If you’re anything like me, purchasing stuff, whether it’s clothing, cosmetics, kitchenware, hobby start-up gear etc. has become a habit. A habit that brings a thrill when you plan a purchase and fulfil that purchase quickly. The thrill fades only to be replaced with the desire to do it again … and again … and again. I have started this blog as a personal pact to:
- sort through and declutter what I already own in my house and only keep those belongings that give me joy
- create a manageable and highly versatile wardrobe (think modified capsule wardrobe)
- pledge not to purchase any clothes for 12 months, starting 1 January 2016 (excluding personals)
The last point is probably the one that makes me the most nervous and unsure whether I can actually achieve this. However, I am fairly confident that I have enough pieces of clothing to give me sufficient seasonal variation. I will also be using the Stylebook app as a means of creative output and as a practical way of identifying exactly how many clothes I have in my closet.
So why am I doing this? Purchasing stuff for the sake of it was starting to become hollow. I was also losing track of what items I already owned because I had packed cupboards of forgotton things. This meant I was starting to buy double-ups without realising until after the purchase. I also reflected on how I like my surroundings to be neat and clean. My wardrobe, as well as other rooms like the pantry, were anything but ordered and every time I saw them on a daily basis, it made me frustrated. Something had to be done.
First, the wardrobe
I came across Marie Kondo’s book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying about two weeks ago. It was her newest release and her theory of keeping only those items that gave you joy made sense to me. I also really liked the idea of being able to fold things to stand upright so everything was visible in a drawer. The practicality of reducing my clothes to the capsule number of 37 pieces just wasn’t going to work for me, at least initially. Besides, I had a large enough wardrobe to fit all seasons in it, so long as I had a proper plan. Marie Kondo’s method seemed more achievable for me.
Below is a picture of my wardrobe before my decluttering process:
As you can see, it’s overcrowded and uninspiring. I would tend to wear only the most recent clothes I bought that season and forget about the rest because I was unmotivated to re-create or update old favourites or I simply forgot those items that were out of sight.
I was also terrible at storing sheets and towels and just rolled or stacked them on top of each other in out-of-reach parts of the wardrobe, making the whole room appear quite claustrophobic.
So, I took a deep breath and took EVERYTHING out of this wardrobe. It’s really important to literally remove everything in the wardrobe. I was tempted to leave a few items at the bottom of the wardrobe and work around them but I’m glad I didn’t. Leaving something there does not give you a clean slate to re-think the space, but rather influences you to re-stack the same way as before. A cleared wardrobe is the only way to go and allows you to thoroughly clean it, and that is exactly what I did.
The full extent of my clothing collection was overwhelming and my theory that I only had about 10 pairs of shoes was also completely blown out of the water.
Seeing this pile of mess made me concerned that I may take more than the day to sort through it. But motivation to clear it all kept me going strong and I cleared most of it that day. I ended up donating around four bags to charity and two bags of tired and old clothing that had had better days and had been worn through or had stains.
My blog will go through with you how I made the difficult decisions on what to keep and what to discard (should I keep that expensive piece even if I haven’t worn it for ages?), as well as how I sectioned off my wardrobe for easy and inspirational use. I will also post up outfits that help me maximise what I already own and stave off the desire to purchase more.