Check out this honest experience with a minimalist wardrobe. Dee lets us into her mind and heart as she describes her relationship to her clothes and why it was difficult to let go. Find out how having a minimalist wardrobe has changed her life and brought her joy!

Moving To Japan: Why I started a minimalist wardrobe and the joys of having one

Today I’m sharing a guest post with you by Dee, a lifestyle blogger over at My Dee Dee’s Diary. She writes about topics ranging from DIY to fashion to race and culture. Her blog is full of relatable topics and sound advice. Dee always strives to help her readers find solutions to problems, overcome any circumstance, and live their best life.

What led me to Dee was finding out that she had chosen to go towards a more minimalist lifestyle after a big move. I wanted to hear more about her story and what made her choose to live minimally, especially when it came to her wardrobe.

(I’ve written a little about my experience with capsule wardrobes as well as how to create one for yourself. Also, my free e-book, “How To Create a Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You” is a great resource if you are just getting started.)

Today, Dee is sharing with us her experience with moving across the world, and how that move helped her decide to downsize her belongings. I just loved her honest approach to sharing her experience. She lets us in on what was going through her head when she first considered switching to a minimalist wardrobe. I think you will be able to relate!

Be sure to leave a comment to let Dee and I both know what you think of her story!

The terms “minimalist” and “minimalist wardrobe” may sound strange and fairly unknown to many, but for me, they have become a part of who I am. Today, I want to share my decision to leave Jamaica and settle elsewhere with you guys. I also want to help you understand why I started my minimalist wardrobe and how you can start one too.


Almost two years ago, I made the brave move (at least it was to me) to pack up everything I had and move to Japan. The main reason I chose to go halfway across the world was that I desperately needed to start over. I needed to redefine and redesign my life. I had been through too many difficult situations in the three years prior to leaving and felt there was nothing left in my home country for me.

When I started doing research about Japan, I was initially told that the maximum allowance for luggage was two checked pieces, one carry-on, and a backpack. For a short trip overseas that would seem like plenty, but for me, someone who had amassed two dressers and one closet full of stuff, this was far from enough.

There was no way I would be able to bring it all with me. I needed to cut down. I had no choice but to make the difficult decision to downsize and become a minimalist.


Being a minimalist meant that I would need to cut my wardrobe in half and get rid of unnecessary pieces that I would no longer wear. It also meant that shoes that I had been collecting for a while would need to be given away or donated.

I had an instant panic attack. How could I do this to the beautiful outfits that I had spent so much time picking out, buying, and/or designing myself? How could I throw away my hard-earned money? The very thought was preposterous.

It took two weeks before I was able to begin the difficult process of deciding what needed to go and what needed to stay. I got out a notebook and wrote down two words in large print. The words were “keep” and “go”.

The keep pile was for all those things I was certain I would be able to wear. The go pile, on the other hand, was for the nopes and maybes. I sat on my bed for two hours before I could even begin.

Why was this so difficult for me? After all, they were just pieces of clothing. The truth is, they weren’t. In a scary and unpredictable world where anything could happen, my clothes were the only constant. They never hurt me or said anything negative. It was as if they were the crutches of fear, doubt, and low self-esteem that I was hanging onto all that time.

I cried, for the first time in a long while. I let it all out, then I got to work on making my two piles.


Having a smaller wardrobe definitely took some getting used to. I no longer have seven hundred shirts and a million skirts to go through when I need to pick out things to wear.

At first, this was really hard. I would be sad because wearing the same things on a weekly basis made me feel less than. I know it’s silly, but I equated how fabulously I dressed with how people would see me.

My mistake was not realizing that clothes did not make the woman. I was so much more than a leather jacket or a pair of leggings.

I also gained encouragement when I saw that Steve Jobs, one of the most successful people in the world, wore the same shirt and jeans every day. That definitely helped me to realize that I should be focusing my energy on living life instead of wearing it.

Nowadays I cannot imagine having a huge closet. I can no longer envision what Lopez and other celebrities go through when they have an event to attend.

