Preparing Your Minimalist Wardrobe for Spring

I try my best to maintain a minimalist wardrobe. I avoid duplicates, I make sure everything I buy is versatile, and I agonize over purchases to make sure that I’m buying what I really need, and not just something I want. This is key to becoming a minimalist. Due to this, I’ve managed to keep…


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Last Updated: March 4, 2024

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I try my best to maintain a minimalist wardrobe. I avoid duplicates, I make sure everything I buy is versatile, and I agonize over purchases to make sure that I’m buying what I really need, and not just something I want. This is key to becoming a minimalist.

Due to this, I’ve managed to keep my wardrobe under control this past year, even though I’ve been making more money than ever before and my expenses have never been lower.

That said, every Spring I still go through a little extra preparation to make sure that my wardrobe is up to date and as minimalist and it can be. Here are a few steps I make sure to go through.

Scrutinize Everything

Every Spring I take every single item out of my closet and scrutinize it. Does it fit? When was the last time I wore it? If I don’t wear it, why? Do I need to get it altered to make it fit just perfectly? Is it even worth the effort of getting it altered? I make sure to only keep the things I actually wear. This is easier said than done, since I usually want to keep things for sentimental reasons, or because I’ll wear it “someday”. This part requires me to be ruthless with my clothing, but I’ve never yet regretted tossing anything.

Anything that doesn’t make the cut, goes into the donate or trash pile. Most stuff ends up in the donate pile, but since I wear stuff until it’s practically falling apart, a good deal goes into the trash pile as well. Donations typically go to goodwill or the Salvation Army.

Related: How To Get Free Clothes Online & Near You (15 Best Ways)

Have a Plan for the Hard Decisions

Some things are difficult to get rid of. Many people have attachments to their clothing, and I’m no different. I have problems getting rid of the shirts I get for participating in running races. Each shirt holds a lot of emotion and memories for me. The problem is, I have about 10 of these shirts, and it’s just completely unnecessary. I keep a couple to wear around the house while I’m cleaning and doing chores, but the rest need to go.

To combat this, I take pictures of whatever it is I’m having a hard time parting with. That way, I can still keep the image of the item, but I don’t have to have it taking up valuable space in my tiny closet. Sometimes that’s not enough. In those instances, I pack up whatever it is I’m on the fence about, and store it out of the way for six months. If, after six months I haven’t worn it or even thought about wearing it, I’ll feel better about getting rid of it.

Make a Plan For Summer

After I do a thorough inventory of what I’ve got, I can figure out what I need for the year. Whether it’s a pair of shorts, sandals, maybe a new dress, knowing what I need helps me stick to my rules of maintaining a minimalist wardrobe. It’s a lot harder to make impulse purchases when I have a clear idea of what I need and don’t need in my wardrobe.

Keeping your wardrobe minimalist takes effort throughout the year, but by taking the extra time to go through your wardrobe with a little extra care every Spring, you can streamline the whole process.

Do you Spring clean your wardrobe?

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Author: Jordann

Jordann is a part time runner, yogi, local foodie and personal finance aficionado. She’s also a full time marketing professional living and working in Atlantic Canada. She writes about her life at her blog, My Alternate Life.

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  1. myfijourney

    I already have a minimalist wardrobe. Not out of choice. After losing a bunch of weight I just sort of bought what I needed to replace my old clothes. Then once I had enough my standard laziness and cheapness set in and I didn't bother to buy any more. I keep saying I'm going to buy some additional clothes, but I never do.

    1. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I definitely have more clothing than I need, so if you don't mind having fewer clothes, then you might as well embrace it.

  2. leslie beslie

    This is a really good idea! I always find myself wearing last year's spring/summer clothing and hating it – either because my body or style has changed but I'm rarely happy with how anything looks on me and then get really stressed out about it. Of course that's because I'm picking through my closet when I'm already in a hurry for something. I like your suggestion of taking time out to curate it before you need to get ready to go someplace!

    1. After a few rounds of rushing around the house in Spring time trying to put together a reasonable outfit on short notice, I vowed not to do that again!

  3. After reading the title I thought you were going to have us all in our underwear. I can't say I have a minimalist wardrobe but I hang on to clothes for long periods of time because at some point I do wear them. When I do decide to clear a few things out, it is in November/December time frame. This may sound weird but it is near the last few months that I can write off donations as a deduction. I want to be able to put this on my tax returns. I do this around the house, not just my clothes.
    My recent post Taxes, I Owe

    1. That's a good idea! Cleaning, at any point, is a good idea, it doesn't have to be in Spring time only, that's just when I get the itch to organize.

  4. CrazyTragicAlmostMagic

    Mine is minimalist but also not by choice. I just don't have the funds to go out and buy key pieces to set it all in place to begin with. Instead I buy here and there and hope it will all fit the following year.

    1. I find that if I don't take a inventory, I'll still shop, but end up with duplicates. It sounds like you've found a way around this so good job!

