Usually it starts like this:
It is early in the morning, you are about to start your day, and there is only one thing that is keeping you from being “in it to win it”:
you simply have NOTHING to wear. Ladies and gentlemen, I know this has happened to you, too. Usually you make a decision, finally grab something out of your actually really full closet and rush off. Most of the time it is something you have worn over and over again – there are normally one or two outfits that “work” on any occasion. Truth is, we have enough to wear, but the huge variety of choices makes it hard to make one. And that does not only apply to our clothes, right?
You made the resolution to clean up (let me guess, it is shortly after New Year’s Day?). You have a look at your wardrobe, which actually has enough stuff inside to clothe more than one person. You stand there and realize how much clothing you actually own, and how few of them you wear on a regular basis? That is usually the moment when you stand in front of your closet and want to Mary-Kondo-the-sh*t- out-of-it and – since you are already getting started – why not your whole apartment?
Once we look around us (unless you are one of those minimalist people with massive control over your shopping behavior, or someone who can live from a capsule wardrobe, then, I congratulate you) we realize: we have A LOT OF stuff.
Just think of the uncountable items of clothes or shoes you own, the piles and piles of books (read and unread) that are yours, the (unused) kitchen items, and don’t get me started on sports gear and technical devices (and, how many apps on your phone do you actually use on a regular basis?). We all know how good it feels to buy something new, how excited a new purchase can leave us. But in the age of consumption, we keep buying and buying – and the thrill wears off pretty quickly.
Does this spark joy?
So, what can we do IRL to part from unnecessary items, to have room for what really counts?
One method that is successfully being applied across the world is, Japanese de-cluttering-queen Mary Condo’s way of tiding up, with the most important rule: “Keep only those things that bring you joy”. De-cluttering is a good start. There are also numerous ways to get rid of redundant stuff, which don’t include throwing things way. Think clothes/kitchen items – swap parties or flea markets. You can sell your stuff or give it to people in need.
A lasting impression
More important than looking through your stuff and getting rid of things you don’t need is to really think about what you buy when you buy something. But how can we resist the temptation, especially the one lurking around every corner in every shopping area, of buying just another item of clothing? Because you can easily afford it. If you want to adopt a more conscious lifestyle, here is a good way to start: start shopping more sustainably, wear and repair your things and use them until they are really used up. In the documentary The True Costs by Andrew Morgen you can see for yourself, the many negative consequences mindless shopping and the fast (fashion) industry has on the life of low-wage workers in developing countries and on the environment.
So, why not free yourself of all the clutter and say: “Enough with all that stuff” – chances are that, if you clean up/out your material chaos, it leads to more space, not only in you apartment.