The Guide to Simplifying Your Life
1. Buy enough for 2 cycles of laundry
Sounds counterintuitive, as I should be telling you to NOT buy more things, but practically speaking, you might miss your weekly cycle (what!? it’s happened to me), and underwear is kind of a big deal.
I’d buy at least 16 pairs of underwear so you can switch out daily, and have a few to spare.
This goes for your t-shirts and tops. If you feel you’d change your top every day, then at least 14-16 tops are in order, not including sweaters, coats, jackets and whatever else you might need.
You could always make a concerted effort to wear less underwear by doing laundry more often, or washing your underwear in the sink in between laundry loads (yes, I’ve actually done this, and not just while I was traveling).
2. Keep “tidy”
By “tidy”, I don’t mean making sure your home looks like a show home and show closet, but more that your piles of clothes are semi-organized.
By that, I offer up this example: draping your clothes over the backs of chairs.
Or use a coat rack to hang up your clothes.
I don’t know where I picked up this habit, but I love it. I know you’re not supposed to leave your clothes draped over anything, but I’ll leave my jeans or trousers out if I am planning on wearing them the following day or week.
I just don’t like putting things away if I need to use it again (call it laziness, I also don’t like making my bed).
What I don’t do, is leave my coat or other items all over the place. I hang up my coats and jackets, I keep my scarves and gloves in the same spot, and if a pile starts getting out of control, I either start hanging up things, or putting them into the “Wash” pile.
The minute I enter my home, I separate my clothes into: “Wear again” or “Wash”.
Underwear, socks, and tops usually go into the “Wash” pile, and the rest such as my trousers go into the “Wear again” pile.
3. Organize your clothes in a logical manner
Halter tops together, Short-sleeved tops together, long-sleeved tops next, and so on.
This makes things easier to find, if you know what you’re looking for.
You can always go a step farther and sort it by colour (which I enjoy doing).
I also keep all of my purses together in one area, my underwear gets tossed into a box (no I don’t fold it), and my jewellery in one area instead of all over the place, or hidden into purses or other strange places.
4. Choose the right clothes for yourself
A double-duty dress that transforms into 5? Sign me up.
One of my favourite tops is one that turns inside out to be a different colour and a different trim.
I love that I can switch up my look with just a flip! (See tank top above in brown trimmed in aqua on the right)
I also don’t suggest chasing trends unless you can turn them into something that can be worn as a classic but quirky piece in your wardrobe.
I’d put skinny jeans in this category. I spent years without a pair of skinny pants, until I bought a pair, and now I can’t stop wearing them with my knee-high boots.
I’d steer clear of things that are unflattering in fit, colour, cut or style. I know for example, that I cannot wear colours that are too pale, unless they’re pale neutrals.
I stay away from muddy-coloured colours (khaki, army green, taupes, browns), and go for stronger colours such as jewel-toned clothing, or shades of grey. I know what works and I stick to it.
Choosing the right items that work for you, will also help you have less to pick up & organize!
That leaves you with more space, which is far better than a cluttered, still-newly-tagged, and stuffed wardrobe where you can’t find anything and end up only wearing 10% of your items.
5. Wear different jewellery as a substitute for having more clothes
My laziest trick is to just switch my jewellery or my accessories.
A plain black t-shirt? Add a belt and some earrings, and it isn’t so boring any longer.
Little tricks like that make me happy because accessories tend to be cheaper than new clothes, they pack and travel better, and they don’t take up as much space.
6. Keep a smaller collection of makeup
Impossible for beauty addicts, but I’ve found that a small range of eyeshadows is more than enough to satisfy my makeup needs because I don’t normally stray beyond neutral palettes, so why have multiples?
That seems to be more than enough for me.
(See image below)
7. Contain all the small things
Containers for small items like watches or jewellery will be a lot less time consuming than trying to search for them when they’re scattered about.
I have a post on how to organize jewellery here, here and here.
For makeup, I use pencil organizers (or something similar) to put my eyeliners and makeup brushes in, so they aren’t scattered about.