40 items of clothing, 9 pairs of shoes, 5 bags
I started downsizing my belongings nine months ago. It all began with a traumatising house move.
For three weeks I found full time employment as a box lady. Sweating in the Australian heat, I packed boxes and boxes of my belongings at my old apartment. I carried boxes and boxes of my stuff up five flights of stairs to my new apartment. After I received my new furnishings, I carried boxes and boxes of rubbish down five flights of stairs. It was a good workout, I will admit. But when I sat down, exhausted, sweating, after my eight hour box shift every night, I wondered, ‘do I need this much stuff?’
In my tiny old apartment storage was limited. I crammed my excess clothing into boxes which lived at the bottom of the wardrobe. These were rarely visited.
I found the whole process of getting dressed oppressive and time consuming. I had so many clothes, and yet I often felt I had nothing to wear. If I needed to dress for any reason, clothes would be flung around the room with frustration as I tried them all on. I never felt like the clothes I had were exactly what I wanted.
After the move had ended, a lightbulb lit up in my head. ‘I want to see all the clothes I own, so I actually wear them’. I made the decision that all of my everyday wearable items of clothing (excluding underwear, sleep, active and leisure wear) must be displayed and visible, and therefore, logically, used regularly. I would finally have the perfect wardrobe, I concluded.
When I unleashed the full fury of my clothing on my 2.3 metre length wardrobe, I thought the rail was going to warp or snap. I would look at it with uncertainty and wonder how many kilos a hollow piece of metal can handle. Was I now able to get dressed better and with more ease?
The answer was ‘no’. This was what initiated my first clothing cull. When I had all my items of clothing visible, it was easy to see that I had a lot of stuff, most of which I didn’t really wear. In the first cull I got rid of things that I didn’t wear at all. I finally gave myself permission to discard the things I knew brought me little enjoyment.
I noticed that with the first cleansing of the wardrobe came a sense of calm. Suddenly, my clothing options seemed less cluttered, easier to manage.
I decided to count what I have left. I had 126 items of clothing, 19 pairs of shoes and 8 bags.
I made what seemed an incredible realisation at the time. I realised I had plenty of clothing, enough to last a lifetime, and I didn’t need to buy anymore.
This was the moment that I decided to start a shopping fast.