How is it possible to have a closet stuffed full of clothes, and nothing to wear? And yet, we feel a sense of dread when asked to consider limiting our intake and being more intentional about what we buy. My friends, I have to be honest here and tell you, taking the easy way out in the short term is causing us long-term systemic issues. Those feel-good endorphins we get when we buy something, are causing us anxiety when our life is overrun with belongings, without the space to manage them, both physically and in our minds.

When I impulse buy something, that good feeling goes away almost immediately. It’s like as soon as I pass over the credit card I start thinking about my budget and where I’m going to put it and am I really going to wear this. It’s like a true guilty pleasure that I don’t actually enjoy because the pleasure is too fleeting and the guilt too present. On the other hand, if I am knowledgeable about my wardrobe gaps, and I intentionally search for the perfect addition (made responsibly of course) to compliment several outfits, I am joyous! I put effort in. I actually need it. I will wear it. Maybe I even saved up for it. That good feeling lasts because I feel good every time I wear it.

Because we skip investing a small amount of time up front taking inventory of our wardrobe or planning outfits, we waste time and energy deliberating what to wear, trying on clothes we know don’t fit, and doing laundry. Not to mention the resources and time spent on shopping. What about sorting and donating/selling? Cleaning, organizing, dreading it all?

I’ll be honest – I am the first one to rebel against organization and order. Spend a few minutes planning my week on Monday morning so I know when to thaw chicken and who to bring where?! Inventory my closet? You’ve got to be kidding! No thanks; I’ll just spend my time scrolling Instagram and staring at my closet.

Can you see my eye roll from there? I am trying to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way! I have seen the light, and I want you to see it too. I know the time invested in understanding my style and what I own will save me stress in the future. Limiting what I wear will do the same. Furthermore, creating an intentional wardrobe is all about feeling connected within myself and to my personal values, beyond style. Finding alignment between what I own and what I believe has created a sense of peace and wholeness I didn’t know I was missing, and a confidence I didn’t know I was lacking.

Less truly is more. It leaves space in our minds, resources on our planet, and dignity for our people. Whether you’re going minimalist, doing a capsule wardrobe, or shopping ethically and sustainably, you can shop with purpose and wear your values on your sleeve; quite literally. Start in your closet, create a life with intention, and feel good in your clothes and about yourself so you have the space to do more good in the world.