I have too many clothes. I know this for a number of reasons -- the current balance in my chequing account, the fact that I can wear a different floral dress every day for a 16-day period and, last week, all the shelving in my walk-in closet collapsed.
Yes, the weight of my excessive shopping habit literally came crashing down on top of me — taking a significant amount of drywall with it in the process.
The untimely failure of my heavily-burdened clothing rail forced me to do something I had been putting off for a while — edit my wardrobe. It took four painful hours to gather all my garments, make three piles (keep/garbage/donate) and then reassemble the keepers in a temporary shelving unit.
But once I did it I felt a rush of satisfaction — here I was staring at a significantly smaller collection of clothes and yet I was thrilled about it. Goodbye pilling cardigans, see ya ironic graphic tees, sayonara jeans I haven’t fit into for three years. Once I said so long to all of my obsolete outfits I felt as if an enormous unfashionable weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I wanted more of this organizational high, so I went on a weeklong cleaning binge, banishing the piles of cheap tangled necklaces, the rusty frying pans that would surely poison me if I used them, the DVDs collecting dust in an era of iTunes. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.
In my youth, my mother would roam around the kitchen shrieking “surfaces darling,” mimicking Absolutely Fabulous diva Edina Monsoon. “I just want SURFACES, darling. I don’t want this, look, I don’t want this. I don’t want THINGS on PLACES like that.”
And that’s the point. I don’t want things on places. I want to purge all the unnecessary bits and pieces until I am left with clean countertops, smooth bed linens, books tucked away on shelves, coats hanging in closets, hats upon racks and so forth.
It seems the advertisers have been lying to us all along — less stuff actually equals more happiness. Paring down my belongings and de-cluttering my life has left me feeling surprisingly Zen about my previously cramped apartment.
I have become an anti-hoarder and I want to spread the gospel of minimalist living to you, dear reader. You must be ruthless with your sentimental knick-knacks. Take a hard look inside those crowded cupboards and overflowing drawers and you will realize that most of those trinkets and tchotchkes you have collected over the years aren’t keepsakes — they’re actually just crap.