5 Tips to Minimize Your Wardrobe

5 tips to minimize your wardrobe

In September 2021 I moved to a student flat, where I have a closet which is smaller than what I was used to. It has about 10 hangers and 6 shelves. There I put everything, from my shoes to my summer and winter clothing. All the clothes I own. That in itself is a tip to minimize in your closet, just own a very tiny closet haha! Since I have limited space I got rid of even more clothing this past 7 months. There are some principles that I apply to minimize my closet. Today I’ll share them with you. Here are 5 tips to minimize your wardrobe.


The tips I am sharing today aren’t things I’ve learn in these 7 months that I’ve lived in a student flat. From the very start of my sustainability journey it has been a goal to own less. Because well, less stuff meant less negative impact on the planet. In 2018 I already, one of my long-time goals was to own a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe which holds little items and for me it also means that every item in there is one that I adore and wear frequently. Every year I am getting closer to that goal and so I am becoming more of an expert. Today I’ll share all that I’ve learned so far with you, 5 tips to minimize your wardrobe.

1 No fun shopping

I am starting with this tip because this is the most important tip that I have. If I think about my 16-years-old self, I see someone who would list shopping as their hobby. When a friend and I would want to hang out together or do something fun on a Saturday, we’d go into the city center to go shopping. I didn’t go shopping because I needed something, I’d go because I enjoyed shopping. Right now, I have other, more meaningful hobbies. And so, I only go shopping when I really need something. But even then, I first put it on my ‘want’ list and wait a few weeks to see if I really need it. When the answer is yes, then I’ll visit a thrift shop.

If you go shopping without really needing something, you are going to end up buying things you didn’t even know you needed. If you didn’t visit the store, you would have never seen that item. I know thrift shops are fun, I like wandering inside them too. However, if you don’t need anything, you shouldn’t go shopping. And also, if you need something else, don’t visit the clothing section. If you need for example cutlery, then only go to that side of the thrift shop where they sell cutlery. Found it? Pay for it and get out of the story.

2 One in One Out

The chances of you buying something you did not need are very small when you apply the first tip I just mentioned. However, sometimes when you search for something, let’s say a jeans, you accidentally find a cool t-shirt. That happens. The next rule is then, if you buy that t-shirt, to get rid of another t-shirt you already had in your wardrobe. I do this in every category of my wardrobe. If I buy a jeans, I’ll get rid of another jeans. If I buy a t-shirt, I get rid of another t-shirt that was already in my wardrobe. One in, one out. This way your wardrobe will at least keep the same number of items, it never grows.

A lovely consequence of this rule is that the new item you are planning to buy has to be even better than the things you already have in your wardrobe. That’s because this new item will replace one of the old ones. This way the level of how much you like the items will go up and up, until you reach the point where the new t-shirts you see in the store are never better than the ones you already have. And don’t forget, if you get rid of something, do it in a responsible way.

3 have amazing basics

This tip is something I even struggle with myself these days. The tip is to own some great basics that you can literally wear with anything. I struggle with this because I used to do this with basics that were white, black or grey. I thought: that can match with everything. However, my wardrobe ended up being boring. Everything I owned was white, black or grey. The tip is a great tip, but it takes time. In the meantime I have found great basics that aren’t boring but can actually fit with everything. Amazing blue jeans for example, or a pastel-purple jacket. This is something you’ll learn along the way.

4 keep track of what you wear

This tip fits together with tip 3. Since, as you’ll be figuring out what basics are good for you, you’ll also come across clothing you rarely wear. Items that you just always put back in the closet for some reason. The weather is not right, they’re too flashy or you sweat too much in it for example. However, you never realize that you have put back those items 10 times already and never wear them. That’s why it’s good to keep track of what you wear and what you don’t wear.

I go through my closet every once in a while and with every item I think: when was the last time that I’ve worn this? If I can’t remember, I get rid of it. I know this is hard, because it usually are items you actually do like. Trust me, if you get rid of them, you don’t even ever remember they were there. If you have a closet with a hanging system you can easily do this by putting the items from your laundry (the things you’ve worn) on the left side of the rack. After a few weeks, the things on the right side of your rack are the things you don’t wear.

5 diversify

This last tip can be a little bit tricky, because you can read it both ways. If you diversify your wardrobe, there’s always an item, a model, a color, a size of that specific clothing item you don’t have yet. So, there’s always a reason to buy something new, since you don’t own that yet. But obviously, that’s not what I mean here with diversify. I mean it in the sense that you should not buy the same thing twice. That sounds logical, but I know a lot of people who do not apply this rule. I myself used to own more than one pair of white sneakers, more than one pair of blue skinny-jeans, more than one denim jacket, more than one blazer, etc.

Try not to own double items. I mean, yes, you can own more than one pants, obviously. However, you do not need more than one flared jeans, more than one skinny-jeans, more than one boyfriend jeans, more than one mom jeans, know what I am saying? Same goes for other clothing groups. Not more than one high-neck sweater, not more than one hoody, not more than one long-sleeved sweater, etc. I only make one exception for this rule: t-shirts. I do own multiple t-shirts. But with other categories, like dresses, I diversify. I do not own two dresses that are the same model.

So, these were 5 tips to minimize your wardrobe! These 5 tips have helped me to minimize my wardrobe quite a bit. I hope they can be of great help for you.

What did you think of these 5 tips to minimize your wardrobe?

Yours sincerely,

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