I’ve spent the last couple of weeks spring cleaning my flat, de-cluttering and generally trying to be a bit more tidy, which is harder than it sounds when you have as much stuff as I do! Books, cameras, clothes, shoes – half of which I rarely read/use/wear but can’t bear to part with – find their way into every corner of my life. I love rummaging in vintage shops, charity shops and jumble sales, and my finds are often shoehorned into wardrobes, drawers and bookshelves – if there is an empty space, I will fill it. With (almost) anything.
My recent spring clean, particularly that of my clothes, has been very therapeutic (my bursting-at-the-seams wardrobe is certainly grateful to have lost a little weight) but it has also been very emotional. This may sound strange, but I think there is more significance lurking in your wardrobe than you’d think.
I’m a natural hoarder. In my younger years that meant keeping stickers and envelopes with my name on, now it’s magazines, clothes and accessories. As I was sorting my unwanted clothes into piles last night (for charity, recycling and selling) I encountered many flashbacks in amongst the belts, shoes and dresses.
There was my first wide, waist cinching belt that came free with a magazine about seven years ago, a polka dot tea dress from Primark that I went on to buy in every available colour during my second year of uni, when Primark was split over two dodgy, dimly-lit shops in Broadmead (now Poundland and part of Cabot Circus) and the shoes I wore on my 21st birthday. There are also pieces I’ve clung on to for sentimental reasons; gifts from my mum, vintage belts and dresses from my nan, clothes I have grown out of, or that are now too big for me since I lost weight.
I’ve kept these items not because I wear them even occasionally, but because they hold a significance that I attach to most of my material possessions. You must have a song, book, or outfit that transports you back to a particular day or period of time. I believe our clothes have the ability to capture a moment, like a photograph, and suspend it until you decide the time has come to move on.
So far I’ve given three huge bags of clothes to local charity shops, kept some back for a future clothes swap, and put worn clothes into the recycling box. I can’t say giving away memories, disguised cunningly as clothes, has been easy, but it does feel good de-cluttering my life and knowing than someone else is going to get enjoyment from things I never wear anymore.
Do you have an outfit you can’t bear to part with? Or perhaps you’ve recently got rid of a piece of jewellery or clothing that you’ve had for years? Share your thoughts by commenting below…