We've been on quite a mission here in the SNS house. Downsizing clothes is something of a task really, especially when clothing is something of a need over a want. But the difference is controlling what wants we think we need and actually keeping our clothing to minimum. And it is easier than it seems.
Some minimalist stick to the 333 Rule, or the 30 for 30 (30 x 30), but others might stick to a stricter regimen of clothing rules and only keep maybe 20-30 items. Those items would include; shoes, belts, and other accessories that are needed to get through your weeks. For example, having three black dresses may seem practical, but when you're only wearing one and the other two just sit in your closet, the practicality of it all seems redundant.
We have adopted the backward hanger approach, after downsizing a lot. The Mr. has even been able to let go if his hockey jersey collection in the process-a total of seven jerseys. His loose plan for them was to wear them to hockey games, or hang onto them for memories of hockey games he had been at in the past. The problem was, we haven't been to a hockey game in over eight years, and his memories of the games are just that, memories and a few pictures in the photo box. So letting go of them was the best plan. -Which is a big deal-really. The Mr. and I both never push each other to let go of things that the other feels shouldn't be held onto. We give each other ample time to let go of our "precious" things in our own time. It does come, it just take a bit longer to let go of some things. I feel the key to minimizing with a family is to not push the other. The Bean's baby items were something I've held onto for 13 years now, but in the long run, I have cut back from two large totes to a small bag of little things that I just can't let go of. The Mr. has a few things that he is holding onto and we are both okay with that.
Letting go of the little things has been bit of a struggle and we really do have a ways to go still in our house. Clothing-which includes, for us, shirts, pants, socks, undies, shoes, pajamas, ties, etc., have all been downsized over the course of the last year, and organized to who needs what and why. If an article of clothing hasn't been given reason for keeping, out it goes. We donate what we can't use or make a reason to keep it in our home.
Here's a breakdown of what we have done so far. This may work for you, or the other plans may be something you could use to help you break down your clothing. FYI: This plan works for kids and teenagers too. Teaching them what's important is what's important.
• Shirts: Two for dress Five for t-shirts/other
• Pants: Two for dress Three for other (jeans, etc.)
• Socks: Five for regular wear Two for boot/warmth/wool
• Undies: Eight total (sometimes this slips up to 10, but no more than that)
• Shoes: Five total (still working on pairing down, but it's a work in progress)
• Pajamas: Two total
• Ties: Two total (The Mr. let go of all of his ties, but The Bean still has two)
If you were keeping count, the total here is 36. I feel we could do a bit better, but for now this is what works for us.
One more thing, we don't store or separate warm and cold weather clothing in our house. We hang, or fold all of them together. and that's the total number of all of our clothing for all seasons.
Hopefully, these tips can help you gain some control of your clothing during your minimizing process. The best advice we can give from the SNS house is to not give into consumerism and buy things you don't need, you don't really want, and stop trying to impress other people with your clothing. It will always leave you feeling like you and nothing you wear is enough. Be practical, think practical, and live practical.