Becoming Clutter-Free While Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

April 26, 2015 Book Review 13

Becoming Clutter-Free While Creating a Capsule WardrobeThe Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Published by Ten Speed Press on October 14th, 2014
Genres: Non-Fiction
Pages: 207
Format: Hardcover
Source: purchased
AmazonBarnes & Noble


Since purchasing The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’ve been digesting bite-sized pieces in preparation for a giant overhaul.  Part of my hesitancy in diving into the KonMari concept was that we were moving and renovating our little cabin in the woods.  We are still renovating, so I’ve been mindful of everything I’ve put into the cabin.  My sweetheart; however, has not bought completely into the Kondo method – he’s pretty much the king of pack rats!

Recently, my oldest, Erica, turned me onto the capsule wardrobe, which goes hand-in-hand with the Kondo method.  If you’re thinking {like I did} that a capsule wardrobe is similar to a time capsule you’d only be marginally correct.  Caroline at developed a whole blog around her capsule wardrobe and included handy dandy worksheets for those of us new to the concept.

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo’s method of clearing out and cleaning up and if you’re in the market for changing your life, then you need to pick up this tiny book that packs a powerful punch!

[Tweet “If you’re in the market for a life-change, pick up this tiny book that packs a powerful punch!”]

From Japan, Marie Kondo’s claim to fame is helping individuals organize their homes, clear out clutter and ultimately become more productive.

I’ve culled, de-cluttered and donated virtually my whole life it seems, and still, I have allowed the clutter to build up time and time again.  Thinking back to when my kids were much younger and all at home, we would go through cycles of de-cluttering and donating their toys and my books and having just about a day of a blissfully clean and clutter-free home.

In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Kondo has developed a specific method to organization and de-clutter that has worked so well for herself and her clients that she can boast to NO client ever falling off the proverbial wagon.  Wow! That is what I call an incredible success.

In her book, Kondo goes into a bit of history of how she came up with her clutter-free method.  It’s interesting to read how alike yet also how different the Japanese culture is from American.  One of the similarities is how we all find ourselves bogged down with clutter and “stuff”  I daresay this has become a universal problem the world over.

With all that said, in my circular Southern manner I promise I’m getting to the point!

My daughters and I have challenged each other to develop our own capsule wardrobes and create a bit of breathing room into our lives.

Using the worksheet and the following questions from Kondo’s book, I have started creating my Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe! I’m saying Spring/Summer because if you’re  at all familiar with Georgia you’ll recall that come about May the temperature is hot and by July it is suffocatingly hot and muggy and stays that way through October.  So rather than creating a 3-month wardrobe, it made more sense for mine to cover about 6 months or May – October.

In the chapter ‘Tidying by Category Works Like Magic’ we learn to begin with our clothes in the KonMari method; starting with shirts.  Laying out all of our shirts on the floor and then picking each one up individually and asking the question “does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

How does this actually translate into the idea of a capsule wardrobe?

I’ve planned out 46 items that I need in my closet.  Now, once I’ve selected those 46 items out of my current clothes and purchased any items that I’m missing, then I’m on a clothes-spending freeze for the next 6 months.  I won’t need to shop for clothes because I will have a good number of outfits already planned out.  It’s a bit of work on the outset, but I really think having these outfits figured out will save me time in the long run and be so incredibly liberating.

Below is the list of items I decided I would need for the next 6 months.  I’m going ‘shopping’ in my closet this week and packing up what I want to go through for my Fall/Winter wardrobe and donating the rest.  This way, I will only have 46 items on display in my closet.  I also plan to take some photos of outfits I’ve got on hand and tape to the inside of my closet; thus the effortless/easy part of my wardrobe!

My Go To Pieces:

  • 1 boot leg jean
  • 3 capris {jean, khaki, white}
  • 3 shorts {jean, khaki, white}
  • 2 sundresses
  • 2 shift dresses
  • 10 shoes
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 2 cover ups
  • 10 shirts
  • 2 lightweight jackets {jean & ?}
  • 2 purses {red small one + tote}
  • 3 workout pants/shorts
  • 4 workout tops

46 total pieces!

I’ve always been a shirt and jeans and, even more recently, a yoga pants and tank top kind-of-gal, but in this year of living deliberately and adjusting to being an empty nester + young grandmother + I can’t raid my daughters’ closets anymore, it’s probably time I get deliberate in an effortless, comfortable style that is ‘me’ instead of always wearing the latest thrift store find. {whew! what a long run-on sentence! forgive my lack of grammar!}  Also, according to Marie Kondo “If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image.”

