Sunday, May 24, 2015

Blog Every Day In May - Capsule Wardrobe Failure . . . or Success?

As I stood in our closet several weeks ago, once again trying to figure out what I wanted to wear, I knew it was time for a change. The closet was jam-packed with clothes, yet I couldn't find anything I felt like wearing. I grabbed a favorite pair of capris and a t-shirt, and decided it was time to act.

I've seen several mentions of a Capsule Wardrobe on the Internet over the past few years, so I did a little research for INSPIRATION. I even pulled out a notebook and jotted down some notes and why I wanted to give it a try.

I knew there was no way I would cull my clothes down to the recommended 37 pieces, or even down to 50, but I was excited to try something new.

I pulled all my pants (jeans, capris, shorts, slacks) out of the closet and set to work. I started with 28 pairs.

When I was finished, I hung 13 back in the closet, placed 9 in the pile to donate, and put 6 aside to save (because they are just slightly too small). I was feeling pretty good about having cut the amount of pants in half. This photo looks similar to the one above, but if you look closely you'll see there are a lot less hangars in that same space.

Next I pulled out all my shirts . . . all 87 of them!

I piled them all up on the bed, with the colors that I had chosen for my Capsule Wardrobe on the left and the remaining colors on the right.

Things were going pretty smoothly as I choose which items to return to the closet, which ones were destined for the donation box, and which ones I would put in the storage box to save (mostly winter-type shirts).

However, when I got to the pile on the right, the colors I was going to omit from my wardrobe to make my Capsule Wardrobe . . . I just couldn't do it. How could I go an entire season without a red shirt, or blue, or orange, or purple, or even brown for that matter? This was the point that I knew I would never reduce my clothing down to a true Capsule Wardrobe. Total failure!

Or was it? I kept going and sorted the remaining shirts, hanging only 52 of the original 87 back in the closet.

You might have noticed that the hangars are backwards on the bar. This is the trick I'm using to help me see which items I'm actually wearing, and which ones I consistently pass over. In a few months, I'll see which hangars and still backwards and evaluate whether those items still deserve space in the closet!

I took a break at this point because it was midnight. However, Saturday morning I decided to continue going through everything in the closet despite the fact that I wasn't creating a Capsule Wardrobe. I pulled out all my jackets, then my dresses and skirts. Here's a look at the end of the closet before I pulled anything out.

That shoe storage unit on the right was full of gloves and scarves and such. I completely removed it and kept only the few pair of gloves we actually use, along with a couple of scarves and headbands. The rest of it went in the donation box. Now the end of the closet looks like this.

Just for FUN as I was working, I kept a tally of items and notes in my notebook.

I even pulled out all my shoes and sorted them the same way, except these were either keep or donate, nothing for the storage box. These are just my sandals and tennis shoes . . . I did put quite a few pairs in the donate pile!

While I was working on Saturday, Robbie was hanging out in the recliner in the bedroom visiting and encouraging me. He mentioned that he needed to do the same thing with all his clothes. (Yippee!) So, I started the whole process over once my stuff was back in the closet. Pulled out his pants, sorted, re-hung the keepers. . . then his shirts, etc.  We even sorted through his collection of ties!

Each time I removed a section of clothing, I dusted and cleaned that space in the closet. At the end of the day (yes, it took all day), the closet looked and felt so refreshing. And we had over 120 items to take to donate at our local community outreach.

We ended up with one large tote each of clothes to store, ones that are winter clothes (which we won't need until at least November) and a few that almost fit. We'll go through these items again sometime in early fall.

So, although at first I felt like this Capsule Wardrobe experiment was a failure, I realize that it was actually a huge success because we did cull our wardrobe down by about forty percent! And since all the hangars were backwards at the end of the day, we now have a way to tell if we really are wearing all the items we kept. Total success!

What do you think - failure or success?

Today I'm linking up with Cate and her challenge to blog every day in May.


  1. huge success! I need to do the same

  2. Any time you clean, sort, organize and purge---it's a success! Great job!

  3. Total success! I love how you have it all sorted by colour..I bet you have a box of cardstock sorted just like those shirts!

  4. Wow, I love all the colourful shirts in your wardrobe! I think it was a Saturday well-spent.

  5. Total Success! I couldn't live with a few colors I need the whole rainbow. I do use the backward hangar trick. It's a good way to see what you actually wear.

  6. Here's another thinks this is a success - any de-cluttering is a step forwards :). How great that Robbie joined in.

  7. I think you made a success out of it, even if you didn't fulfill the original intention. Clearing closet clutter is hard to do. I hold onto too many things hoping they will fit again one day soon. I need to either make that a reality or just give the stuff away.

  8. Success!!! I don't own nearly so much to begin with, but every time I've hit a new category of clothes this Spring, I've culled the collection. Today was tank tops. I know they are long when I buy them... how do they end up so dang short???

  9. Definitely a success - delighted to see this and hope we get an update on your backward hanger experiment. Does seeing the backward hanger make you hesitate and grab one?

  10. Wow! You did an amazing amount of work and used some great strategies! It looks like this was a great success. Has it helped you feel more ease as you choose your clothes this season?


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