Thursday, 5 December 2013

Clearing my clutter | clothes and fear

We finished the office and there was a momentum building. Getting rid of stuff was thrilling and it was such a relief. Our bedroom was next to be tackled. I knew intuitively what was wrong with our bedroom before I started reading. Using all the space under our bed to store suitcases full of clothes was the major thing. Aside from the health issues (the dust that gathered under there!), it felt like air and energy couldn't move freely around the room. I didn't like the feeling of sleeping on top of all those suitcases – even if they were neatly tucked out of sight.

And sure enough:

Anything in your energy field affects the quality of your sleep, so resist the temptation to stash junk under your bed. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston

We got rid of the suitcases (they were tattered and hopeless for travel anyway) and we got rid of the clothes. We literally lined our long hallway with bags of clothes. It was quite shocking to see the clothes we'd held onto that we no longer wear, that we no longer like, that we wear but make us feel less than comfortable.

Karen advises separating clothes honestly into the 20% you love to wear and the 80% that are just taking up space, then:

If you don't like the shape, texture, cut, material or anything else about it, let it go. You owe it to yourself to create a collection of outfits you absolutely love.

But it took a while to get in the swing of it. Just as I did with those magazines and books, I kept asking myself 'what if I might need this one day?'.

Karen writes about a client of hers: It came down to her being genuinely afraid that she would inadvertently throw away some article that would prove to be vital to her existence. This is a variation on the 'this-may-come-in-useful-one-day' syndrome, which is based in fear rather than in trusting life to bring to you exactly what you need when you need it.

Brilliant, don't you think? And it was all I needed to get us going. I recognised the fear and just kept going.

The funny thing is I ended up with very little to wear! But far better than having piles of tops that take up room, that give you the impression of a bulging wardrobe, but which leave you feeling not so great. I wanted the space, and I knew I would just very slowly buy a few quality pieces – clothes that would make me feel good when I put them on.

That was three months ago, and I've managed just fine with the clothes I left myself with. It's simpler. But we weren't quite ruthless enough! I've picked several items over the past few months, put them on and put them back in my wardrobe. But I caught myself doing this and they went straight into a bag. I don't think about it. If it's not good enough, it goes. And so my clothes have dwindled down even more, and so have Graeme's. But like I say, it's thrilling. The clothes are no doubt suiting someone else much more, and we have created space for something else to come in down the line.

The other big change was moving our washing basket. We have a rather lovely wicker basket that has always sat in the corner of our bedroom.

Stale energy hangs around dirty laundry so never keep a laundry basket in the bedroom.

Whether or not you believe in stale energy, I think it just makes sense. Graeme made room in the laundry and it now sits in there. It makes washing so much easier now, because it's all in the one place next to the washing machine.


I know so many of you are following along with this series, and I'm so grateful for your comments and support. If you need a little encouragement yourself, this might help:

When you clear your clutter, you can think more clearly and life decisions become easier. Being clear of clutter is one of the greatest aids I know to discovering and creating the life you want.


  1. This is sooo interesting Vanessa. Great post. I will be clearing under the bed tomorrow, and my wardrobe is long due for a declutter too! Love that 80/20 rule. Elisa x

  2. I'm curious to know how it is going not having the laundry basket in the bedroom. What happens to your clothes between taking them off and taking them to the laundry?

    1. Hi Kate, well our laundry is literally a couple of steps away from the bedrooms, on the opposite side of the hallway. Usually, I take off and plonk straight into the basket. When I'm feeling lazy, I leave by the side of my bed and see to it first thing in the morning. When the boys get undressed, they know too to take their clothes to the laundry basket. It really is working so much better. And where the laundry basket was in our bedroom, I now have a wooden captain's chair that I use for draping clothes that still have more wear in them (i.e. that I can wear again!). (Btw, I can see that this set-up may not work in households where the laundry is on the other side of the house to the bedrooms.)

    2. That makes sense. Our laundry room is downstairs so not convenient to drop the clothes off. At the moment our laundry basket is behind the door so we wouldn't put anything else there, but when we remodel maybe we'll move into the ensuite.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one. x