For those of us that have more clothes than space (and I count myself in that right now because when I unpacked my summer clothes out of rotation last month, I got a shock at how full my wardrobe suddenly was!), then it’s helpful to understand WHY, so that after a declutter, it doesn’t fill back up again.
So here we go – here are some reasons you have more clothes than space:
- You don’t have a style guide or curated colour palette. This means you buy things that don’t suit you or “feel like” you (they’re probably on special though, so enticed you anyway), OR they aren’t consistent with other styles in your wardrobe so you find them hard to match up and then don’t wear them. You need more clothes when things don’t match.
- You refuse to pay full price. When you shop with a discount in mind, that discount becomes the main reason for buying something. It is so enticing that regardless of the item and its suitability, you buy it anyway. By paying full price for something, however, you are more intentional and deliberate. You don’t compromise at all. You don’t think “well it’s a bit tight under the arms but I’m sure it will be okay” or “This will do for now”. You think “This has to match with several of my other clothes, shoes and accessories, fit perfectly and last me a long time”. And so you only buy it when it promises just that. Paying full price means ultimately buying less items overall.
- You don’t shop with a list. When you go shopping without a list, it’s easy to impulse-purchase. It’s easy to buy things you want, instead of things you need. Keep a list at all times (in your head, your phone, in a notebook, wherever!) so that when you’re shopping, you can refer to it when the impulse strikes. Update it regularly (when you are standing in front of your wardrobe thinking “I really need a black singlet for under these tops” or when something gets a hole in it that you can’t repair). Then make a rule for yourself – Only buy things that are on the list.
- You can’t let go. Hanging on to clothes we don’t wear anymore is a common behaviour. There are a lot of reasons we stop wearing clothes – we don’t fit into them anymore, they go out of fashion (as I’m getting older I am ignoring fashion more and more though!), they get “tatty” or worn and not suitable for public display. However a lot of the time, we keep them anyway. If you can’t let go, and you keep buying more, it’s only going to get more and more cramped in there.
- You follow fast fashion. In the fast fashion industry there are over 50 seasons in a year. That’s a new collection every week. If you strive to keep up with these seasons, you will invariably end up with an over-full wardrobe. The antidote is to be comfortable wearing clothes for many years, and creating a style for yourself that does not depend on trends. Also being selective on what trends you follow can help, too – that will reduce the influx a little.
- You haven’t set any boundaries. You buy what you want, when you want it. Your space expands (or compresses!) to fit the clothes, instead of the other way around. Your shoes are in five different locations, your clothes span more than one wardrobe, or have spilled over into tubs in the garage or spare rooms. Set some boundaries on how much space your clothes can take up, then stick to it.
So these are a few areas for you to address if you want to ultimately have a “just right” volume of clothing in your life – give them a go and see how well it works!