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No Thanks

Everyone learned about Marie Kondo this year - the Japanese tidying guru whose on-point organization methods have taken the world by storm. Her approach of mindfulness and order in everyday things has struck a chord with audiences worldwide.

Perhaps we have finally reached a tipping point, growing tired of rampant consumerism, and craving calm and certainty in an increasingly unpredictable world.

Here at Tove & Libra, we ascribe to the principle that an orderly life begins with a pared-back closet. But there’s so much more to achieving clothing Zen than simply marking a few items for donation. Here are some of our go-to methods to give your closet a minimalist makeover:

First Steps

We all lead busy lives, so tackling a full wardrobe edit in one go can feel overwhelming. Instead of emptying every drawer at once, we suggest pulling pieces out of your closet one section at a time. This enables you to identify each category’s true volume (hello, drawer of plain black tees!), and later pinpoint where there may be gaps. In taking things step-by-step, your closet cull can also be spread over a manageable period of time, making it less likely to linger at the bottom of your to-do list.  

Finding The Spark

“Does it spark joy?” has already become 2019’s mantra. Go through each and every piece of clothing and don’t be shy asking yourself if it makes you happy, or serves some vital purpose. This forces you to decide whether you truly enjoy something, or are just hanging onto it for old time’s sake. Here are our “litmus test” questions:

  • Have you worn this item in the past year? If not, there’s probably a reason why – and be honest about whether you may suddenly start wearing it now.
  • Is it stained or damaged, or does it actually fit? If you have items you’ve been meaning to take to the tailor or dry cleaner for those reasons, now is the time to make it happen – or admit that you never will, and let them go. Once your closet is full of items in great shape, our care guide will help you keep them that way.
  • If I saw it now, would I buy it again? This is a good way of weeding out trends that now make you cringe, things you bought on a whim that have never since seen the light of day.
  • Does the style and fabric work for my lifestyle? Busy moms, single ladies or yoga bunnies may have different requirements for their clothing, and your lifestyle may have changed since you purchased certain items. Consider when you wear your clothing, and the climate you live in – a heavy cashmere coat may seem like a wardrobe classic, but probably not if you live in a tropical climate.
  • Does it work with the rest of my wardrobe? That “bargain” skirt that you had to buy a new top to match, or the experimental color that clashes with your usual hues are all taking up valuable closet real estate.
  • Am I only keeping this for sentimental reasons? While we all have those pieces that we cling onto for nostalgia’s sake, don’t let memories cloud our judgment. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with holding onto a few items if they still spark a certain sentimental joy, but otherwise think about practicing that other Marie Kondo specialty – thanking an item for its service and then saying goodbye.

Reviewing The Situation

Now that you’ve culled the clutter, you should have a clearer idea of where things stand with your wardrobe – including any obvious gaps in your collection. Perhaps you’ve realized that you now only have one pair of work trousers that fit you, or that every wearable top you own is the same color?

However, don’t undo all your good work by following up with an impulse shopping spree! Instead, make sure you’re putting just as much thought into making new purchases as you did into getting rid of all your old ones. Keep the above checklist in mind whenever temptation strikes!

If you’re wondering what to do with all the clothes now sitting on your discard pile, don’t simply throw them away. We’re big believers in sustainability, so in our next post, we’ll be giving you the lowdown on clothing donation resources in Hong Kong.


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