Some people are what you call “minimalists”. I am not one of those people. I think a lot of you out there who love to shop and love clothing are probably not either…it’s kind of a hard thing to be a minimalist when you’re constantly finding gems at the thrift store and shopping all the amazing sales and bargains you can find. And honestly, I find that this seems to produce a certain level of, shame, you could say amongst women. I hear it constantly. “Oh I have too many dresses…I shouldn’t be buying this…” you know what I’m talking about! You and I have both said that kind of thing, probably more than we even realize! So I have decided to come up with a new term for what I am (and you may be too!). I am proudly, a MAXIMALIST. Let me explain.
I like to MAXIMIZE my closet. How many hangers can fit in it, how much weight the bars can hold, and defy the laws of gravity on how many shoes I can stack on top of each other. I like to MAXIMIZE how many items of clothing and jewelry I wear on any given day, at the same time. I am basically a walking clothing rack, with skirts, kimonos, layers upon layers of necklaces and rings…maximizing the amount of things I can wear. You see what I’m getting at? A minimalist may like to wear a simple pair of pearl stud earrings, jeans, a white tee, and flats. A maximalist, while appreciating the beauty of the simplicity, would add about 16 more things to that outfit before being ready to walk out the door.
To clarify, being a maximalist (while perfectly acceptable) does not excuse hoarding. I think what bugs me is when I hear myself apologizing for who I am…when I do shop a lot BUT I also get rid of clothes all the time. I’m not hoarding my clothes. Stuff comes in, and stuff goes out, like a constant flowing clothing river. But this is my hobby! It’s FUN! Just as an artist probably has a ton of paints, easels, canvases, and brushes (I don’t paint so I don’t know, but I’d guess they don’t just have ONE of each thing), clothing and fashion is my “art”. When you’re a maximalist and this is your art form, you can’t have only a few things. Why? Because you have a lot of weird, specific, and interesting stuff. An artist may have six shades of what I’d call just “red”, and so I have shades of kimonos, jeans, and jumpsuits. Plus, when you like to wear interesting stuff, you can’t wear it daily like you could a tee and jeans. I can’t wear a leopard jumpsuit more than one day a month…because otherwise people might actually think I’m crazy.
So how do you handle closet control, got-rid-of-it-too-soon grief, and STUFF STRESS? I came up with some tips on how to help those of us who love our clothes like our art, keep that in-and-out closet river flowing!
How To Get Rid Of Stuff (When You’re A Maximalist)
- Interview Yourself. When you look through your stuff, ask yourself a few questions: “Would you buy this again, today, if you saw it on a rack?” If the answer is no, you are probably ready to part with it. “Do you want to actually wear it?” This sounds kind of weird, but honestly I have had stuff in my closet that I absolutely LOVE, but when I ask myself honestly if I want to put it on my body and walk out of the house with it on, the answer is “heck no”. Maybe you really don’t feel good in it. It’s uncomfortable. You hate the way it looks on you. If you answer no, it’s gotta go!!
- Resell Your Stuff. I have found that sometimes I am having a hard time parting with something, but then when I think of getting some money for it to use to buy something else instead…it becomes super easy. Reselling at a local store, on Poshmark or Thred Up is pretty darn easy.
- Be Generous. Another thing that’s helped me, particularly with those items of clothing that maybe have a little bit of sentimental value but I’m never ever gonna wear again, is to give it to a good friend. I’ve mailed stuff to friends, given stuff away, you name it…and it helps because you know that it’s not, like, leaving the family so to speak!
- Donate. Another thing that is immensely helpful with parting with things, is to donate them to a women’s shelter or other organization that helps out women in need. Then you know just how appreciated those things are going to be. This helped me with getting rid of a lot of my kids baby clothes…I donated them to a local crisis pregnancy center and it was so awesome to know that these young girls were going to get super cute Gap baby clothes when they may not be able to afford them otherwise. This kind of thing helps you mentally because you know how much better it is for something to get worn than it is just collecting dust in your closet for sentimental reasons.
- Do It In Stages. Sometimes, if there are things I’m like 50/50 on getting rid of, I will put them in a box in the back of my closet or my garage. I leave them there for like 6 months to a year even, then revisit them…and at that point you’ll know if you want them or not. Because during that time, you’ll either have gone out and hunted through that box for that one shirt you absolutely need, OR you’ll have forgotten all about them. Then, when you re-look through it all, you’ll have fresh eyes. Maybe something’s come back into style or you have new inspiration on how to wear it. And the rest, well, you’re ready to part with it now.
- Give Yourself Grace. It’s ALWAYS important in life to find balance. To remind yourself to be generous and not hold on to every single thing. To remember that life isn’t about stuff, but about people and relationships. But you also gotta let yourself be YOU! Let yourself enjoy finding those deals, creating and being a maximalist!! Being yourself and enjoying the things you love is not something to feel guilty about. You can’t feel guilty about having a ton of necklaces (and buying more) when you WEAR a ton of necklaces. It’s just not gonna work for me to only own four or five necklaces, when I wear a minimum of three usually on any given day. So be YOU, be happy about it, and remember the world NEEDS maximalists JUST AS MUCH as it needs minimalists!
This dress is like, a TOTAL MAXIMALIST dress. I mean, just look at it! I think you could probably see it from space! And that makes me love it even more! I got if from Kim who is @soulsofcalifornia on Instagram and has a shop on Etsy who has amazing taste and finds the best vintage stuff!! It’s a Diane Freis, and those of you know what that is know that her dresses are typically crazy and amazing!
Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, you’re awesome because we all balance each other out! Have a fantastic weekend!