A Journey to Minimalism – the First Step.

I want to get a bit of momentum going after that last post. It wouldn’t help to just feel bad about all this stuff around me and not do anything about it. Stop moaning and get on with it girl! So today I started to break the cycle. I decided to begin with my wardrobe. And I suspect I’m nowhere near finished, but I’m feeling pretty good about where I am now. I had to be passionate about it though, I had to be energetic. The best way I could think of doing this was to get everything out onto the floor to search through, sift out what I need and want and deal with the rest.

I’ve never put all my clothes out in one space before, it was a shocking experience. It took me more than five trips up and down the stairs just to bring all my jackets and shoes to the landing. Ridiculous. And that was only the beginning… Once everything was bundled up into the space I had to have a moment to take it in. There was a huge amount. Huge. Probably enough to fill a small car. I felt amazed – and not in a good way. I also felt guilty, ashamed – ungrateful. I’ve been swallowing up all this consumerism for years! New trip to the shops for new clothes for that all important new look. And with a new look, a new me – apparently! I was promised a rebirth with every purchase, a fresh chance to prove myself. Has that ever actually worked for anyone? It doesn’t matter that I really only wear five outfits and know exactly what I’m comfortable in. And I doubt this will change soon.

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I was debating for a long time whether I even wanted to put this up, I couldn’t even fit the pile fully into the frame. Of course, it doesn’t help that it’s all bundled up in such a jumble, but you get my drift – there was a lot. And I was shocked.

It was tricky to know where to start with the clearance. I decided to go for shoes, start from the bottom up, so to speak. Out with the obviously dead shoes, the ones that don’t fit. Sort out the ones I love and wear basically every day. But then I was left with the sort of in-between pile. One pair I kept as my most formal – it’s fair enough I don’t wear them often. The others I would previously claim to love, but I’ve never worn. But here’s the crux of the matter – not because I don’t like them, but because they are too nice. Imagine buying something that’s too nice to get use out of it! It’s like ordering the best pudding you can imagine and just sort of looking at it, awkwardly, not letting yourself actually enjoy it. The joy should be in the wearing, not just in the abstract concept of their ownership. I felt I couldn’t be too brutal, these were kept but on the absolute promise that they will now be worn. I am buying no new shoes until I’ve worn out what I’ve got. That’s that, done.

Moving on, my job became harder. I had to keep dotting around the clothes (which I’d roughly sorted into genre) until it got too difficult and I had to move onto a different pile. I hovered like an unhappy bee – tops to bottoms, back to tops, jumpers (too difficult), to outerwear. I was all over the place. And the pile didn’t seem to be getting smaller. Eventually I got my jeans in order (only after trying on every pair, a workout in itself) and that seemed to flip the switch. I was motivated! I quickly moved through my T-shirts, sorted out my jammies, sportswear, only to then find myself in the jumper rut again.

Now, jumpers are my thing. I can wear plain jeans all day (black, skinny, simple yet iconic) but on my top half, my jumper has to be just right. I’m very lucky to have amassed quite a gorgeous collection. But once more, I was suffering from the same problem I had with the shoes. Many of these jumpers are “too nice” for regular wear. It’s just so frustrating. I have made an impassioned vow to wear them more, even the nicest ones. What’s the point in having them if they never see the light of day, after all? However will I be able to appreciate them fully?

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The new, slimmer (not-so-capsule) collection. Feeling good about a job well done though, for now. Now I’ve just got to find someone to take in all those bin bags! And keep note of what I actually do wear… Eek!

Anyway, to cut a long story short I reckon I’ve now halved what I had pretty much. I’m going to try and sell and donate what I can. It’s a sort of last chance thing though. This has to be my clean slate. It’s a case of minimising from here. I have not cleared this space just for it to be filled again. Over the next few months I’m going to watch closely what I wear before a second purge. I hate the waste of it, but seeing it laid out, feeling guilty about it is a fine motivator. I know how I feel now, I know the shame of it and I don’t want to feel this again. I want to get off this train of consumerism, stop sucking up the promises of the establishment. Defy what’s expected of me and stop being a cash-cow ready for the milking. And, fingers crossed, today I made the first step.

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