Wednesday 27 July 2011

A good clear out

A few weeks ago the lovely Nina from Life Clubs invited me to one of her 90 minute workshops. This one focused on 'decluttering' and it was great. I went away inspired and as a result I did something this week that I've been meaning to do for a long time: I finally had a wardrobe clear-out. This was long overdue. I have been putting it off, partly because I can always think of something more pleasant/useful to do with my time, partly because I'm terrified of discovering that I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR! So on Sunday, rather than delve into my latest cookery book and find something to bake, I gently pushed myself into the bedroom armed with some sturdy bin bags for the rejects and a suitcase for the stuff that I wanted to find a better home for.

I set some ground rules before I started:

1. Anything that has not been worn in the last six months goes
(exceptions can be made for formal/party/wedding outfits
as long as they comply with rules 2 and 3).

2. Anything that I don't like goes
3. Anything that I don't feel 100% comfortable in goes

It was much harder than I thought it would be and I was surprised at some of the stuff my gremlin came up with...

...About those fabulous designer jeans I paid a fortune for 10 years ago, and which since childbirth just haven't felt right, being just a tad too tight in all the wrong places: "You never know, if you lose a couple of pounds they'd be perfect again."

...About the shapeless, grey 'wraparound' cardi I wore every day during pregnancy and in the months afterwards: "Keep it, it's perfect for fat days."

...About one of my favourite very tight and stretchy playboy bunny logo t-shirt I wore obsessively in my twenties, which reminds me of summer, Prosecco and parties and which, frankly just doesn't fit in with my style nowadays: "Well that's it then, get rid of it and you're finally giving up - you're officially middle age now."

...About the scratchy, cheap knitted dress my mother gave me at Christmas which I really don't like but wear because I'd feel guilty otherwise and it could be, sort of, the kind of thing I like if it was made of angora and cut better: "You won't have anything left to wear if you throw that out. And she'll find out. And you'll have to put up with the drama."

...About those roll top Sweaty Betty jazz pants which cost an arm and a leg and which I never wear because I hate the fabric (a bit slimy if that makes sense): "What a waste of money! I can't believe you're going to give them away! Why did you buy them in the first place? You're so stupid!"

Thank goodness I'd worked out my ground rules and mantra in advance. Every time the nasty little monster piped up I stood my ground firmly and repeated the the same sentences over and over: "I don't like it so I'm not keeping it", "It doesn't fit properly so I'm not keeping it", "I haven't worn in for ever so I'm not keeping it", and so on and so forth. Eventually my gremlin went off in a huff and I finished the task.

It was challenging, certainly, and I can honestly say I'd rather have been in my kitchen baking a cake.

But here's the good news: every time I open my wardrobe or a drawer now I feel happy. I know that every single thing I own fits, I like it and I feel good in it. This is a completely different experience to before. I would go to get dressed in the morning with a sense of dread, knowing that most of items hanging there were not an option. I'd sift through my clothes despondently, wishing I could fit into this, hating the sight of that.

I don't have very many clothes left but every single item has its purpose and is welcome.

What a change!

So if you've got a few days off this summer and want to do something truly satisfying I can heartily recommend a wardrobe clear out. Set yourself some ground rules and create some mantras to ward off those pesky gremlins.

You could also join Nina and other Life Club workshop leaders for some of their other workshops. As luck would have it, this week's theme is "From the outside in" and is all about improving body image which is very much up the Beyond Chocolate street. They're offering all Beyond Chocolaters 20% off - just visit their online shop and use the code BEYONDCHOC1 at checkout.


  1. Yes yes yes! I can't recommend wardrobe clear-outs enough myself! I had a few days off two weeks ago and I did a bit more than a clear-out - I had a BURNING ceremony, during which I burned (among other things) a lovely, expensive dress which I loved to wear in... 1995! Needless to say, about 15 pounds (and years!) later, it doesn't fit, and even if I lost those 15 pounds, it still probably wouldn't quite fit because I've had a child since then and a few things have changed - my boobs for a start! So I cleared the attic, I cleared the wardrobe, AND I burned that lovely dress which represented so many things for me - the past; my young, slimmer body; my parents 'buying me' with the gorgeous clothes they bought for me; their obsession with body shapes; their obsession with my body shape; my obsession with my own body shape; my dieting days; the complying little girl that I was... the list of things it represented goes on and on! Well, it's now gone - ashes - and I feel so much lighter, it's incredible!
    Go on ladies, sort, clear and BURN!!!

  2. I am so glad that you went along to Life Clubs. Isn't Nina fab? I have always thought that there are a lot of synergies between BC and Life Clubs.

    Life Clubs isn't just London based, there are many opportunities to get involved all round the country and you have absolutely nothing to lose (and everything to gain) by going along to one of the 90 minute workshops.

    I really encourage Beyond Chocolaters to go along and find out more about Life Clubs because I know that for me it really did support me on my Beyond Chocolate journey as well as in many others ways - and having a cleared our wardrobe was only one of the myriad bonuses!

  3. I have a clear-out every summer and winter as I swap the clothes around from my wardrobe to my roof and vice versa. Anything I haven't worn that season goes and I'm utterly unsentimental about it. It also leaves space for all those bargain half-price sales the clothes shops obligingly hold!

  4. It was great to meet you Audrey, and I'm so glad you now have a 'lighter' wardrobe.

    As HelsBels so kindly notes, we have clubs around the country and with your 20% off we hope to see you soon.

    Best wishes,
    Founder Life Clubs


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