Living Small & Clothing

Where I Stand With Clothing

I wouldn’t consider myself a “high maintenance” person, in the least. I mean, I can get picky with certain things, and I do have my preferences.

However, I don’t believe that I am the type of person who HAS to have the best of the best, or to have everything that an actual high maintenance person might expect. I don’t go out and buy the most expensive jeans, or shirts… or any type of article of clothing, really. In fact, when I clothes shop – it’s my goal to spend the LEAST amount that I can. I think over $20 for ANY article of clothing is pretty much TOO MUCH. So, you be the judge…. Do I sound like a “high maintenance” person?

Generally speaking though, most women that I know, myself included… DO like to have a decent sized wardrobe full of clothes, shoes, accessories, bags, jewelry, etc… (even if they aren’t designer clothes or shoes, and even if they include inexpensive costume jewelry).

My Focus for Today

Today, I’m going to focus more on the “clothing” part of all of this, but I have always enjoyed having the flexibility of having lots of combinations of clothes and shoes to match with each other, and to create a variety of adorable and cute outfits that compliment one another.

When we made the ‘finalized’ decision that we were going to ‘go small’ and live on the road full time in our RV, I just KNEW that I couldn’t bring all of the clothes that I had, with me. Something had to be done about my extensive clothing collection. AND…. I was DREADING getting rid of clothes, and therefore losing the ability and the luxury of more space, to keep more things, that create more outfits.

What I Dreaded about “Living Small” in Relation to “Clothes”

So, clothes were one of the LAST things that I forced myself to go through, and part with. I bet it’s not too obvious at how much I was dreading this part of the packing….

For as long as I can remember, I have always had multiple pairs of shoes because each pair would go with various multiple outfits. I would have certain colored clothing, that matched with certain other similar clothing, and the thought of getting rid of some of those, felt daunting to me. I knew that in reducing the amount of clothing that I had, it would significantly limit the amount of outfit pairs that I could create and wear.

I also knew that living out in the RV, we would be outside a lot, and hiking quite a bit. So, I knew that I would for sure need clothing that would be sufficient for hiking. Conflicting those thoughts, were the thoughts I was having, that I really like to look cute, and dress up as often as I can. I like to pick out and wear jewelry, and match the jewelry to my outfit, and have cute shoes to go along with that.

Would getting rid of a lot of my clothes make this nearly impossible? I was beginning to question that, and wonder if I would still be able to dress up, and look cute, or if I would always look like I was about to go on hikes, all throughout our RV road trip around the country.

The time to leave and get on the road very quickly approached, and we knew we didn’t have much time left. My closet was still full of clothes, and I was soon gonna have to make some decisions.

How I Ended Up with Less Clothes

So, I decided to go through my closet, and make various piles with my clothing. As I sorted through the closet, I tried everything on again, to make sure they still fit, and to see if they were something that I wanted to keep.

As I went through each item of the closet, I had some things to ponder, which included:

Some Things to Think About

  • Does this item of clothing still fit me?

  • Have I worn this in the last year, and more importantly, can I picture myself wearing this while full-time traveling?

  • Does this article of clothing need any other article of clothing to go along with it? (such as is it a sleeveless dress, that I will for sure need a cardigan, or a t-shirt to wear underneath it, for instance). I tried to keep the things that didn’t need more than one piece, just to keep the amount of clothes I was taking as minimal as I could. I did bring cardigans and sweaters with me, for sleeveless shirts and dresses, but I tried to limit the amount of sleeveless items that I owned. (I forgot to mention… I do not care to wear sleeveless things, if that wasn’t an obvious thing to tell!)

  • Does this article of clothing match with any other article’s of clothing I would like to keep and wear?

  • How do I feel about this item? Do I LOVE this article of clothing? If not, then perhaps it is time to place it in the donate or ‘sell’ pile.

I went through each piece of clothing, and decided if it fit, if it matched, if it was simple and whether or not it needed another article of clothing, in order to wear it, and I decided on if I felt like I LOVED it, or was ready to let someone else love it.

We had a couple of garage sales (which we noticed, clothes didn’t sell very well, for some odd reason), and we also donated a bunch of clothes.

What We Do Now: On The Road in the RV

Now that we are on the road, each of us have a suitcase, and our suitcases are what we consider to be our ‘dressers’.

