You’ve probably seen me wearing this polka dot plissé dress on my Instagram and on my other post ‘Why We All Should Be Conscious of Self Sabotage’. I received so many emails from you guys asking where I got it from and where you can buy those cute blue suede shoes. Well the truth is, the shoes are just £17.99 from H&M (buy here) and come in black and grey too. The dress is maternity from New Look but there are so many alternatives to fit those who aren’t expecting – just check at the bottom of this post. Sometimes new purchases are completely necessary, but are you buying too much and letting your things own you?
Is Your Stuff Owning You?
We have a Super-king Divan bed. For those who don’t know (believe me, I didn’t know what Divan meant at first), it’s that bed that flips up to expose immense storage. When you live in London you need to seize every inch of space.
Some days as I throw it open, (or struggle like hell with my pregnant belly) and look away while I throw in my bits and quickly close it. It’s sometimes full to the brim – as are the wardrobes and various drawers we have. I know I’m not alone in my clothes hoarding. That tight knee length red dress that’s a bit too small for you? I bet you haven’t worn it in three years and guess what, you probably never will again.
Try considering typical addict behaviour to determine whether or not your items are owning you. I used to think I was in control of my wardrobe. But like hundreds of women, it occasionally does get a bit much and I need a clear out.
So am I addicted to keeping things?
I asked myself, am I at peace just so long as I have something rather than possessing something I absolutely adore? Are the things I buy just ‘things’ or can I look at them daily and enjoy them? Am I telling myself that I can stop (if I want to) but like a typical addict, don’t?
Think about it. Do you want things purely because they’re fashionable? Because everyone else has them? You’re not alone. To avoid this, ask yourself a few questions before purchasing things which inevitably own you rather than you owning them?
It’s important to remember that shops are set up specifically to get us shoppers to spend. In many high end shops there’s often a science behind their visual merchandising. Heck, there are even jobs that exist for this purpose. Those million pound advertising budgets and marketing plans are all centred around increasing sales both in store and online. So be wise to it or you may end up walking out of the shop with those boots in three colours. I bet the Sales Assistant said they look fab, right?
I have three ways of making sure I’m not overwhelmed by the amount of clothes I own. Key considerations are thought processes before purchasing, daily organisation and regular clear outs. For each I:
- Train myself to consider an item’s value (monetary and sentimental)
- Consider its replaceability
- Determine its use
How It Feels Being Owned
Letting your things control you can play havoc with your mental health. The fear of throwing things away can heighten anxiety and further develop OCD behaviour. It can also drain your funds, leave you with no space and create a cycle of buying more just to satisfy that short lived adrenaline rush.
So are you cramming new purchases in your wardrobe with little space? Are you having that fear of missing out when you see something new online? Does every holiday require new clothes? Adapting the way you approach purchases can help manage your wardrobe so that you’re the one in control. Not your items.
Why Do You Own So Much?
Make a list of answers to these questions and like me, you might learn a lot about why you own so much.
- Does shopping for new clothes offer you an emotional pick-me-up?
- Are you shopping out of boredom?
- Do you shop on impulse, regardless of any consequences to space or your finances?
- Do you want things because they look great on other people, despite their shape and size differences?
- Does buying a designer bag spark a chemical in your brain that satisfies a short term longing?
Surprising isn’t it how we never really think of these things. We just add to our ever growing collection without a thought for how something will hold its value. We rarely think about selling it afterwards or what we already own that can work just as well. So many times I’ve bought a black bag with a gold clasp and then realised I also ‘need’ the one with the silver clasp too (can’t clash jewellery). It’s nonsense when you really think about it.
Change The Way You Buy & Feel Free
#1 Before Purchasing
- Do I need this right now or can I wait a while?
- Where will I put this when I’m not using it? Do I have the space?
- How often will I realistically use this?
- Does this really work in my wardrobe with what I already own? Does it fit?
- If I moved, would I love it enough to pay to get this shipped abroad?
#2 Daily Organisation
When I see my personal shopping or styling clients, one of the things I always say is that clothes protectors (plastic covers etc) and good quality clothes hangers are a must investment for storing pieces. It definitely makes you appreciate your things more.
- When is the last time I used or wore this?
- Consider your hangers, storage boxes and units. Are the sufficient?
- Are you wearing things regularly or has that scarf been at the back of your drawer causing a nuisance for a few years now?
- Are you keeping something in case you might need it in the future? Is that reasonable?
#3 Regular Clear Outs
These days I make a home for new purchases before I’ve even bought them. Ask yourself during a clear out:
- Does it have sentimental value? Is it important to you or might another relative prefer to own it?
- Would this be more suited in a clothes swap?
- Would someone less fortunate than me appreciate and use this?
- Are you keeping this because it was a gift, even if you don’t like it?
- Does it make me feel burdened or guilty
Shop Polka Dot
Plisse Dress – New Look
Blue Shoes – H&M
Are you in danger of letting your belongings own you? Xx