  5. Every few months I go through my closet and find at least a few things I can either sell or donate (or even throw out if it's too old). There always ends up being a few things I wear way more often than the others. I definitely try to keep my clothes to a minimum.
    My recent post Friday Giveaway Roundup – 39 Giveaways

    1. It probably doesn't even take that long if you do it every few months? I should give that a try.

  6. therandompath

    I actually go through my clothes twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. Sometimes the clothes you've been wearing, by the time that particular season is over with, no longer are worn or they are falling apart, etc… So that's why I do it twice 🙂
    My recent post Dear College Newbie…

    1. That's a good point. I usually stick to higher quality pieces for this reason. Lately though I've purchased one or two cheap-y items and they're definitely showing their wear even after only a few months.

  7. mytoughgirl

    I'm planning on doing a wardrobe inventory in a couple of weeks. I need to throw away junk and build a better wardrobe. I have a tiny closet too, so that's another reason why I need to do this. I just need to make sure I actually do this soon instead of in the middle of summer.

    1. My closet is tiny too, (and it also holds my dresser) so there's even more reason to keep things minimalist.

  8. Nick @

    Great post, I love your idea of having a minimalist wardrobe, now if I could just get my wife on board. 😉 We have a BIG yard sale every spring to get rid of any "excess" clothing we have.
    My recent post Apply for Every Job You See

    1. Hopefully you aren't replacing what you get rid of with new items, that seems like it would be a vicious cycle. Funnily enough, my fiancé is way more of a clothes horse than me. He can't stand to toss anything, even if it's nearly unwearable.

  9. The past year or so my love for clothing has grown. Right now I am working on weeding out all things that don't fit, have stains or holes in them, or that we don't wear. However I don't think I will ever be a complete minimalist when it comes to clothing.

    1. It sounds like you're dedicated to having a functional wardrobe, so you're already half way there if you ever decided you wanted to go full minimalist.

  10. wmwo

    I do spring clean my wardrobe, but the recent change in weather is making me hold off for a little bit 🙁 I'm going to try to streamline my closet a little more this year. Maybe I'll be able to get it down to one closet rod 🙂
    My recent post Tim Card Trials

    1. Good luck! One trick I've heard to use for closets is to turn all your hangers in one direction, and as you wear clothing put them back on the hangers in the other direction, that way you can keep track of what you're wearing and what you aren't. Just an idea!

  11. K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks!

    I do go through my closet a couple times each year to evaluate what still fits well, looks good and is in good condition. I tend to dress conservatively and cheek up my style with interesting accessories so that keeps my clothing spending down.

    1. I tend to go that with things like scarves, boots, and bags. I find it's easy to rotate that stuff with basic pieces to keep an outfit looking fresh and current.

  12. lEXIE

    I have not shopped for clothing of any kind in 2 years. I decided to be happy with what I havre and create styling for every season from my own closet. I have saved a lot of money and am happy with what I have. Living on less is always better way to live. In Spring I change out my scarves to spring fabic and colors, white jeans and capri pants , and dive into all the short sleeve tops and tanks I love.

    1. Sounds like you've got a great collection of gear that'll last you a good long time, great job!

  13. The Norwegian Girl

    I always spring clean my wardrobe, putting away winter clothes and then going through the spring clothes. What I usually do is make 3 piles at first, one to keep, one for donation and one maybe. after I´ve done that, I go through the maybe pile once more, and usually a lot of it finally ends up in the donation pile. As you, I have certain sentimental feelings about certain items, making it more difficult to part with.

    1. That's exactly how I do it, I think it's a great system.

  14. Melinda Gonzalez

    I tend to be a minimalist at heart, and always have been. I clean out clothes quite often, and I only keep the things that I like at the moment. I don't pretend I will *maybe* wear it in the future, LOL, because I know I won't. I can't stand having a bunch of clothes I don't wear, it just seems like such a waste when I can donate them to someone who could actually use them.

    1. Agreed, I'm pretty ruthless when it comes to clothes. If I don't wear it, it's gone, period.

  15. Saved Penny

    I can't remember where I first read about it, but we recently did a spring cleaning with the "one year rule" — basically if I haven't worn something in the last year, it's time to donate it or toss it. We filled five garbage bags of clothing that we're about to donate.
    My recent post Put your tax refund to work

    1. I use that rule as well, it's a great idea. I mean, if an occasion hasn't come up for you to wear that outfit in a whole year, then that piece of clothing is just wasted space.

  16. studentdebtsurvivor

    I just got rid of a ton of clothing that no longer fits, I don't wear, I don't like etc. I'm not sure why I was hanging on to all that stuff. It felt really good to donate everything and it cleared up a little room in my closet which was nice.
    My recent post My Spending Life Stages

    1. Cleaning out your wardrobe can have a surprisingly good effect on your emotions, I'm glad you got to benefit from it!

  17. I actually found that my style changes between summer and winter – weird, so a lot of my clothing isn't interchangeable. If I wanted to have a truly minimalist wardrobe, I'd adopt your strategy.

  18. Ha that's true I never thought of that before!

  19. Anne – Unique Gifter

    We just filled a huge bag of clothes to get rid of! I really want to purge my closet more, but unfortunately at the moment I'm a fair bit heavier than normal, so I can't bear to part with my fat clothes and I know that I will 100% wear my other clothes by mid summer.