Confessions of a Recovering Shop-a-holic.

So here I am, surrounded by hundreds of items in a combination of clothes, shoes, accessories and jewellery. I never wanted to admit I had a problem, but it has taken me two years of my design and fashion marketing degree to realise that material things do not necessarily make you happy unless they have sentimental meaning. I am surrounded by my peers with families that had the money and could afford having a full walk in wardrobe which we all could have dreamed of. They associated happiness with what they owned and what they could afford. I didn’t have much growing up, and it’s just natural that as soon as you can have what you have never been able to have, you get it.

In my very first post on this blog, I outlined the contents of my wardrobe. I do have a problem which has gotten out of hand, and it may have grown since. You could say, I have become a professional hoarder. I began to associate material things with happiness, but it wasn’t making me happy in the long run. I live in clutter, and although my wardrobe has consistency with a minimalist feel in the colour scheme and relaxed silhouettes, it is far from minimal.

J and I live together in a one bedroom shoe box style unit, and he has the built in wardrobe for all his belongings – I however, have a clothing rail in the bedroom, four long slide out boxes under the bed, eight draws at the end of the bed, eight box shelves, and two clothing rails in the lounge room which hold my jackets and shoe storage. Is it fair that our unit is basically my wardrobe? Unquestionably not.

 

 

So here I am. It is a lovely Saturday. After watching the documentary ‘Minimalism – a Documentary About the Important Things’ on Netflix during the week, and although becoming a more sustainable person has been something I have been trying to acquire over the last couple of years, this was the ultimate wake up call to do a colossal declutter.

I am currently culling down my wardrobe. Although Courtney Carver’s 333 project would be my ultimate challenge to complete, it’s all about baby steps. My challenge is cull my down my wardrobe to fit on one rail to hang in the bedroom and open up the living space in the lounge room. The slide out containers under the bed will then contain the excessive contents of my wardrobe to be put into our above wardrobe storage where I can not access at all without a ladder. I had just had a clean out and donated clothing to one of my my younger sisters who now fits into most of my tighter fitting clothing, so I will not be donating anything I put away until I pull it out of the above wardrobe storage where it will stay ‘out of sight and out of mind’ until the end of summer.

 

 

And the end result… I’m now down to one clothing rail and my sets of draws. I’ve used the four big slide out  boxes under the bed to store away clothing I may need next year or not 100% ready to part with to go up in the above wardrobe storage, and I have two garbage bags full (which I’ll reuse as bin liners afterwards) with clothing to upload to my depop to give them a second life (@lluhsd), a lot still with tags attached! I am so embarrassed relieved.

I discovered a lot of clothing that I remembered buying, wanted to wear in the last year, but couldn’t find. I am hoping this decluttering means I can enjoy this spring/summer with clothes I truly love, and not create many floor-drobes and have many tantrums around ‘I have nothing to wear’.

And although I have a long way to go, and I could still do a bit more refining to my wardrobe, I welcome myself to ‘the edited life’.

My goal is to adhere to the ‘one in, two out’ rule. Although my ultimate goal is to not purchase anything at all unless I absolutely need it, this will help justify whether I really want something and willing to sacrifice some of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe for it.

 

…and Tidus is also enjoying all the empty boxes, of course.

 

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it’s time to wake up, darling.

We are living in the age of convenience, but how convenient is it going to be when we deplete this earth of all its natural resources?

Although I’m not one to talk, I’ve been brought up in the age of convenience too. I’ve bought cans of drink and coffee in disposable cups and put them in general waste bins instead of recycling which contributes to the 50million tonnes of waste that Australians are producing each year as of 2016 (MRA). I was brought up on eating meat for the first 18 years of my life which had me contribute to the estimated 51 per cent of the global greenhouse gases just on raising and killing livestock (FAO) and over 56 billion animals that die for us to eat (animalequality.net). I was buying at one stage at least one item of clothing per week which contributed to my wardrobe count of 638 units, which has me contributing to low wages in the factories in third world countries and excess use of water and chemicals to produce the cotton to make my shirts and jeans. And to top this off, I do take a plastic bag if I have forgotten to take a reusable one, in which, the average amount of time a plastic bag is used before it ends up in general waste, is only 12 minutes (conservingnow.com). I am guilty. Although this isn’t everything that I have contributed to in my lifetime but these are the most common to which we all contribute to, it is a wake up call to change.

Although some of the things we do, we don’t do intentionally. We’ve been brought up that way. Everything is there for us. Thirsty? Here’s a bottle of water. Tired? There’s a cafe on every corner. Spilt your coffee on your shirt? Target has t-shirts for $4 so you can just take it off and throw it in the bin. The age of convenience is what is going to speed up our search for new planets to live on (or destroy next.) But how hard is it, to simply change our habits, to prolong the lifespan of our time here on Earth?

My lifestyle is in no way sustainable due to the amount of waste that is produced from the use of products that is convenient such as cans, plastic bottles and packaged food which is consumed on a daily basis. In addition to this, the purchase off excessive pieces for the wardrobe and my make-up repertoire could be brought down to a minimum.

From counting products that exist in my wardrobe, I don’t think any person needs as much as 638 units. 109 being pairs of socks, 69 undergarments, 60 shirts and 46 pairs of pants – this is not the full extension, but is a taste of the excessiveness of what my wardrobe is. In reality, this an over consumption, and a result of the fast fashion industry being so accessible and everything on high rotation. More than half of these units probably have not left their draws/wardrobe in six months. Could I up-cycle or donate? Yes.

Our generation is the change for a better tomorrow. Education to our following generations is going to be what will alter how long the human race has on this earth before we completely destroy and make it deem un-liveable. Changing our habits which we have picked up from previous generations and implementing them in our day to day life. It’s all about changing our habits and passing them down is what it going to change our future and the future for others.

‘Mustn’t we make sustainability inclusive rather than exclusive?’

I invite you to my journey to a better tomorrow, one step at a time.