After six years it’s that time. I have accumulated a stockpile of clothing that exceeds my needs. The question is, what to keep and what to sell and what to give away or donate. The prospect is overwhelming at the moment. I have a double closet overflowing, full dresser(s) and clothing piled on the floor in two heaps. Excess and decadence for sure, even if I have been shopping at the Salvation Army for the past six years.
Take the Stuffocation Quiz to find out: “Have you had enough of stuff?” as if the answer is not already obvious….
1. In your home generally, do you ever worry about the mess and that things aren’t in the right place?
2. Is there a part of you that wishes there was a “clutter fairy” who would clean it all away, work out what you really need, and get rid of the rest?
3. When someone you live with brings something home is your typical response “but where are we going to keep it”?
4. In your bedroom now, if you wanted to hang a new dress or shirt in your wardrobe, would you have to heave the stuff that’s already there left and right to make a gap, and jump in with the new thing, because if you weren’t quick enough that gap would close up?
5. Do you have clothes you haven’t worn for more than a year or, even, never worn?
6. When you open a drawer, do clothes pop out like they’re trying to get some air?
7. In your kitchen, when you put something away in the cupboards, do you have to push and pull and poke, to fit the thing in your hand around all the other stuff that’s already there?
8. Even when the kitchen looks clean and tidy, like a picture in an interiors magazine, are all those cupboard doors camouflage for the bedlam behind?
9.If you have a garage, is it packed so full with junk there’s not enough room to house the number of cars it was designed for?
10. Think back to a time someone gave you something in the last year. Perhaps it was at Christmas, when Auntie Doreen and Uncle Peter held out a gift-wrapped box. Maybe it was your birthday, when your mother really shouldn’t have, but did, and handed over something, she said, was just the perfect thing for you. Was your gut reaction ever to think “not more stuff”?
Ah yes….Stuff. And more stuff. I think I am ready to sort the stuff.
However, I may have to call some old girlfriends to help me out. Nothing like a closet raid and sharing when you have enough excess to part with. You never know when someone may have the perfect item to trade….
The new rules of shopping:
1. If there’s only one thing you remember it should be: “buy less, buy better”.
2. Don’t buy now: Think like you’ve bought it. Often, by the time you’ve come to actually buy it, you’re bored of it.
3. Never buy anything you like. Only buy things you love. Never buy anything that almost looks amazing. Only buy something that absolutely looks amazing. If you have an issue with even one little thing, don’t buy it.
4. The first place to shop should always be your wardrobe.
5. Think of your wardrobe as an exclusive nightclub, where you are the doorman. Have a one in, one out rule. Decide on a maximum number, and stick to it. If you love something enough to want to let it in, decide who’s not pretty enough to stay.
6. You’re also the maitr’d: it’s your responsibility to make sure the right people are sitting near the right people. That helps turn any clutter into a collection. So, work shoes next to work shoes, evening dresses next to evening dresses etc.
And the seven questions I will be asking myself as I examine each and every item in my closet, drawers and piles:
- Does this fit?
- Have I worn this in the last 12 months?
- Is it likely I will ever wear this again?
- Is this currently in style, and/or does this still accurately represent my style?
- If this is damaged in any way (e.g., piling, rips, stains, missing buttons, broken zippers, fading, etc.), will I actually make the effort to get this repaired in the near future?
- If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?
- And most importantly: Do I feel confident when I wear this?