The Joy Of Clothes You Love

I've loved clothes all my life, I like wearing them, touching them, reading about them looking at them.
There's not much I don't love about clothes.
Well apart from everything involved in the care of them.
That's because the entire family had too many. I was under the misguided impression that more clothes equals less chance of running out of clean stuff.
It doesn't.
It means you will wear as much of your wardrobe as you are willing to ( roughly a quarter of what you have if you're like me) in order to avoid washing until one day your entire house is knee deep in clothes and you have no idea what is clean or dirty so you just wash and dry and pray you get round to putting it away.
No more.
Follow these steps and you could be this time next week in a house that contains only lovely clothes that you always want to wear and has minimal washing needs.

Step one
Retrieve every single item of clothing you own from whatever part of the house it may be, including the loft, the not been washed ever cos it's hand wash pile and the just in case it one day fits drawer.
Pile it ALL on the bed or floor.
It will look worse than this, see pic at bottom, this was one cupboard.

Step two
Pick up your most worn because you love it item of clothing. Feel it, check for flaws, fold it (we'll cover that later). Take note of how that garment makes you feel, the joy it brings.
Put it in the keep pile

Step three.
Make a chuck pile, a charity pile and a selling pile, you may want a contemplation pile too.
Go through each and every item in the same way, if it gives you the same joy that first item did keep it.
If not, discard.
There will be some items you question, you may have paid a lot of money for it, only wore it once, loved it once, had the best time if your life in it etc etc.
Ask yourself, if the occasion/weather tomorrow made this item suitable would I pick it out to wear.
If not why not.
Is is because it doesn't fit?
Please do not hold onto an item just in case it may one day fit.
If that day comes treat yourself to something new, you probably would anyway.
Is it because its out of style?
If so even if it cost the earth, even if it was the dress you met your husband in.
Even if you think your daughter/son may one day want it.
Three times.
You are only to question yourself three times about an item.
If after the third time ( I had a contemplation pile leaving a little time in between checking because the more you discard the easier the decisions become), you still do not feel joy.

Step four
Do not keep worn items for lounge wear, if its not acceptable for others you to see you wearing it in public why would you want to see yourself in it all day/evening.
Buy some nice lounge wear instead then you won't panic if the doorbell goes at 6.30pm and you are in your T-shirt that has holes  and your joggers covered in...something.....
When we have clothes on we love we cannot help but feel good.
Why do we allow our beautiful clothes to sit growing old and unloved in a musty wardrobe.
Wear them!
Now I'm not suggesting wearing your wedding dress/suit on the school run (unless that floats your boat in which case do it!)
I'm talking about that expensive pair of jeans or trousers that make your bum look fine, don't keep them for special occasions get them suckers on every week feel good all day not just on the (for me very rare) occasions you go out.
By having a small manageable wardrobe filled only with only clothes that bring you joy you can shop guilt free for a new pair of expensive jeans because you have had full wear of the last pair, instead of buying a new pair of expensive jeans because you like them and can afford them but the experience is marred by feeling bad about the expensive pair you've worn twice sat in your drawer that you are now bored with because you bought them 3 years ago. This applies across the clothes and shoes board.

Step five
Be ruthless, be truthful to yourself. Don't panic that you won't have enough clothes, you will have just what you need and if you don't that's because some need replacing and you can do so guilt free.
I ordered a huge pile of clothes for mum to try on at home the day after we decluttered based in what we knew she needed and she could guilt free buy the ones that gave her joy because not only did she want them she needed them.

Step six
Do not let others see what you are discarding, ooh really you're getting rid of that, you looked lovely in that yadda yadda.
Do not pass on the problem by storing clothes at parents houses or chucking a bin bag of crap at your best friend under the guise of giving, you are just making  her deal with your shit.
By all means keep some to sell or give to friends.
Just make sure it happens asap after the clear out and make sure its good enough to pass on and its not being kept for sentimental/value reasons.

Step seven
Assess your discard piles and wonder how in earth all that fit in your house and how on earth you ever thought you could wear it all.
I Kon Mari'd my mum and we calculated that she would have to live till 110 to wear all the clothes she had!

Step eight
Do the rest of the family.
I did Mr B's clothes, he was very resistant at first, he attaches huge sentimental value onto clothes (he still owns the jumper he was wearing the night we met 20years ago) but he caved, I even caught him throwing away a pair of boxer shorts that still had life in them but gave no one joy, without prompting.
If he can do it anyone can.
With regards to the kids clothes I  did an initial cull of obvious discards, non fitting worn etc. Then got them to go through applying the joy principle.
They now have one drawer of clothes each that is totally accessible to them and they can have full choice over.

Next post storing clothes.
An exciting new alternative that doesn't involve buying anymore storage or coat hangers.