Minimalism is a way of life that helps you to focus on the most important things while eliminating excess clutter from your life that doesn’t serve you. When it comes to your wardrobe, having a minimalist closet can help you save space, time, and money on clothing you likely won’t wear very often. Practicing a minimalist lifestyle also helps to save the environment by reducing waste.

Your wardrobe should make you feel confident and stress-free every time you get dressed. The clothes you wear should also be functional, which allows you to get more out of every item you purchase. A study of 2,000 American adults found that 28% of the items in their closets go unworn, and most people wear 20% of their closets 80% of the time. Read on to learn more about how you can start a capsule wardrobe and have a minimalist closet to help you become more frugal and conscious of the things you consume.

Table of Contents

The benefits of a minimalist wardrobe

Downsizing tips

  1. Donate
  2. Recycle
  3. Keep

Maintaining your downsized wardrobe

The benefits of a minimalist wardrobe

There are many benefits to downsizing your closet and having a minimalist wardrobe. Some of these benefits include:

You’ll save space

Downsizing your closet to a simple capsule wardrobe can save you tons of space. You’ll no longer have to deal with all the clutter that comes with a closet stocked full of extra shoes, dresses, jeans, or sweaters. Having more room in your closet gives you room to breathe, and you’ll be able to enjoy using this space more. If you have a walk-in closet, keeping it minimal gives you room to get dressed, look in the mirror, and simply enjoy using your closet the way it was intended.

It improves self-care

Not only does having a minimalist closet improve your space, but it also improves your mental health and well-being. You’ll feel much better mentally by getting rid of the clothing items that don’t serve you. Take some time to go through your closet and get rid of items you no longer wear or things that no longer fit you. You’ll get a fresh start and a brand-new lease on life when you pick out items that you truly love and eliminate the things you don’t. It also helps you to feel more confident when you’re wearing items that fit you nicely and that look great when you wear them.

Minimalism saves money

Keeping a capsule wardrobe is great for those who live a frugal lifestyle. You won’t waste your hard-earned money buying fast fashion items that will likely fall apart after just a few washes. Buy only the pieces of clothing that you truly love and invest in higher quality items that will last longer. Choose clothes that are easy to mix and match with other pieces to get more wear from each piece. Over time, you’ll notice that you’re spending a lot less on clothes that will usually just get shoved to the back of your closet anyway.

It saves time

The less clothing you have to sort through, the less time you’ll spend getting dressed in the morning. Having just a few pieces of clothing to choose from makes it a lot easier to pick your outfits before you head out the door. This frees up your time to enjoy the mornings with a nice cup of coffee, reading the paper, or spending time with your family before you start the day.


Practicing minimalism is also good for the environment. You’ll avoid buying fast fashion items that have detrimental effects on our environment. Fast fashion companies consume massive amounts of water, create harmful toxins, and promote excessive consumption and waste. You can reduce your fashion environmental impact by buying secondhand or vintage items, renting your clothes, investing in pieces made from high-quality fabrics, and only buying new items from eco-friendly, sustainable brands. 


Downsizing tips

Downsizing is the first step to starting your minimalist wardrobe. Determine which items you want to keep and what you want to toss by separating everything into three different piles.

Start by determining which items you want to donate to local charities or nonprofit organizations.

Pretend to shop your closet

Go through and “shop” your closet and think about whether or not you’d buy each item again. If the answer is no, then add it to the donate pile.

Items you haven’t worn in 6 months

A good rule of thumb is removing any items you haven’t worn in six months or more. It’s highly likely that you won’t wear these pieces again, so you might as well donate them to someone in need.

Clothes that don’t fit anymore

If you have clothing that doesn’t fit, donate it right away. Don’t keep pieces as something you’ll wear when you reach your goal weight or with the hopes that you’ll wear them again someday.

Duplicate items

Do you have two of the same white t-shirts? How about two pairs of brown boots? Donate any duplicate items and keep the ones that you like better or are in better shape.


Certain clothing in bad shape can still be recycled. You can repair it, repurpose it into something new, or give it to local companies that will give your old clothing new life.

Clothes that are damaged or stained

Any clothing with rips, tears, or stains that won’t come out should be recycled. Likely, you won’t wear these items again since they’re visibly damaged, so you might as well put them to good use.

Clothing that’s too worn to donate

Shoes with loose soles or sweaters with excessive pilling are too worn out to donate. However, you can still recycle these items, so they have a second chance elsewhere rather than ending up in a landfill.


Your keep pile will be the items you’re leaving in your closet to wear. It’s important to be picky when choosing the pieces you plan to keep wearing in the future.

Items that fit your lifestyle

Perhaps you work in an office and have a nice business suit. Or maybe you enjoy hiking and have a quality pair of hiking boots. Look at the items you have that fit your current lifestyle and keep them in your closet.

Things you wear often

If you have a favorite pair of jeans or a versatile cardigan that you wear every fall, keep those items in your closet. The things you already wear often will likely continue to be some of your staple pieces.

Clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident

Anything that’s extremely comfortable or that makes you feel confident when you wear it should stay. Keep pieces that are comfy and make you feel like your best self whenever you wear them.


Maintaining your downsized wardrobe

Once you’ve downsized your wardrobe, it’s important to continue to maintain it so that your closet stays as minimal as possible.

Be more intentional and thoughtful

When shopping for new clothing, think carefully about how you plan to wear items before you buy. Be intentional about your decisions to help you stay frugal and avoid buying items you might not wear later.

Re-evaluate frequently

Revisit and re-evaluate the items in your closet frequently. Only keep the things you actually wear and love and set aside a separate bin in your closet for donations.

Use the “one in, one out” rule

Follow the “one in, one out” rule to maintain a minimalist wardrobe. This means that every time you bring a new item into your closet, you must remove one, too. It’s a good way to prevent clutter and helps you focus on buying only quality items that will last.

Take proper care of your garments

Maintain your clothing by taking good care of it. Look at the laundry labels to ensure that you’re washing and drying each piece correctly. When you take good care of your garments, they will take good care of you.

Organization is key

Use these organization tips for your minimal closet:

  • Use a rail system to help with easy access and visibility.
  • Organize your clothing by category and use dividers to create separate “zones.”
  • If you use bins for accessories and smaller items, make sure you label them clearly.
  •  Practice better folding techniques to give you more closet space.
  •  Use the reverse hanger method, which helps you see which items of clothing you’re not wearing after a certain period of time.

Create a capsule wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a smart way to practice minimalism.

What is a capsule wardrobe, and what are the benefits?

A capsule wardrobe should consist of between 20 to 30 staple pieces of clothing you can mix and match. You’ll save space, time, and money when you use this method. It also helps you get inspired to try new combinations so that you’re getting the most use out of every single item of clothing you own.

Capsule wardrobe essentials

Add essentials to your capsule wardrobe, including a good pair of denim, some dress pants, a little black dress, a white and black t-shirt, solid-colored cardigans, and a good jacket. Look for versatile pieces in solid, neutral colors that are easy to mix and match and layer as the seasons change.


Remember these tips to help you create a minimalist closet and wardrobe. Not only will you become more frugal and save money, but you’ll also help to save valuable time as well as help the environment. Keeping your closet limited to a few key staple pieces is a great way to help you stay confident while also helping to keep your closet organized and clutter-free. It’s an important foundational part of living a truly minimalist lifestyle.