Would you be able to list all things that you own? Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? So how about we look at your closet, can you name all garments that you have in there? Still nothing? Perhaps all tops or bottoms? If you feel like your head is spinning and my ideas are bordering with insane, you probably have way too much in your wardrobe. No judgement, abundance is no crime, only a burden.
Material possessions keep us in their power. It is a spell that is so difficult to break that we are ready to live in denial only to avoid facing the problem. We are willing to dedicate our precious time to keep and maintain them. We give away our living space, allowing them to occupy our territory. Why is that so? We feel bound by sentiments or memories connected to them. We do not want to loose money spent when purchasing them. We do not want to be wasteful, waiting for the opportunity to use them again or offer to someone else who may need that particular thing. Fair enough if you keep that great cashmere cardigan that became too loose to hand it to your friend who is one size bigger than yourself, but worst if you hold onto it for years even if you hate it and every time you see it hanging in your closet you are overwhelmed by a sense of regret for spending so much money on something that isn’t your colour and doesn’t even fit you properly, yet you can’t part with it because… well, because of what? And what about that silk dress that you bought in 2002 and still keep, even though it makes you uncomfortably conscious of changes to your silhouette, because the last time you were able to zip it up was back in 2006. And now imagine a closet that is filled with your favourite peaces, each of them a good friend that makes you feel comfortable, fits you well and flatters your body. When you look inside the closet, clothes are hanging neatly, there is enough space to move hangers, while other items are elegantly folded on shelves or inside drawers. Every garment has own space and you know well what is where, all in perfect harmony with your sense of style, needs and lifestyle. Doesn’t this sound fantastic? Sure it does, but why is it so hard to achieve that many give up trying before they even begin?
I am hardly the first person to say that you should only own and maintain those possessions that make you happy, agree with you and feel right or are necessary to keep from practical reasons. I believe this is an important message that should be repeated time and time again. All that doesn’t fall into “so me” and “so necessary” should find its way to an internet auction, charity or in worst case – a garbage bin. I am not an extreme minimalist who would give a formula on how many wardrobe items to hold on to, my belief is that as long as you regularly use what you own, it is good enough indicator. To use a parallel, some people hang only one special painting on their wall and enjoy it as a centrepiece of their living space, others go for several paintings adorning one wall, both ways are fine as long as you like what you see and are set on seeing it everyday for many years to come. Nothing in your closet should be random or purchased without reflection, behave like an art collector – invest in what is meant to last, chose wisely and with a long term time perspective. More on how to refine your wardrobe in part II, so this subject remains to be continued.