In a previous life, I’d begin my day rummaging through my wardrobe for maybe 30 minutes, searching for a magical piece that would magically transform me, while ending up among a pile of discarded clothes, dramatically lamenting that I had nothing to wear! If only I had one of those walk-in wardrobes the likes of a hip Hollywood star, then my world would be a better place.
But that was then. Thankfully decluttering my wardrobe has turned me around and in doing so, I saved so much more than time and space.
How decluttering my wardrobe saved so much more than space
Inspired by Marie Kondo’s book, I started applying her technique of pulling every item of clothing out of hiding and into one place to see in real terms what I had. It alarmed me – not only how much I had, but where I kept it. Added to the stash in my room was the forgotten pile in the Ikea zip up bag underneath the bed in the spare room, the hardly worn jackets in the study, and the shoes and formal dresses hanging in another closet. Had I really accumulated so much and did I need it?
At the same time as Marie Kondo inspired me to look at my clothes, I was increasingly shocked by what I was reading in Lucy Siegle’s fantastic book, “To Die For – Is fashion wearing out the world?”. What was the real cost of my wardrobe and purchasing habits – not just in dollar terms, but to the resources and the people involved in my wardrobe’s production and disposal? I was also shocked to hear Australian entrepreneur, Mina Guli explain that more water went into producing the clothes you were wearing right now than you have ever drunk in your lifetime. Mina was sharing this as she ran through seven deserts, across seven continents in seven weeks to raise awareness for the global water crisis. Amazing.
I considered all this while continuing the stocktake of my clothes and the amount, quality and attachment to each item. Decluttering was not just about streamlining and organising my things to help save space and time; I needed to re-focus my connection to what I had, how these things came to be and question my desire for more.
A new approach to my wardrobe
I found myself starting to appreciate what was left hanging in my wardrobe and believing it was more than enough. These weren’t just pieces bringing me joy, they were pieces of the lives and environment of those who made them. I realise this might sound over-the-top, but I started to look at my wardrobe in a new way – I was the custodian of these precious garments, with all of its inter-woven material, environmental and human fabric. I now wake up feeling abundant and grateful for what is in my wardrobe, to those who have contributed to it, and to the extra half hour I now have wothout obsessing that I nothing to wear!