Daily Declutter: One In, Two Out

From my declutter session 2 weeks ago, I found two unused clothes that have been sitting in my closet for almost a year now – a black buttondown shirt from Everlane and a black dress from Uniqlo. I remember buying those because I said I had to build the basic elements of my wardrobe.

Was I wrong. I never even removed the tag.

If you’re asking if they’re part of my give-away/resell list, unfortunately no. I decided to keep them because they perfectly fit my three-point “keep list” criteria:

  • They’re within the grayscale color theme of my wardrobe
  • They’re classic-cut pieces, and
  • They’re easy to transition from formal to walwal

I feel this situation can be somewhat considered buying new stuff since they are practically unused. I felt guilty, to be honest. I’m down to just 191 items (175 clothes, 16 shoes) and by keeping these 2, I’ll be up again to 193 (if you round that up to the nearest hundred, that’d be 200).

But then it dawned on me. If I’m really keen on keeping it, and if I feel it really has a place in my closet, then it should actually replace more than one existing item. That’s when I thought of this new principle that can make my decluttering both manageable and intentional: One item in, two items out.

Putting this into action, I immediately raided my closet again and looked for replacements for the two new items. I challenged myself further actually. To put a place for the Everlane shirt, I took out 4 tops. While for the black dress, it took the place of 3 mini (!!!!) skirts (echoserang frog).

This is actually not only applicable to newly-bought stuff. It can also be applied to other existing pieces in my closet – like for instance, I have 4 gray sweatshirts right now. I technically don’t need the other 3 since 1 can do the job. This mini-declutter session has brought my item count down to 186 from 191. Congrats, Tima. 🙂

I keep on saying this in my previous posts, but it’s very liberating to become intentional even in the littlest things, like knowing what the purpose and value of that gray shirt in my life. The whole point of minimalism is having the perspective and knowledge of what is important, meaningful, and aligned to who we truly are. Because we are removing the clutter, our human bandwidth is shifted to the things closest to what we aspire in life.