Closet Case: Changing Clutter into Charity

February 16, 2017
Closet Case: Changing Clutter into Charity

Somewhere underneath this pile of clothes are the f*cks I used to give.


In a bid to finally rid myself of the ghosts of a failed relationship (and business); I performed an exorcism of a material, sartorial, and symbolic nature - one that may very well make a small difference for good in another part of the world... 

A dull thud between the eyes, then a flash of black. Once again my face had come too close to the page as I bent nearly in half over my 2017 planner; armed with washi tape, stickers, and markers as I set about my daily task of organising then reorganising my entire year into colour-coordinated boxes. I rubbed my nose. Lately, bodily harm (ranging from mild discomfort to broken bones) seemed to be the price I paid for seeking to micromanage every aspect of my life. I observed the fruits of my obsessive labour; from my book collection arranged according to colour, to my herbs and spices arranged in alphabetical order. I still don't know what za'atar is, beyond existing as the full stop to my spice rack.

It was suggested that my recent compulsion to arrange and organise was not in fact because I am a hamster (sad times) but rather my need to control every aspect of my surroundings was a coping mechanism. It's true that life can get messy. Indeed, I'd spent the second half of last year struggling to clean up the mess of the murky mire that was a toxic relationship. 

Even after having extricated myself, traces of the proverbial tar pit still lingered like a miasma - whether it was trying to reach out to me, my friends, or my family through social media. The 'block' button is easy enough to utilise. However, my failed attempt at trying to find a common ambition for us (by investing tens of thousands of pounds into a vintage boutique - still counting the losses on that one) not only still exists but is actually occupying my living space - as piles and piles of clothing I bought for a retail space I no longer have. 
Clearly, it was time to take out the trash. Except that it wasn't trash. Though the clothing; stacked to ceiling height in my cloakroom, spilling out of storage ottomans in my bedroom and trunks in my sitting room were indeed haunting me, they were not evil spirits - rather, just lost souls that no longer had a raison d'etre in this plane that they occupied. Stuck in limbo (or rather, my flat), it was up to me to send these ghosts on their way to their next life and in turn, exorcise every remaining trace of bad energy from my life.

I got on my hands and knees, sorted hundreds of pieces of clothing into three piles - sell, keep, donate - and ending up giving away four large bin bags of vintage, pre-loved, and brand new clothing (both shop-stock and from my own personal collection) to TRAID.

"TRAID is a charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. We turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our clothes. Clothes are given to TRAID as cast offs and waste which we transform into high quality stock for our charity shops.The funds we raise in our shops are committed to global projects improving conditions and working practices in the textile industry." 

Sometimes karma takes time, sometimes the effects are immediate. The moment the bags of clothes crossed my threshold into the hands of the courier - from threads to TRAID, as it were - a shift of energy was felt. In exchange for helping a charity and in turn the people and the causes it devotes itself to, I was instantly rewarded with the relief for ridding myself of the relics of a dark age and also a closet that had doubled in size...
...which in turn granted me fresh space for sartorial experiments and newer interests. Exhibits A & B: A jacket (above) I customised at the Boohoo denim workshop (right). Denim - both as a classic and as a trend - has somehow evaded me for most of my adult life yet there is something rather cathartic about having a go at fabric with scissors, paint, badges, and an iron... 

Exhibit C: The latest addition to my latest addiction. I've been testing the star product of SkinChemists - the Rose Quartz Age Defence Youth Facial Oil. So far, so supple. Lightweight, fragrant, and hydrating; it's a pleasant new step under my morning moisturiser and over my night cream. Use my code "POSHBLOG" for £130 off till the end of February.

£150.00 £19.99 with code "POSHBLOG"

An additional, unexpected but very welcome bonus of sending my past along its way was that I was forced to examine the entirety of my wardrobe, and then purge whatever I didn't love until I was left with just the essentials. (The 'keep' pile wasn't even a pile - just five items, I swear!) The process and final edit is a story for another day, but the TL;DR is that I have over 60 designer items that survived the 'donate' and 'keep' piles. I'm thinking of selling the remainders and donating the proceeds to charity - what would be the best way to go about this? Answers on the back of a postcard. x

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