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Part I: Weekend Closet Cleanse Challenge

NEW YEAR, NEW UMM.. CAPSULE WARDROBE? It’s 2020 and we’re bringing in the new decade with a little challenge to help you get into That Green Life. This year, we want to equip you with the tools to become your best, most stylish (and sustainable!) self so for the first challenge in our new series, we’re going to help you create your own Capsule Wardrobe!

And now, for some predicted FAQ’s:

Um a capsule what now?

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing, accessories, and shoes that encourage you to wear your favorite things every day! You’ll typically curate four wardrobes – one for each season – each with around 30 pieces. It’s not about the trendiest things or the most stylish things, it’s your favorite things – the clothes you love and feel confident in.

Okay, sounds cool, but why would I create one?

Did you know the fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry right next to oil? The fast fashion movement has created pressure to reduce the cost of clothing and speed up production. The result? Cutting environmental corners, the creation of huge landfills of clothing each year, and unfair working conditions for garment factory workers. There is a definite need for something to be done, and if all of us make small changes in our fashion (like creating a capsule wardrobe *wink wink*), we can become a part of  a sustainable revolution.

Take the quiz to find out!

On top of that, creating a capsule wardrobe eliminates the everyday dilemma of spending more time than needed, picking and choosing what to wear. Most of us spend up to a year deciding what to wear. 🤯 You’ll finally have a closet filled with pieces you LOVE instead of rummaging through a mess of clothes you haven’t even worn in the past year!

I’m excited for this – let’s go!

And we’re excited too! I realize this isn’t a question, but fingers crossed it’s what you’re thinking after reading this.

By the end of this series, we’re going to create your Capsule Wardrobe for the upcoming season, but for now we’ll focus on the first (and toughest) part of the process – cleaning out your closet. We’re calling it our Weekend Closet Cleanse. You can clean out your closet and curate your capsule collection in a dedicated few hours or you can tackle it little by little over the course of a week. Go at your own pace but don’t give up!

STEP ONE: YES, NO, MAYBE SO

Today is all about organization. This is by far the biggest step but it’s going to make the process so much easier and a lot less daunting. Think of it like speed dating your whole collection of clothes. This includes tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories – basically anything you can think to wear except for your underwear and socks.

In the end, each piece will fall into one of the four categories: recycle, donate, maybe, and must haves. So grab some boxes and start labeling…

With this short, little guide, you should have your clothes all sorted out and ready to go! Store away your recycle and donate piles because we’ll let you know what to do with them. In the meantime, do a little dance, get a snack or take a well-deserved nap. Next we’re going to deal with those pesky maybes.


STEP TWO: WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT

Tell me what you want, what you really really want! While the first step in our closet cleanse requires the most work, dealing with the maybe pile is the toughest part in my opinion. Partially because I’m awful at making decisions and I love holding on to old things. Not a great combination, I know. Luckily, I’ve created this flowchart to keep my mind straight and help me figure out whether or not I absolutely must have this piece or if I’m just hoarding it.

If you’ve gone through all the steps in the flowchart, done some of your own decision making, and still can’t make up your mind about a piece, there are still a couple of approaches you can take!

1. Set a deadline

    Example: I have this piece that I used to wear all the time, but haven’t worn recently. I can set a deadline for myself and say “If I don’t wear this in the next month, I’m going to donate it. If I do, I’d be confident putting it in my capsule wardrobe.”

2. Try them on again!

    It sounds like a silly thing to suggest, but chances are, you haven’t worn most of your maybes in a while. When you try a piece on again, figure out if they still fit you in the way that you want and whether or not they make you feel or look like your best self.

3. Is it versatile?

    Because your wardrobe consists of only so many clothes, you’ll want pieces that you could potentially wear in different ways. A piece with versatility could be a great choice to put in your capsule wardrobe.

Once you’ve decided whether your maybe pieces ultimately go into your must haves or donate pile, you’re halfway there! We really only have two more steps until you can sit back, relax, and scream in delight that you’ve finally cleaned out your closet. You got this!


STEP THREE: YOUR ESSENTIALS

There’s this cute home & lifestyle show on Netflix called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (aka, the organization QUEEN), which is an amazing watch especially for helping you pare your life down to the essentials. Also, if you’re interested in essentialism, check out my article here.

As you go through the remaining items in your closet ask yourself the following questions: Does this “spark joy”? Do you feel amazing, confident and powerful when you wear this piece? If you were to pack a suitcase and travel to the other side of the world which items would you take with you and which would you leave behind?


STEP FOUR: DONATE VS RECYCLE

Remember when I said we’d go back to our recycle and donate piles? Well now’s the time!

There’s currently a HUGE problem with the amount of pollution that comes from clothing production and discardment. In fact, 7000 tons of textiles per year in Cincinnati alone make up 10% of Cinci’s landfill space. 

At THAT GREEN LIFE, our goal is to help everyone play their part in keeping our planet happy, healthy, and safe. One of the ways we can do that right now is by being mindful of how and where we discard our clothing! Listed below, we have a variety of stores, donation centers, and organizations that collect used and/or worn out clothing. Figure out which of these places are nearest to you (or do your own research if you’d like!) and give away your unwanted clothes to be repurposed in the future.

So you’re probably wondering, what else could possibly be left to do from here? It’s only the most important part and my personal favorite!

Have you guessed it yet? Our final step in our Closet Cleanse is to…

STEP FIVE: CELEBRATE AND RELAX!

That’s right, guys – you’re officially done, and all that work calls for a well-deserved relaxation/spa day! In fact, we’re so proud of all of you who’ve been following our Closet Cleanse segment of our Capsule Wardrobe series that we’ve made a special certificate if you’ve successfully cleaned out your closet. We’d love to see your results and highlight our favorite newly-cleansed wardrobes on our instagram story! Just use the #thatgreencloset and tag us @thatgreen.life

Once your closet is clean it’s time to create your capsule wardrobe. Head on over to check out part II..

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