In a study, the charity Oxfam found that “there are so many unworn or unused shoes in British households that put heel to toe in a line they'd stretch all the way round the world.” Wow that’s a lot of shoes! And unworn or unused means clutter. The same study also found that the most prevalent type of clutter was clothes.
A BBC article, The Hazards of Too Much Stuff, says the “…average British woman buys 59 items of clothing each year, she has twice as many things in her wardrobe today as she had in 1980, and she has 22 things in there she has never worn”.
How many items of clothing have you got that you haven't worn? Maybe you bought more than one for a special occasion and chose to wear the other one. Maybe you've bought something that you didn't really love, or it didn't really fit, or it didn't really suit you, but you couldn't be bothered to return it and get a refund. Maybe you were given something and it's not really you. Maybe you bought something and forgot you had it. When I've helped clients declutter their wardrobes I've often come across things that have never been worn and even have their price tags attached.
The Great British Wardrobe Report carried out on behalf of Ariel found that “…on average, Brits spend £1042 per year on their wardrobes...women are still the biggest shoppers: the average woman owns 95 items of clothing and only wears 59% of them regularly, while the average man owns 56 pieces and wears 62% regularly”. This is in contrast to percentages that are usually talked about that we wear around 20% of our clothing on a regular basis allowing the remaining 80% languishing untouched in our wardrobes and drawers. This is based on the Pareto Principle.
But how do you know if you've got clothes clutter?
1. You have too much stuff in too small a space.
2. Your wardrobes and drawers are bulging.
3. Wardrobe doors don't close.
4. Drawers don't close.
5. You have stuff piled up in the bottom of your wardrobe.
6. You have piles of stuff on the floor that have turned into a floordrobe.
7. You have a chair in your bedroom that you can no longer sit on as it's turned into a chairdrobe.
8. You know you've got clothes that don't fit you but you can't bear to get rid of them.
9. You do the laundry but never put it away as there's no space.
10. It's difficult to find the clothes that you're looking for.
11. You have clothes stored in other spaces (off-season clothes don't count).
11. You buy new items of clothing, for example a pair of black leggings, and then discover you've already got one or more of the same thing.
12. You can never find anything to wear.
Note: you don't have to identify with ALL of the above to have clothes clutter!
So what to do about it?
Imagine how much space you'd have and how quickly you'd be able to find the clothes you're looking for by having a really good clear out. And for tips on how to declutter and organise your clothes take a look at one of my previous blog post.
Get in touch for help with clearing your clutter:
Trained with Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
Member of APDO