Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Clothes and Clutter

This post is about decluttering in the home; a subject that a friend opened my eyes to on her own blog. In the past, you may’ve read about my efforts this year to ‘declutter’ my workshop and the impending ‘loss’ of such a feature of my life has only helped to encourage that. For whatever amount of time I have left, I enjoy my time and my space that much more for the reduction of clutter and sheer reliance only on the more-essential of items. I no longer have to worry about that spray gun I hadn’t used since 2009, or the duplicates of cordless drills lying under almost every shelf. I’ve gained money that I can reinvest in more meaningful areas.

Clothes for the autumn clearout.

In all of this though, it is important not to neglect home. I have systems that allow me to keep order of various items. To me, they’re organised. To others, they appear chaotic. Whatever my own beliefs; I only allow them to grow and they end up cluttering my floor space.

It’d been a while since I really made an effort to rid my personal space of any unnecessary items. At the start of the year, I used eBay to clear several stashes of unfinished and unplayed computer games. Now, I no longer have to concern myself with having to return to them some day. Nor do I have to contemplate how many storage boxes they’ll consume on my next house move!

Speaking of which; each time I’ve moved in the last few years, I can think of the inordinate amount of clothing I had to transfer back and forth. I felt embarrassed within myself and when I’ve looked at what I have, I’ve very quickly seen that I don’t wear an awful lot of it. There certainly isn’t much of a variation from the usual ‘themes’ and so, I’ve clearly always had my favourites.

So, why keep all of that other stuff if I never wear it? Would I ever?

I think I had a pretty good clothes clear out around a year ago after moving back to my mum’s. But I can also remember buying a few new items around Christmas time. I’ve had to stop and do this again recently because it still felt ridiculous. I’d open my wardrobe and instantly pick out the jumpers I didn’t want to wear. The majority of my T-shirts are ones I mainly prefer to wear to work and, as for jeans, did I really need three-pairs of worn, work jeans, when I usually wear trousers on a weekday?!

All of my T-shirts are belong to this drawer.

I found T-shirts that I was saving for use as ‘rags’ [if so then, why hadn’t I used them already?], socks and other shirts that were deemed ‘good enough for work’ (even though I was consciously choosing not to wear them), socks with holes in them and trousers that I’d been waiting for an excuse to replace.

Along with everything you can see in the top photo, I managed to completely fill the bin bag doing a repeated search through some of my drawers.

It’s not an easy process to go through and I find it can be quite exhausting, especially on a warm Saturday afternoon when you know you could be off doing something more active before the winter comes. But I’m now able to hang all of my clothes in one half of the fitted double-wardrobe. I can close my T-shirts drawer without making a mess of the contents. My underwear drawer closes without socks getting in the way and hopefully, fingers crossed, I won’t come across many more ‘loners’ without its pair for some time to come!

My wardrobe and all of my clothes.

Perhaps another time, I’ll be able to write about the monthly stashes of paper that adorn my desk and then, the bedroom floor… Decluttering isn’t about doing everything at once. It takes time and it works best in manageable stages. Neither is it about ridding your life of ‘everything’ bar food and water… That would be extreme beyond minimalism! I still hoard packaging items like jiffy bags and small cardboard boxes but my attempts to clear other junk through sites like eBay also allows me to reduce this amount. My challenge now is not to rebuild the mountain in my other wardrobe.

I frequently hang clothes over the back (and arms) of the chair I’m sitting in now. If I wear them only once, I’ll mostly likely wear them again some time within the next seven-days before they head out for the wash. I once talked about making a clothes horses on this blog but, even if it did help to prevent them from falling to the floor, I still feel it could make my space feel too clustered.

Thanks for reading and thank you to my friend for being an inspiration. This same friend has developed a ‘Top Trumps’ style of elimination process that I may one day apply to my DVD collection.

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2 responses to “Clothes and Clutter

  1. Linda 08/10/2013 at 10:57

    Hello, and thanks for the mention 🙂
    This is great Olly. That feeling at the end of it is worth it isn’t it? the feeling of more space, and freedom.
    Awesome that you can now close your wardrobe, all looking very streamlined there!
    You’re right, decluttering is best done in small bits, otherwise it gets overwhelming.
    I also save all jiffy bags and packing materials, because they are useful for sending things after selling them, or just in general.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 08/10/2013 at 22:43

      Hi Linda and thank you for stopping by. It’s a nice surprise to see you here although I wondered whether you might be reading! 🙂

      Thank you for your thoughts and also for your own ‘confession’ of hoarding packing materials! 😉

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