Sharing why I am committing to only add 23 items to my closet in 2023, how I plan to do it and share progress along the way, and what I hope to get out of it.
Simplicity. Intention. Contentment. I’ve been thinking a lot about this in various areas of my life. What it means, what it looks like. Where I focus and what I focus on.
Way back when, this blog used to focus nearly exclusively on style and fashion. Tons of outfit posts (dare you to browse through the archives ha!), style challenges, monthly spending recaps, you name it. So it seems fitting that focusing on my closet is a great place to start when it comes to these concepts.
That said, I wanted to share one of the goals I have for next year: to add 23 items to my wardrobe in 2023. I figure if I share it “out loud” and in public, it will help hold me accountable, help me focus even more on being intentional with less.
A 23 item goal feels right for me. It’s low enough that I have to prioritize and be really mindful of what I bring into my wardrobe. It leaves me room to count both wardrobe essentials and replacements, but also has some room for “fun” updates.
A little background:
I love shopping. I love new clothes. I love scoring a great deal. Which means I always had a full closet. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come a LONG way from when I started blogging in terms of buying with intention, defining my style, etc. It’s been several years of me making an intentional effort, but I still think I can improve quite a bit.)
But with two kiddos and my career, volunteer/leadership roles, housework, faith, fitness, family & friends and all the things, I felt like I lost a bit of control in this area. I wanted something to feel effortless. So, I started with my closet because I have complete control over it. I purged quite a bit and think this challenge will help with my shopping habit moving forward.
I want to eliminate the excess, knowing what I need based on my season of life with work/kids, etc., what fits me best and is my style, what I truly love, etc. Having options isn’t “freeing,” it actually does the opposite I’ve come to realize. I don’t need to buy the same item in multiple colors, or have what is super trendy at the moment, or try to justify buying something for a one-time “special” occasion or event that I’ll convince myself I’ll wear again but never do. Or buy because it was on sale, got it for a great deal, etc. The list goes on…can you relate?
About my purge:
I worked in sections (dresses, drawers, hangers, etc.) over the month of December, and took everything out, tried it on and sorted into 3 piles:
1) for clothing swap or donate
2) sell (listed on Poshmark)
3) wardrobe purgatory (items I don’t want to part with quite yet, am still deciding)
Each got it’s own bin, and they are packed away in the basement, out of sight, out of mind for the time being. I’ll plan to host a clothing swap in the next few months, and donate whatever isn’t taken my friends/family at that time.
Talk about being brutally honest– sharing photos to show how things just piled up. My husband and I share a closet, and I have the hanging areas you see here, along with another section (not pictured) for dresses/jumpsuits, and then we have two dressers we share.
By drawer, I store: underwear/socks/bras, swimwear & PJs, sweaters/sweatshirts and workout gear (tanks, tees, shorts and leggings). Note: the closet is post-December purge. So the items you see on hangers are the ones I love and reach for most often.
How I plan to do it:
For me personally, it works best to count every single thing as a wardrobe addition (gifted items, replacement of items for damage or size changes, shoes, outerwear, workout gear.) I knew if I allowed myself some “passes” I’d likely lean towards adding more than needed.
I do not count undergarments, but kept to a minimum as necessary.
I have a notebook where I’ll keep my notes, including items I am pondering purchasing, along with wardrobe purchases (and, consequently, items that leave my closet). I’ll plan to document my purchases on the blog and on Instagram to hold me accountable to the #23in2023. I’ll plan to write a post each month with items I added, learnings, etc. Then I’ll look back and recap how it went at the end of the year.
I look forward to styling the items I have. I have pinned so many outfits of items I own or look similar to help me remix my closet. That will help me resist the urge to buy something, especially in these first few months when that urge is still strong to start. But I do think as I streamline my closet more and only add pieces I am intentional about, the process of picking out an outfit will get even easier still.
What I hope to learn:
In 2023, I feel 23 items is a great amount for me. It’s enough to add fun/trendy pieces along with essentials. But definitely low enough that I have to really think about what my wardrobe priorities are and how I want to fill those slots.
I hope to walk away this year with MORE:
-of a streamlined closet that I actually love and wear
-money that can be better used elsewhere
-mental energy for those around me
-settled in my style
-decisions on what to wear as a result of simplifying
-items not being worn in my closet
-to organize, store, hunt for and return
-time wasted (and therefore guilt) either hunting for a deal, impulse buying based on what I saw an influencer promoted, or ordering items and doing the returns, etc.
Here’s to #23in2023!
I’d love to hear if you are considering something similar. Or if you have questions! Let’s support each other!
A huge inspiration for the #23in2023 is Paige at @stylethislife. I highly encourage you to follow her and check out her highlights. She has done something similar over the past few years and her tips, thoughts, authenticity is wonderfully uplifting. Check her out!
Kelly Kwilosz says
Oooh! That is so exciting and seems like quite the challenge! I had the workings of a decent capsule wardrobe prior to the pandemic but it all went to pot. I’m trying to figure out what capsule will work with the variety of activities we do seasonally as well as a good seasonal wardrobe. Decided I have to start from scratch again! Looking forward to following you on your journey.
It will definitely be a challenge! I can understand what you mean about the varying seasons and all the fun adventures you guys do which would require a range of key pieces. I think it’s great to start with a clean slate and really be intentional with what is truly needed–you already have identified that you need not only seasonal stuff but things for the activities which is a big part of this I think! Thanks for your support, sending lots of love!!