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When I first started my professional career, I appeared to have a minimalist closet, Unfortunately, my jeans and sweatshirts from college days were no longer appropriate for the office life. Two hundred dollars later, I accumulated a couple sweaters that I wore with black pants, black shoes, and a handful of different blouses that added some color to my outfit.
At the time, I was self conscious of my wardrobe wishing I had the wide variety of nice clothes other ladies in the office had. However multiple people commented on the simplicity of my style, relating to individuals like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and President Obama who wore the same outfit every day. Have you ever considered wearing the same style every day? Have you considered the benefits of simplifying your closet for your wallet, your capacity for decision making, or the time you could allocate to more productive tasks, like starting a side business?
5 Ways Minimizing Your Closet Can Make You Money
At the end of the day, time is money, and we spend a significant amount of both managing our clothes. How much could you earn by reducing the variety of what you wear?
1. Spend Less Money
If we buy less clothing, we will spend less money. When we have a closet filled with very specific items, we won’t purchase clothes unless something we already own is worn out. Not only will you save that money, but if you choose to invest what you don’t spend, you could earn a passive income for the future. If we instead invest one hundred dollars per month for ten years, we will accumulate $17,105 assuming we invest and earn 7% returns. Over $5,000 of that total is interest earned, which will only to grow higher in the future thanks to compounding interest.
2. Make Less Decisions
We are complex individuals, and are paid money for our ability to make decisions that can not be automated. Our minds are extremely valuable. By reducing the number of decisions we need to make everyday, we reserve more of our mental capacity for the important stuff. Simplifying our closets grants us the ability to spend more time processing a key issue at work. By using that mental capacity to solve real problems, we can earn that raise or promotion we’ve had our eyes on.
3. Save Time Selecting Outfits
In addition to saving our mental capacity for decision making, we are also saving time. How many mornings have you stared at your closet, putting on clothes only to take them off and try on something else? I’ll admit, going through two pregnancies, I have done this more than most since half of my closet did not fit at any given point in time.
How much time have you spent searching for the specific pair of shoes that goes with the outfit you want to wear? Or try on multiple blazers to ensure the one you want to wear matches the blouse you are wearing? Some people will lay out their clothes the night before to reduce the impact on their morning routine, but if we wear the same clothes every day, we free up that time in the evening as well.
4. Save Time Sorting and Washing Clothes
Personally, I like to wear a fleece jacket or a sweater over a lightweight shirt. I then wear the jacket or sweater few times before I wash it. Not wanting to wear the same clothes twice in a row, I find myself with a pile of once worn clothing on my bathroom counter, waiting for their full use before running in the washer. When I want to tidy up, I wash them anyway so that I’m not hanging “dirty” clothes in my closet. By simplifying my closet, I would wear the same jacket two or three days in a row, or a few times that week and prevent the temptation to wash after only one use. Our washer recently broke for three weeks and I was forced into this habit and impressed by the reduction of laundry to manage.
5. Save Time Shopping
If we have a specific set of clothes in your closet, we only go shopping when we need to replace something. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of shopping anyway, because I would rather use this valuable time to do something I consider productive. When we save time not shopping, washing, or picking out clothes, we can use these hours of our day to do something that earns us an income. Potentially start a side gig, or maybe even use that time to give back and volunteer. Maybe this only results in a few hours a week, but that’s a few hours that you can now commit to a new hobby that eventually will earn you a side income.
My Story and Inspiration
In recent years, I’ve added more to my minimalist closet and find myself spending extra time matching clothes, and deciding what to wear. As I go through my closet, outfits I decide not to wear that day are discarded to the side. When traveling, I spend extra time packing and bringing more with me than I actually need, just in case. I spend more time deciding what outfit is most appropriate for an event and washing and rewashing clothes I don’t wear often to keep them from the musty closet smell.
My recent inspiration to revisit my wardrobe is from Project 333, where individuals are challenged to wear the same 33 items for 3 weeks. In addition, I recently saw another challenge with Wool& where women are challenged to take selfies wearing the same dress for 100 days in exchange for a $100 gift card. While one dress for 100 days seems extreme, 33 items should be more realistic, and a goal I have set for 2021.
Questions to Consider
- Have you considered incorporating a minimalist wardrobe?
- Do you need to account for different situations?
- Do you spend time outside and need to account for different seasons?
- What does your children’s closet look like? Do you spend time finding the coordinating pieces of a matching baby outfit?
- What challenges do you face?
Comment below, I’d love to hear about your story! Interested in subscribing to future posts about financial independence, minimalism, and happiness from a mom’s perspective?