When a new year rolls around everybody tends to sign up for gym memberships, aims to drink more water and tries to de-clutter their homes. I’m the first to admit I am a little bit of a hoarder, I tend to hold on to the pointless crap that I don’t really need. It wasn’t until it came to packing to move out last year I decided it was time to have a big clear out and I got rid of all my clutter ready to start afresh. Even after we moved in and it became clear we didn’t have the most amazing storage so I had another clear out and was really really ruthless with what I kept.
This was mostly down to the fact I had just read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and felt inspired to follow her method and see if it finally helped me to part with things. There were sections of the book I thought were a little far-fetched, like the idea of thanking your belongings and folding your socks because they work really hard protecting your feet. I guess this is a cultural difference between western and eastern culture and how we view things differently. But the main principle of the book was something I could really get on board with, only keeping belongings that make you happy or ‘spark joy’.
Clothing is the one thing I probably hold onto the most and that I have quite a lot of. I love clothes, I love shoes and clothes make me happy. What doesn’t make me happy is having a wardrobe full of clothes that don’t fit and that I don’t feel good in. So every 6 months or so I try and have a really serious wardrobe cull and be ruthless about what I’m going to keep and I have a few rules I try to follow.
Take it all out and try it all on
It’s so easy to flick through your wardrobe and get rid of the odd item here and there. But I always feel if you make the effort to take everything out, and I mean everything. Even the stuff you know does not fit and hasn’t fit in a very long time. You’re only kidding yourself saying you’ll fit back into it one day. There is no point having a wardrobe full of clothes that instantly make you feel rubbish, it does nothing for your self-confidence. So try it all on and stand in front of a mirror and really be honest with yourself. Does this fit? Do I like how this looks on? Have I worn this recently? If not why?
What basics am I missing?
If I haven’t worn something in a while but the reason is that I don’t have anything to wear it with I like to make a little note for myself of what would work with it. So often the reason I am unhappy with my wardrobe is that I have lots of random items that don’t go together because I lack the basics. So I like to go through and have a notepad on hand and figure out what it is exactly I’m missing. For me, it always seems to be skirts and trousers as I have loads of tops but nothing to wear them with. I think this is because I don’t feel comfortable with my bottom half so I don’t buy skirts and trousers as I struggle to get ones to fit and that I feel confident in.
Stop impulse buying
Because I work in charity retail it’s so easy for me to impulse buy when everything is such a bargain, and you always worry that if you come back later it won’t be there. Because of this, I’ve had quite a few items in my wardrobe that I’ve bought and then got them home and instantly changed my mind. I know a lot of charity shops let you return things for credit notes etc, but I’ve never bothered as I just see the purchase as a little donation and just re-donate the clothes. For the past few months, I’ve been working on limiting the number of impulse purchases when I’m out shopping. I try and ask myself, do I really need this? Can I picture at least three outfits I could wear with this? Do I already have something similar? These simple questions have really helped me to stop filling my wardrobe with items that rarely get worn.
I was inspired recently by Helens 2017 monthly challenges, especially her no spend month. I decided after a few too many splurges over the festive period that I would make February into my no spend month. So for the entirety of this month, there will be no unnecessary spending. Obviously, if I run out of shampoo or deodorant or my black jeans rip (this wouldn’t be the first time thanks to my booty) I am allowed to buy replacement items. But no buying clothes, no buying makeup or skincare. Although we do have an Ikea trip planned tomorrow I’m prepared with a shopping list of exactly what we are going for and nothing else.
When clearing out I found I also had quite a lot of books, DVD’s and CD’s stashed away under my bed. I found the DVD’s and CDs the easiest to get rid of, with Netflix etc it’s so easy to find films to watch these days and my DVDs were just sat there gathering dust. I have kept a few that are my all time favourites (Say Anything, Moulin Rouge, Amelie and The Breakfast Club) as these are the films I can watch time and time again and never grow tired of. However I ended up with so many films I’d watch once and not really be bothered by, so off they went to the charity shop!
CDs are the same and as I don’t actually own a cd player anymore it felt pretty pointless holding onto them all, apart from A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and my signed copy of Only Revolutions, the rest of them went there way. I probably still have a few that I could get rid of and probably will do once I’ve finished this post if I’m honest as Spotify takes up a lot less room in my office than a giant CD rack does.
When it comes to my book collection I’ve only recently been able to part with them. It finally got to the point where my bookshelves were just getting too full and there was no room for any new books I bought. Again I decided to be ruthless and get rid of all the books I had read that I knew I wouldn’t want to read again and that helped clear out a lot of space. I’ve also recently bought myself a Kindle in the hope that I can purchase virtual copies of those books I know will be a one-time thing and save my bookshelf space for prettier books I can read over and over again.