I Have Too Many Clothes…

…And not enough to wear.

How ‘normal’ is that? Very normal. And not normal at all.

Up until recently I had just the right amount of clothes. So what changed?

I did. I stopped wearing lots of them. My tastes (and my weight) have changed, and my wardrobe has not. I have always been very happy with my clothes, and never kept anything that I don’t wear – or more accurately – I wore everything I kept.

Having recently moved house again, I need to reduce the amount of clothes I have just to make it all fit in the wardrobe, but also I realised that I have shoes that have moved house more often then they have been worn. There is something not right about that!

So what’s to be done? Well first of all I tried to make a conscious effort to wear everything again. And I sort of managed it. But I wasn’t always comfortable – sometimes in a physical ‘this is too tight’ sort of way, and sometimes in a ‘I don’t feel right wearing this’ sort of way.

But now I have a new plan. A plan that sprung from my compost heap, not my wardrobe.

I’m trying to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. It took a little while and a bit of  blogging (wordpress – why does your spell-check not recognise the words blogging? Or wordpress?) to realise that that was what I was doing. But it is. A couple self imposed guidelines to living sustainable are –

No Hoarding: Hoarding, more innocently known as ‘saving-this-as-it may-be-useful-one-day’ or ‘that-is-too-good-to-get-rid-of-even-though-I-don’t-use-it’ comes from good intentions of reducing wastefulness, but I believe in the time and place that I live, it is misplaced. Hoarding is using your own home/space as a dump. Hoarding is keeping things away from others. If you feel the desire to hoard something, chances are wasteful behaviour was committed when the item was obtained, and storing it in your house for the next 10 years does not undo this. If I have stuff in my house that I do not want/use it is as good as rubbish stored in my home, however, it could be treasure to someone else if only I have the courage to move it along. If I want/need something that I don’t have – I can go out and purchase it responsibly, because I am privileged to live in a time and place of plenty.

Buy Responsibly: I believe that with very few exceptions, most wastefulness occurs at the point of purchase, not the just point of disposal. Therefore I am attempting to reduce impulse buys, instead making planned, informed purchases. This of course means only buying things I am sure I need, but also taking the time to do a little research before hand to try and find the most responsible sources to buy from.

These are guidelines I gave myself when I created the blog ‘Emptying the Bin’ which began as an attempt to reduce my contribution to landfill, and has blossomed into so much more.


However they are guidelines that will help me sort out my wardrobe malfunctions too.

I’ve always loved my clothes, and I’ve always been proud that I wear all of them, until they wear out. I’m heading into my own personal Narnia, into my wardrobe, where I decide piece by piece if I want to wear it until it wears out, or set it free to be enjoyed by someone else.