For me, it is a quick in and out, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have learned so much about myself and finally realize that at the end of the day, clothing and other material things just don’t matter as much as I thought they did.

What Having a Minimalist Wardrobe Has Taught Me

Having a minimalist wardrobe has taught me so much! Here are just 5 of the things having a minimalist wardrobe has taught me:

  1. It is wonderful having all your pieces work so easily together.
  2. Having less clothing equals having less clutter, so it makes cleaning up other areas of your life that much easier.
  3. Having less makes laundry day more like laundry “couple of hours”.
  4. Knowing who you are outside of your clothing is incredibly important.
  5. At the end of the day, life is going to happen whether you have two hundred outfits or just two.

For many, the idea of a minimalist wardrobe can sound crazy. There are too many beautiful pieces of clothing waiting to be tried on and bought! That’s perfectly okay. I initially started a minimalist wardrobe because I was moving to a new country and did not have the space to bring it all. It has evolved into so much more.

The longer I had my capsule wardrobe, the fewer things I had. The fewer things I had the more I began to rely on myself and not on materialistic things for my happiness. I have become more aware of who I am and now have complete control over my life and no longer use clothing as a crutch.

I have since expanded my capsule wardrobe to include winter and a summer capsule, and I am very happy. A lot of the pieces in both capsule wardrobes were thrifted using the hacks I learned here. I have learned a lot in this process, and am excited to keep learning as I move forward.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts on minimalist wardrobes.

Until next time, peace, love, and prayers,


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Hi, there! My name is Dee, and I really enjoy talking to people and hearing about their life experiences. I try to spend each day being thankful for all my blessings and trying to help others fulfill their potential. I love God, and I love life. I believe that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. So go out there and conquer life with a smile!


  1. …get rid of unnecessary pieces that I would no longer wear. It also meant that shoes that I had been collecting for a while would need to be given away or donated.

    I had an instant panic attack….

    Hi Dee!

    I soooo can identify with you and your story. I went through a similar experience 3 1/2 years ago. Your description of the emotion and issues tied to this time decision are spot on. But like you, once I got on the other side of it, life is so much better! Thanks for sharing, and I’ll be sharing your post with other women who need to hear this message.

    1. Hey, Kimberly! I’m so happy to hear that you resonated with Dee’s story. That was my hope for her honest recalling of the events when I first read it! I’m so glad that you have also found joy and peace on the other side. And thank you so much for sharing Dee’s post! She will love that. 😊

  2. YES! I used be that girl that went shopping every single month. Now I don’t care anymore. I don’t have to make choices what to wear, because I don’t have too many options.
    Also: Mark zuckerberg (?) from Facebook also wears the same jeans/shirt every single day. That inspired me too.

    1. Isn’t it freeing, Bettie?! I love the ease of choosing an outfit that comes from having a capsule wardrobe.

  3. wow What a great post! I also made the decision to switch to a minimalist wardrobe, reason being that My wardrobe was out of control and I wanted to go back to basics. It was really on of the best decisions I have ever made!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Corretta! You are not alone in this! There are so many women with out-of-control wardrobes, and even some men. I’m so happy that you have loved the change. ❤️

  4. Happy your life journey has been successful. If you are growing as a person, you are successful, not by having more possessions than the next person. I am in the process of simplifying my life. I, too, started with my closet. That changes your mentality toward things and yourself. As you work through your emotions and motivations, you are trading your persona in the world for a more authentic experience of your self and your possibilities. This feeling of satisfaction and simplification spills over to your meals, housekeeping, your schedule, and an examination of the relationships in your life. I am now delving more into my spiritual life. My loosening from wordly attachments has made me strive to be more Christ-like. I am almost 66 but maybe by the time I leave this world, I will be the soul and spirit God created me to be. Love and peace to all.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Kathleen. I totally agree with what you said. Once your mindset changes, it affects every area of life. Thankfully, God’s grace is sufficient and He promises to carry to completion the work He’s started in you. 😊

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