Starting Minimalism

So I've recently been turned on to this whole minimalism thing.  

In the near past my washing machine broke and it took us a long time to buy a new one.  Like 6 weeks.  Let me tell you, 6 weeks is a long time to not have a washing machine!  My partner and I both went down to the bottom of our closet and wore nearly everything we owned.  

Did you read that.  NEARLY everything we owned.  That means we have MORE than 6 weeks worth of clothes.  Between the two of us that's more than 84 pairs of socks, 84 pairs underwear, and at least 84 different shirts.  We both wear pants more than once before we would want to wash them but trust me, we have a lot of pants too!  Plus we both have our fair share of hoodies and jackets.

When we finally bought our fancy new washing machine, we had so much laundry to do!  That's when I realized we went 6 weeks without doing laundry.  That's when I realized that I had a problem.  A big messy expensive problem.

Aside from my exact situation when would I ever need more than 6 weeks worth of clothes?  Never.  And I plan on never being without a washing machine for that long ever again.  

I have read some articles on minimalism in the past so I knew about the concept and who hasn't heard some of Marie Conden's principles (even the Glimore Girls mention her book in the Netflix reboot).  So I've been re-reading and doing more research on minimalism and finding that some of the suggestions resonate with me.  

Before my washing machine broke I still did laundry nearly every week so I was only ever using less than 1/6 of the clothing that I have in my house.  I'm sure I picked different shirts every once in a while but I definitely have 'favorite' shirts that I wear as soon as they are clean again.  I knew I wanted to keep those shirts but I had to figure out what I was going to get rid of. 

I started with the easy stuff.  Obviously if I hadn't worn it in the six weeks without a washing machine, then I didn't like wearing it.  I got rid of almost all of that stuff except for things that were out of season (it was winter so I kept some of my tank-tops that I didn't wear).  

Then I got rid of the stuff that I hated wearing when I had to wear it.  Nearly everything that I wore during the sixth week was terrible.  It was out of style or didn't fit very well or had a hole in it.  I decided if I didn't like how I felt when I was wearing it, then I shouldn't wear it.  

Then I was down to the sentimental stuff.  Things I wore when I got that new job but they don't quite fit anymore, t-shirts from Race for the Cure that have holes in them, the last shirt my mom bought for me that I didn't really even like at the time she bought it (Sorry Mom!). Those were harder to let go of but I kept saying things to myself like, 'It served it's purpose for me. Someone else could use it now,' or 'It served it's purpose and you still have the memories without holding on to this piece of fabric.'  I kept reminding myself that clothes are just things and the memories are what is priceless not the actually items. Over and over for every item I reminded myself that if I don't actually wear it then it's not worth anything. The memories I will keep.  The clothes I can get rid of.  

Now my closet is full of clothes that I love to wear.  I still probably have three weeks of clothes but at least it is stuff that I love!  I also have found myself being pickier when I go shopping.  I keep asking myself, 'Is this worth the headache of cleaning out my closet again?,' 'Is this something that I will love to wear?'  

It's a small start to minimalism but it feels really good.  I'm planning on working through my sock drawer next.  I mean really who needs 42 pairs of socks? 

Let me know how you came to mimimalism and the best tip you've received that has helped you the most.