This time next weekend I’ll have some images for you.  If you’d like to follow my process of cleaning, clearing, and organizing follow me on Instagram or Facebook.  I’d love to know if you’ve ever considered a capsule wardrobe or if you’ve got one currently {my daughters and I can use all the tips we can get!}.

and if you haven’t picked up Marie Kondo’s book, it’s an education in Japanese culture, organization and a darn good resource to have on hand if you’re tidying up your home, closets or life.

13 Responses to “Becoming Clutter-Free While Creating a Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    I love this post! I’ve heard some kooky things about Kondo’s book, but I love the capsule wardrobe concept. I’ve been following Unfancy since last fall, and it’s definitely helped improve my closet! I love that my closet only contains seasonally appropriate items that I love, and it has helped me be more intentional with my purchases; instead of impulse-buying things at the mall that I’ll be sick of in a few months, I’m buying just a few, higher-quality items that I have thought carefully about.
    Leah @ Books Speak Volumes recently posted…It’s Monday, April 27! What Are You Reading?My Profile

    • Stacy (The Novel Life)

      can you believe it was not until my daughter pointed it out that I heard the capsule wardrobe concept and learned of the successful un-fancy site! I’m thinking I must live under a rock!

      Oh and I can so relate to your statement about buying fewer but higher quality items ~ today was first day in a very very long time that I went into Target and did not buy a single article of clothing. I was so proud of myself!

      there are some kooky aspects to Kondo’s book but I chalked it up to culture and looked at it as a learning lesson…I’m not sure why it didn’t bother me as much as some reviews I’ve read. Maybe because I’ve had quite a bit of training in cultural diversity? not sure but the main concept is helpful and useful . . .just takes a while to digest it!

      would love to know if you ever give the book a try!
      Stacy (The Novel Life) recently posted…Becoming Clutter-Free While Creating a Capsule WardrobeMy Profile

  2. Trish

    So timely!! I’m currently reading through this book and just recently ran into capsule wardrobes for the first time last week. I’m definitely intrigued by the idea and have been trying to shop in my own closet and put together actual outfits (rather than jeans and a tee like normal) from what I already own. I still have two-thirds of the book to read but I know I need to get down to business. Though I recently heard that Kondo is expecting. As a mother of two littles, I can’t wait to see how that baby changes her tidy house. 😉

    Look forward to seeing more!!
    Trish recently posted…Right Now I Am… [4.28.2015]My Profile

  3. Tara @ Running 'N' Reading

    Stacy, another friend of mine read this one and was telling me some things about it; I love this idea of a capsule wardrobe! Does she give you tips on how to go about building this? I may have to pick up this book…not a lot of time for reading outside of what I’ve already planned to review, but it might be worth it! I hate having too much stuff! Thanks so much for sharing this; will definitely be watching out for your pictures on social media!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…The Wonder Garden by Lauren AcamporaMy Profile

  4. guiltless reading

    I loved this book too! I’m going to do the big “dispose” as a summer project. I haven’t gotten as far as thinking of capsule wardrobes but I guess that it will just be a matter of time, so it’s nice to see someone who is actually doing it. Have you ever read The Minimalist Mom? I first heard the term “capsule wardrobe” here. Linking her up as you may find it useful:
    guiltless reading recently posted…TED Talks Every Book Blogger Should Watch: On Adichie & The Danger of a Single StoryMy Profile

  5. Lisa

    This seems like a great plan. My problem is always that I have to have a work and a “home” wardrobe. In the summer they can mix better because I can wear capris to work so I try to find capris that are work appropriate but there’s still the problem of shirts. And heaven help me but I do love to layer!
    Lisa recently posted…The Bone Tree by Greg Iles – A Guest ReviewMy Profile

    • Stacy (The Novel Life)

      Lisa I feel your pain! Layers are a necessity here in Georgia, especially in the summer when it’s so hot and muggy outside but stepping inside it’s usually about 10 below! I liked one of the suggestions I read on a blog somewhere {I can’t remember which one} but it was suggested to have a color theme with your wardrobe. I had one but didn’t even really realize it til I started to going through my clothes – khaki, whites, grays, & multi-colored tops. Anything that didn’t fit within those parameters {and that I found I wasn’t wearing at all} went into the donate bin. I think that concept helped me more than just about any other.
      Stacy (The Novel Life) recently posted…Young Adult Summer Audiobook Program ~ and IT’S FREE!My Profile

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