We wanted to give you some step-by-step instructions to the capsule wardrobe and we’re going to dive right in because we know you’re anxious to do it!
Step One: The Collection (5-15 minutes)
- Go and find every single top that you own and throw it on your bed. (Not your workout clothes, not your grungy clothes, not your camisole tank top thingies).
- Go and get every pant, shorts, jeans, and skirt you own and throw it on your bed. (Not your workout pants, not your pants with paint splatters).
- Go get the dresses. Dump onto bed.
- Hunt down all of your shoes and put them on the bed. (Not your running shoes, not your house slippers).
- Go and find all of your coats, jackets, and other outerwear and bring that onto the bed.
*Having all or most of your laundry done before you begin is VERY helpful.
Good Job! Now, don’t take a break, because you have to sleep here, so let’s keep plugging away at this ok?
Step Two: The Set-Up (5 minutes)
Go get a couple trash bags or empty hampers to help you with this sort, and COME RIGHT BACK.
The trash bag will be for things leaving your house. Donations, give aways, trades with friends or actual trash. The laundry basket will be for clothes that need to go in storage to wait for a different capsule. Don’t take them off their hangers though, ok?
Your closet will now house absolute yes’s, the “I LOVE IT” clothes for your upcoming capsule wardrobe.
You’ll need a place for your maybe’s too. I suggest keeping those on the bed.
Go print this printable, and take it into your sort room with you.Women’s Capsule Wardrobe Printable PDF
Step Three: The Purge and Sort (1 hour)
- Starting with your outerwear, place anything you don’t like anymore, things that are too small, outdated, or smelly…in a trash bag.
- Your brain gets to start thinking about the upcoming capsule now! So, if you are creating a spring capsule, and you have a parka in your hands, determine based on where you live if this piece should go in the closet, “maybe” pile, hamper, (different capsule), or trash bag.
- Work through these steps with your shoes, dresses, your bottoms, and your tops.
OK! That was a great initial sort. But, keep those trash bags and hampers there. We’re not done yet.
Step Four: The Worksheet (45 minutes)
Now is the time to start filling out your worksheet. A pencil is a good option here, but who owns pencils anymore?! So, just be down with doing some crossing out.
Starting with the clothes you put back into your closet, (the absolute yes’s). Put those clothes on your worksheet, noting color, pattern, sleeve length etc. Feel free to change up the numbers too! I decided I wanted one less dress, and 1 more pair of shoes in my capsule. Totally fine. Just try to stick to between 35-40 items total.
You should have some blanks when you are done for the maybe pile. If not, it is time to get rid of a LOT of clothing.
Step Five: The Maybe Pile (30 minutes)
Then, it is time to work through the maybe pile. Try clothes on, figure out why they are maybe’s and decide right then and there what needs to happen with them.
If they are too small, have a reality moment, and let a friend enjoy them, if they don’t fit well on your body type, be like Elsa and “let it go”! Out of style-see ya. Now some might be in the maybe pile because they don’t have the right pants to go with, or they need tailored. Are you going to buy pants to go with it? Or take them to a tailor? That’s for you to decide. Be real with yourself. This section will take the most brain power, but you can do it.
Now, if any maybe’s made it into the closet YES zone, add them to your worksheet.
Your bed should be totally clear now and you should have a closet of yes’s, a trash bag of OUT OF THE HOUSE stuff, a pile of clothes for another season’s capsule, and a proud moment! You can take your trash bags to the car, you can take your “not this capsule” clothes to a different closet, or under-bed storage. Deal is, you can sleep in your bed tonight and get dressed tomorrow. WINNING.
Step Six: The Plan
This step is for those who do not yet have a full worksheet/ have missing pieces from their capsule.
Maybe you only have 15 things in your closet that you love. That is totally ok, because now you come up with a plan!
Sitting in a place where you can see your closet, decide what you need to help make this capsule work for you. Think about a color story to stick with, or if you need a few shirts with patterns to break up the monochrome. Maybe you have all color in the closet and you need some good neutral pieces. If your shoes don’t match your clothes, put those on the shopping list.
I like to do one week of shopping to fill my capsule, I take a picture of my Capsule Worksheet with my phone so I have it if I’m out. Then I can see, “NO, you do NOT need another navy shirt, PUT IT DOWN.” Sigh, I heart navy.
After you get back from your shop, there it is! Your full capsule! You did it!
Now if you want to see how I created my spring capsule keep reading!
How I made my Spring Capsule
Knowing it was one week away from March, I decided to get my Spring capsule all lined up and take you through my process.
First I took the clothes out of my closet that were for the winter capsule and wouldn’t continue into spring and put them in one pile.
Then I took out what I thought could possibly continue into Spring and put it in another pile.
Then I went and got the clothes out of my garment bags where I keep them if they are not in the capsule. It’s like Christmas seeing some of my favorites again!
Then I pulled out my worksheet and started filling in the absolute yes’s and laying clothes out so I can easily see them. I worked through the maybe’s and if they didn’t make the cut I either put them in a hamper for donate, or I put them into storage for the summer or cold weather capsules.
After some rearranging, I decided on these clothes, (above) for my spring capsule. I changed up my numbers a little on my worksheet because I decided to go down to one dress so I could have one more pair of shoes. Totes legit.
Then it was time to put away the clothes that didn’t make the cut. I keep them in my children’s closet in garment bags, and also in under-bed storage bins.
The clothes I don’t need anymore will get taken to the trash, sold, or donated.
I put my capsule back in the closet and was done. It took me 1 hour start to finish.
So, you guys. I love the capsule wardrobe because my eye only has things I love to look at in my closet. There’s less to look through, less options, so faster outfit choosing. All my clothes are organized. I save money to buy more quality pieces and I feel good about everything I put on.
We wish you the best with your capsule!
Click here for a free worksheet printable.Women’s Capsule Wardrobe Printable PDF