Before we jump into wardrobe tips, tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Kallie Branciforte and I’m a wife and momma to Miles (3) and Finley (1). I’m a full-time YouTuber who shares content around productivity, organization, and honest motherhood. I’m what you might consider a “reformed messy person.” Meaning I used to be quite untidy, but age and motherhood has taught me how to use routines and mindset shifts to become habitually more organized and clean. And I love teaching others how to do the same.
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Why or why not?
Definitely not. I believe in working on unburdening myself of excess that I don’t need, but definitely not to the level of full-on minimalism.
Other than your wardrobe, what else have you downsized in your life?
Pretty much everything. It’s not that I simply downsize one thing in my life one time and then that’s it. To me it’s a process of constantly being aware of the stuff in my home and making it a point to rid the excess that I don’t need.
Whenever I’m actively tidying an area I’m constantly asking if something serves me - everything from makeup to beauty supplies to kids’ toys to books to crafting supplies.
Why minimize?/How has it changed your life?
To me it’s about freedom and peace of mind. I once heard someone say that everything in your home is asking you to do something. Your houseplants are asking you to water them. Your books are asking to be read, a pile of papers is asking to get filed away, a game is asking to be played, a basket of laundry is asking to be folded. I think you get the point, but this is kinda where that overwhelm of clutter comes from, because everything in our home is asking something of us. Not to mention, it all needs a spot and place to be kept, and I don’t want to spend my time being the keeper of things.
Let’s talk Realistically Minimizing our Wardrobe. What makes your approach different from other tips out there for minimalist wardrobes?
I think a lot of tips out there focus on the one-time purge. Which is good and fine. But the thing about wardrobes is new pieces will always sneak in. So, again, it’s really about just being aware of excess.
Any words of advice/wisdom for beginners or novice minimalists?
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a minimalist closet. Decluttering your closet is one thing, keeping it that way is another. Don’t get discouraged if your recently decluttered closet gets cluttered again. Just pick back up and do it again. Each time you’ll get better.
I know you say not to start by taking everything out of your closet, so how do we get started? What is Step One?
Make a game plan. Before you even go to your closet, make up a list of what you think would be a realistic number of clothing for each category. This will help you when you’re working on paring back items. I personally create two wardrobes (one for warm weather and one for cold.) Think of the wardrobes you need. Maybe you need a work wardrobe or a pregnancy wardrobe. The point is, separate them, and make a goal of how many of each item you think is realistic.
Any tips for determining the “right” number for different pieces of clothing?
I always assume I’ll do my laundry 1 time a week. So, how many of each item do I need to get me through a week?
And once we’ve made a game plan with a goal for our seasons, what tips do you have for purging?
Get rid of the low hanging fruit first, the pieces you obviously don’t want or need. Next, if it doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering, let it go. Work really hard on trying to hit your goal number in each category.
What are your thoughts on color?
Having a minimal closet doesn’t mean no color. Certainly you’ll want a good selection of white, black, and neutrals, but you don’t have to swear off color. However, you might want to be more specific about your color choices. Think about the top few colors that look best on your skin. Focus on the colors that look best on you and match well with other colors, too.
What is the “Rule of One”?
There are a lot of categories where you really only need one. As hard as that might be to believe. Formal dresses, for example, I own ONE little black dress. You really don’t need more than one.
What should you do if you’re stuck on a particular piece?
I like to ask myself “If I had to close my eyes and reach into my closet and I pulled out this item, would I want to wear it?” If the answer is no, then think about why. The goal is to have a closet full of items you can just grab and go.
What if I don’t have a particular “style”?
I think many of us have styles we really like or idolize, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s OUR style. Really think about what you truly do on a day to day basis. If you could have one outfit that would be perfect for your typically daily events, what would it be? Focus more on practical pieces for your lifestyle vs. trying to have a “style.” Focusing on a style will likely lead you to having excess pieces you don’t wear, while focusing on pieces leads you to a closet with pieces of value and use.
For more life-changing tips from Kallie check out "Cutting My Closet to 30 Pieces: How to Have *Realistically* Minimalist Wardrobe and "53 Things to Declutter Today (That you won't miss at all)" as well as her printables and other resources on her blog.
Photos credit: Julia Dags