Having small houses is a problem in cities like Mumbai but having less space for storage is a worldwide phenomenon. This is mainly because we all have a tendency to fill our houses with clutter.
What is a clutter?
“Things that are there where they are not wanted and make the place look untidy.”
In this article we are mainly going to deal with cluttering of clothes…Yes, let’s tackle the elephant in the bag!
Now, how does cluttering of clothes happen? In our materialistic society, we are exposed to advertisements, models, Bollywood divas all telling us what we need to have to be well dressed, presentable, and confident. Our mothers and the ‘forever-present’ aunties too ensure that we dress in a particular way and play the part of a well brought up Indian girl to its best. This makes shopping for clothes an inevitable habit that we all grow up with. For some of us this habit becomes an addiction and we start taking pride in calling ourselves Shopoholics. Further the fashion industry by introducing cheap and fast fashion, has only added fuel to the fire. All this makes it easy to accumulate all sorts of clothes we don’t really need. These clothes keep lying with us for a long period of time and the clutter keeps increasing.
Why is it that we cannot get rid of this clutter? There are 3 main reasons why it is difficult to de-clutter:
- Sentimental feeling – Our sentiments are attached on may be what we wore on our honeymoon or on a special occasion.
- Guilt – We may feel guilty for wasting money on things, so we hold onto them to justify our purchase
- Fear – We fear the loss of security, status, comfort, and love when we throw things out. Or we fear that we will regret throwing something in the future.
But holding onto stuff by rationalizing that we may need it one day is a recipe for just too much stuff… Eventually everything piles up and cannot be ignored.
How does clutter affect us? Research has proved that ladies who have “cluttered” homes have a stress hormone similar to chronic stress. They also tend to have a more depressed mood throughout the day, are more tired in the evenings and have poor focus and productivity.
How does decluttering help? De-cluttering is the form of self-care. It helps you clear your space, mind and heart. Decluttering can be hard to begin when we are at the end of a long day or the end of an even longer week. So it needs to be approached with an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful that we can give to others our unused belongings; especially those in good condition, not only benefits others, but can help us rewrite the story of who we are.
How to effectively de-clutter your clothes? Segregate your clothes into 5 piles:
- Keep – Only what you really love, what you would buy again, what creates a spark/joy for you and what you have used in the last one year.
- Upcycle – All Clothes which after repairs/alterations/or changes will be something that you love, then please have them done. Your very next occasion, do not jump to buy from the mall but check this shelf of your upcycled clothes first. I’m sure you will be very happy to use treasures from your own closet.
- Recycle – Whatever is completely worn out or torn or faded, needs to be sent for recycling. Check with your local kabaadiwala for recycling of clothes.
- Donate – Traditional clothes and kids’ wear which are in good condition but no longer for you; Please ensure you only donate such clothes which can be utilized by the done as 60% of the donated clothes land up in landfills. You can check Goonj’s (NGO) website for donations.
- Swap – your branded Indian and western wear(in excellent condition)that you haven’t used in a year; it doesn’t fit you or your priorities anymore. Swapping is the best solution to avoid the clutter and falling into that viscous circle again.
How does Swapping help?
- Your shopping will reduce drastically and you will save money
- You can find some great finds as one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure
- It keeps you trendy and fashionable without feeling guilty.
- It helps you preserve resources of the environment
- It helps you from falling a victim to fast fashion
Is there an online website for swapping? Swap Fashions (www.swapfashions.com) in India is like an online thrift store at your doorstep. All the pre-loved/ second hand clothing that are received from swappers at Swap Fashions are thoroughly checked before being accepted. You can get some excellent brands and designer wear here for less than 20% of their price. You have the options to swap as well as shop at Swap Fashions and as soon as you are done wearing the clothes, you can swap them again!
So ladies, get on with the task of de-cluttering your wardrobes today to ensure a calmer and more productive life!