping on a plane with only a purse.  There is something freeing about traveling light.

I started by making a list of all the things that I would need for our 4 day adventure. We were planning on doing some site-seeing, going out for dinners, and maybe even going dancing.  As usual, I separated out the heaviest and bulkiest items to wear on the plane.

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Wear on the plane:
dark jeans
long sleeve shirt
cardigan
scarf
sunglasses
coat
boots

Then I laid out everything else on my list that needed to be packed in my bag.

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Packing List:
Tote bag purse
small bag for toiletries (doubles as an evening bag)
canvas tote for packing clothing (doubles as a second carry on when bringing home souvenirs)

two long sleeve shirts
one nice shirt to wear out in the evening
one dress to wear out in the evening
pyjamas (tights and tank top)
undergarments (enough for three days)
three pairs of socks
one pair of tights

Jewellery
shampoo
toothbrush
toothpaste
dental floss
cell phone charger
cell phone
wallet (used a small card holder)
passport
travel mug
ear buds

I put everything into bundles and small containers.  I used the same clothes wrapping method found here.

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The dog helped.

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I was all packed and ready to go in no time.

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I had a wonderful weekend.  I didn’t even use everything that I had packed.  Packing light was the beginning of my Journey to Simple.  I’m sure this will not be the end of my tote-bag travels.

I’d love to hear your packing tips.  Please leave a comment.