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My challenge: Can I give up buying new things?

I Love Clothes. If you hadn’t guessed that from the fact I write a blog about them, then I’ll say it again – I Love Clothes. I seem to collect them like some people collect stamps. I have miraculously managed to hold on to nearly every garment I’ve ever bought – from the topshop miniskirts my 16-year-old self saved up all the wages from her crappy waitressing job to buy, to the impractical, ill-fitting yet irresistible ebay wins my online auction addiction still forces me to purchase.

It seems to be quite a common female phenomenon – the few faithfuls you wear again and again, the wardrobe full of outfits you never touch but refuse to throw away, and still the aching feeling that you don’t have enough and you need something new. I have piles and piles of things which I don’t wear but keep hanging on to: “I’ll find a way to wear it again one day,” I always tell myself. But when I feel the familiar ‘Oh my god I have NOTHING to wear tonight!’ panic, I forget about all the clothes hanging in my room which I promise myself I’ll give another chance and head straight to the shops for a new dress. Then after its debut outing I hang it in my wardrobe and there it stays. And so the cycle goes on. And on and on and on.

But recently, instead of sitting prettily on my rails and brightening up my room, these useless piles of clothes have become the bane of my life. This is because I’ve been living out of a suitcase for two-and-a-half-months after splitting with my boyfriend. I am only working part time so can’t meet London rents, forcing me to sofa-surf in generous friends’ and relatives’ living rooms. This means hauling huge these piles of clothes from one place to the next, ensuring rather undignified struggles up tube station steps, aching arms and blistered hands (seriously). And I can’t even take it all with me – there’s still loads at my ex-boyfriend’s and loads more in my parents’ garage, prompting regular phone calls of ‘when are you going to collect all this stuff you’ve left here?’ and my subsequent plees to just look after it all and not throw any away. And as I leave one place and arrive at another, packing and unpacking all this stuff, the utter futility of this whole operation descends upon me as I realise I am hardly wearing any of. Twenty items max I wear on a regular basis, and the occasional special piece for a night out. The rest? It just sits there, causing me problems.

I have decided that I most definitely do not need any new stuff. In fact, I need less of it. It’s pointless – it serves no use other than just taking up space. Why do we have so many belongings which we just keep, just have hanging around the place, horded away under the bed and in drawers and cupboards and wardrobes, and never actually use? Why? What’s the point? We are clearly all insane.

And so, my solution is – I am going to stop buying new stuff. The only things I will buy brand new are food, toiletries and household essentials. Everything else, if I need it desperately, I will have to find second hand or make myself. Hopefully, eventually, I will clear my life of the useless clutter and only own things which I need.

So, here goes. Wish me luck…

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