One in, one out

I spent several hours yesterday afternoon organising, sorting and removing clothing from my wardrobe. It was time to unpack the summer wardrobe!

I know the weather here in London is far from Summer-like right now, but in the absence of opportunities for entertainment or leisure, sorting through my wardrobe seemed like a good idea on a Bank Holiday weekend.

Additionally, I had an itch to scratch: to reduce my number of possessions. I’d engaged in some pointless retail therapy over the last few months. While much of it was actually returned to the retailer almost immediately, as soon as the guilt hit me, it reminded me that I was still acquiring without removing.

As ever, I discovered articles of clothing I’d completely forgotten about. It was almost as if I’d gone shopping and found a whole bunch of things I got towards the end of last summer, but didn’t get to wear. I also found quite a few things that needed to be removed and donated to charity. We have a collection for the Red Cross in our building, so it took absolutely no work or decision-making to do this.

I got rid of t-shirts that had seen better days, shirts that were just too tight and shorts that were just too…short. I tried on virtually everything, which was a lot more time-consuming than I’d initially thought. I was brutally honest with every article and even moved around, bent over and squatted to test the trousers and shorts for both fit and durability.

I really wanted to avoid the ‘if I lose some weight…’ dialogue, so asked @TheFrankFlyer to stop me in my tracks as soon as I uttered the phrase. These things went directly into the bag for charity, before I had a chance to beg for clemency. Anything that was comfortable but had holes or worn areas was treated likewise. After a brief Marie-Kondo-style ‘thank you and goodbye’. This still left me with a full wardrobe and several vacuum-packed bags of winter clothing for storage.

I’ve also identified a few t-shirts that basically have a couple of wears left in them, which I’ll use for working out in, and will then visit the big wardrobe in the sky next month or the month after.

Between us, we filled five black bin liners of clothing for the Red Cross, enjoyed laughing at some of my older sartorial choices and shared moments of horror when we encountered things long forgotten. I won’t say it was as fun as a trip to the cinema or a coffee with friends, but it was a good lockdown alternative.

It was also an excellent way to realise that I don’t need any new jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts or underwear. I’m all set for a summer of shorts (should it actually turn up) and even beach-wear, if we get to leave the country.

The big win? I now own less stuff. I’m keen to rid myself of belongings on a monthly basis, bit by bit and this was a great step forward. Clothing represents my biggest number of possessions by category, so it’s always nice to see it leave our home. Some months, it’s just a pen or an old notebook. Some months, it’s five black bags of clothing.

But always moving in the right direction.

(Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash)

4 comments on “One in, one out

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  3. ethnicolor

    Let me preface this by saying I’m not a huge clothes fan; but have you considered a smaller wardrobe? For 20 years I’ve been using just one third of a large wardrobe. It’s like an annex to the main wardrobe. It’s just about big enough for three jackets, 6 shirts and six pairs of trousers, including 2 pairs of jeans, and a tie rack. That’s it; I literally can’t fit anything else in there. The bottom half is drawers for underwear, t-shirts, sports wear, etc. If new clothes come in, old *must* go out because there isn’t the room for them. There’s no winter/summer transporting either… that’s the lot! I literally never think or worry about clothes, I just wear things until they fall apart and I replace them.

    Liked by 1 person

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