Each time we do laundry, we all pitch in, and help each other sort and fold all of the clothes. All of the fresh folded clothes go into our luggages.

We have had somewhat of an issue with wrinkling, but I’ll save that for another post. (It’s quite annoying though, and I really dislike wrinkles, to say the least!)

We have all reduced the amount of clothing that we own, in preparation for this Road trip, and we still feel like we have too much. However, it it so much more simplified – because instead of having a closet full of way too many pieces of clothing, now we just have 1 carry on size suitcase, each, to contend with. They really hold quite a bit less, than a full closet does. It’s quite amazing how much you can stuff into one, but it’s also quite amazing how small they are compared to the average closet.

So, I have a little confession to make. I’m the ONLY one in the entire family, who didn’t have enough room in the one luggage for my clothes. (hey, I’ve got dresses that take up space, and cardigans, and I just had to bring boots, flip flops, hiking shoes, hiking sandles, etc…) So, I found THESE on Amazon, which are considered “Clothing Cubes”, and let me tell you – they ROCK!

I have one for extra shirts, one for pants/shorts/capri’s, one for ‘over shirts/cardigans, one for socks and undies, as well as one for dresses and skirts. Having the clothing cubes has helped me out quite a bit, and has really lengthened the lifespan of my poor luggage.

One thing that I’ve learned more about, and haven’t COMPLETELY switched over to one of these myself, but am trying to learn more about, and might potentially create one for myself in the near future, is a CAPSULE WARDROBE. Ever heard of that?

Well, as Catherine from The Blissful Mind explains (in her own words), a Capsule Wardrobe is a wardrobe of clothes that includes only clothing items that match well with a few other articles of clothing, so that you can pretty much wear anything from the wardrobe, and it will match, and because of that, you don’t NEED to have a ton of clothes. Having one of each in the ‘matching’ or complimentary color scheme will increase the amount of outfits that will go together, but will simultaneously reduce the total amount of clothes one owns.

SO WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS?

There are some things that you can consider, if you’re wondering where to go from here, with your own clothes. Whether you’re going to be living full-time on the road, moving to a small/tiny home, or just simply wanting to reduce how much you own…. Here are some things for you to consider, and think about:

  • Only own what you love, and cherish. All things that you own, should bring you joy. If something doesn’t, then you don’t need it anymore. You’ve probably outgrown it, or just aren’t that into it. Donate it. Sell it. Simplify your life.

  • Only own what FITS you. If an article of clothing does not fit you RIGHT NOW, then you should probably get rid of it. The only exception is if it is very sentimental, and you would regret not having it, KEEP IT. Or, if it is a motivational piece of clothing that you are keeping as a reminder of why you’re trying to get healthy, lose inches/pounds, or as a ‘reward’ for hard work – then KEEP IT. If it doesn’t meet those criteria, and especially if it doesn’t fit, it should probably go.

  • Consider researching CAPSULE WARDROBES. If you want to reduce the amount of clothing you own, make a point to have items that go/match with other items, so you can pair more clothes up, and only need those certain items.

  • Have some pants, shirts, and shoes that go with anything and everything. The ones that don’t, probably won’t be around for too much longer.

  • Pick top 5 favorites of everything. Top 5 shirts, pants, skirts/dresses, shoes, etc…

  • Have at least 7 pairs of underwear and socks, so you have one for every day,before needing to wash again.

So how about you….

Do you consider yourself to be “high maintenance?”

Do you already have a successful “Capsule Wardrobe”?

Are you trying to, or wanting to reduce the amount of clothing that you have, to live ‘smaller?’

Let us know! We’d LOVE to hear from you.

This post was written for inclusion in the June 2019 collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series. And if there is a topic you’d like to see us write about, let us know! 

Little Bungalow–  “Drawers Open: Kids’ Clothes”: Saving my sanity (and laundry quarters) living with a little girl who loves to dress up.
Small Home Family– “One Tine Home, One Family Closet” : How do you fit four peoples’ clothes into a home with only one closet? 
Deeper Meaning Travels– “Living Small & Clothing”: See how this full-time RV and roadschooling family lives small, when it comes to clothing.

Published by Annie

Wife - Mother - Daughter - Sister - Traveler - Photographer - Videographer - Dreamer - Goal Setter - Go Getter - Educator - Blogger - Mental Health Advocate - Adventure Seeker

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