Building a Capsule Wardrobe – An Accidental Journey

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Hey guys! I did want to include more lifestyle-based posts based on my lifestyle, so there’s no bandwagoning going on here! So here is my journey that I took to create the capsule wardrobe that I have today.

The Beginning

My minimalism journey for clothes began when I got the call that I was moving to Portugal back in 2018. I didn’t want to bring everything with me, and I knew that it’d be temporary anyway. So I only took what I needed, with the mindset that I would buy anything else that I needed when I was over there. The guy that picked me up from the airport, Ruben, mentioned that a lot of women that he picked up had loads of bags filled with clothes, whereas I arrived with a simple suitcase and backpack. I left a lot of mess back home.

And yes, I did buy a load of stuff when I was in Portugal, but it was necessary pieces, especially when I had to relocate part-way through and had to leave half of my belongings behind at first. We were left with typical clothing rails, and this was my first experience with a capsule wardrobe. I wore the same outfits throughout, but I wore pretty much everything in my collection at one point or another. I was sad when my “Bonjour” t-shirt fell apart one day, as it sparked joy and started a conversation with a local. It was a cheap Primark shirt, but it doesn’t need to be expensive to spark joy!

My First KonMari Declutter

When I arrived back in the UK in November 2018, I was so overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that I had, compared to the capsule wardrobe I worked with in Portugal. But the holiday season, my birthday and an injury stopped me in my tracks. However, in May 2019, I started watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and I was inspired to completely declutter my room.

I had clothes in boxes since 2013, as I was waiting to buy a chest of drawers after redecorating, but it never happened. Instead, I decided to fully declutter in order to fit everything into my wardrobe, therefore eliminating the need for a chest of drawers.

I was in total shock at how many clothes that I had at the time, and this prompted a huge declutter. In fact, I donated seven bags of clothes to a mental health charity shop. I had separate baskets for my undergarments, and everything was easy for me to reach in the wardrobe. However, I still had a fair amount of clothing, but a lot of it sparked joy for me. It took a long time to go through all of my clothes.

I did a second declutter in September 2019, just before I moved into my current home. One more bag of clothing went to charity. This was just a mini-declutter where I wanted to get rid of some things that I didn’t want to take with me. In hindsight I should have done that before Portugal, but…never mind!

Moving Home & Second KonMari Declutter

It took until August 2020 to start deliberating another KonMari declutter. I knew that I hadn’t accumulated a whole lot, so I didn’t want to feel disappointed in not decluttering as much as I had done before. I rewatched Tidying Up to gain some inspiration, because I find that decluttering and tidying videos gets me in the mood to do just that!

It took me only a few minutes to gather the clothes and assemble them on my bed. Connor thought that I had a lot of clothes, but I surprised him by saying that I had a lot more when I first did the declutter, and also that he has a lot more clothes than I do. It didn’t take me a long time to declutter everything, I’m pretty certain that it took less than an hour altogether, whereas it must have taken a good three before.

As I mentioned in my first declutter journey post, I found out that we had a bit of a damp problem in the closet, more specifically on my side. So I had to move my clothes out into the office closet temporarily. I found it a lot easier to declutter the clothes that no longer sparked joy, and I had four clothes in particular that I knew that my mum would get some joy from, so I took pictures and asked if she wanted them (she did, hallelujah!). I chose these clothes because while I no longer wore them (and therefore did not spark joy), they were still good enough quality that I knew my mum would like them. I heard her voice in my head: “Why are you chucking that? It’s nice!”, of which I’d respond with a “Take it if you want it!”. So I decided that those shirts would go to a great home.

The Birth of a New Era

Of course, I’m always looking for new storage solutions for the flat, and the temporary home of my clothes gave me an idea. I estimated that I had around 25-30 separate items of hanging clothing (including the ones in the laundry pile), and I would probably buy around five more just so that I had replacements for any damaged clothing that I’m still hanging on to because otherwise, I have nothing to wear! I mean, one of the shirts that I do have is purely for painting and decorating. I have one drawer with undergarments and socks, and another drawer with a couple of pyjamas.

I decided to look for a clothing rail for my clothes, and found this one from Argos. I also wanted to get some good, open box storage for my undergarments to store underneath the clothes, of which this colourful set of three would work wonders!.

The biggest hurdle that I found with my clothing situation is that I always reach for the clothes that are out in the open. Therefore, an open capsule wardrobe will allow me to see what I have, and reach for things with confidence. So I can’t wait until I can reach for my jumpers when it gets a bit cooler!

I tend to have a limited style anyway, and I’m happy with clothes that I bought 2-3 years ago that still serve their purpose. It may not be the picture-perfect capsule wardrobe – I do things a little differently to others, and I’m not known to go by the book, but I’m happy with the progress that I’ve made. Plus Connor needs all of the room for his clothes, although that will change when he’s decluttered!

We have a separate closet in the hallway for our shoes and coats. Of which, I only have three pairs of footwear – boots, trainers and slippers. And I use each until they’ve completely worn out! I despise shoe shopping, even though that’s supposedly the main hobby of a woman (I know that’s stereotypical, but people are shocked that I, a woman, hate shoe shopping).


I have several categories for my capsule wardrobe:

  • Everyday vitals (leggings, shorts, shirts I wear all the time)
  • Clothes that spark joy but don’t fit (for weight loss goals)
  • Seasonal items (jumpers, Christmas sweaters)
  • Formal attire (a singular blouse, lol)

My first category is pretty simple. It’s stuff that I simply wear every day. I wear them less when I’m around the house during lockdown though.

For that second category, these are presents and clothing that gives me that feeling of joy. I want to use them as motivators for weight loss in the future.

The third category is the one I look forward to when the time rolls around. I was planning on buying a new jumper for everyday wear that I’d feel comfortable in.

The fourth category is pitiful, I need a dress here, really!

Hopefully this gives an insight into how I have created my own capsule wardrobe. I mean, I know it isn’t for everyone, but I’ve gone from a whole heap of clothes to just a handful of pieces that I regularly wear – not because it’s all I have, but it’s simply what I’m comfortable in.

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