I’ve now reached the beginning of week six of my ‘buy no clothes’ challenge. Although I haven’t documented my first month in January, I can reflect back on the challenges I initially faced over the past six weeks and start to unravel my previous habits.
The first two weeks of any new ‘habit’ is the toughest. Looking back, two things stood out for me during these initial weeks. First, when I decided to go 12 months without buying clothes, panic set in as I wondered how I could possibly maintain this and not cave in to buying something I thought I really needed, let alone wanted. Plus, if I told people about this challenge, that made it more real and made me accountable. Second, I wondered what it actually meant to buy no new clothes. Did this include underwear? What about if a piece of clothing got a stain on it or became damaged and was a key piece in my wardrobe? What about replacing worn-out shoes?
These are valid points, but I think I need to take a step back and look at the purpose of what I am doing. This is not about being restrictive to the point where I am miserable. Nor is about walking around with holes in my shoes or stains on my clothes. This is about finding some liberation and mental clarity in respecting what I own and recognising how the retail industry tries to hook us in with the new season ‘must-haves’. So, here are my ‘guidelines’.
Declutter Kate guidelines
- Buy no new clothes and wear what I have in my wardrobe. I have sufficient to get me through 12 months.
- If a key, essential item, such as shoes or underwear, become damaged or unwearable (and cannot be mended), look to see if I already own something that can replace it or do the job equally well. If not, the item has done its job and can be replaced. The objective with this project is to declutter and not add extra clothing to what I own.
I’ve tried to keep it simple because that’s exactly what this project is about.