A clothes shock take. Arg!

Inspired by this post on Extra Organised I decided to stock take my clothes. It took me two days. TWO DAYS. I had no idea I had so many clothes. Recently I told BP I was going to need to get some new clothes for work. I only have on pair of black pants and one long sleeved black top to get me through the winter. After the long and involved stock take of my wardrobe I’ve decided I no longer need new work clothes…or any new clothes. Possibly ever.

Deep breath.

I own 371 items of clothing. I have not yet counted my accessories. I’m afraid to. I have also avoided counting my shoes. THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY ONE different items of clothing! No wonder I can never decide what to wear.

And in the process of the stock take I put aside an additional 23 items for donation and 31 items of clothing to sell on eBay. That brings my original total to 425 items. I’m pretty upset with myself.

There is one aspect that I feel is out of my hands. Every year for Christmas I receive a huge tub of undies and socks. This is incredibly kind and generous and useful. Except I don’t need a new giant tub of undies and socks every year. I don’t wear my undies and socks that hard (does anyone?). I currently own 59 pairs of undies and 41 pairs of socks. SERIOUSLY. If I wore all those undies an equal amount of time I would wear them 6 times in a year. The socks? About 9 times. That’s not wearing out amount of time.

The other thing that has upped the number of items is my maternity wardrobe. This spans three different sizes and consists of a variety of maternity and “non-maternity-but-maternity-friendly” clothing. Much of this is second hand and most of the items are currently out on loan to a pregnant friend. This is an area of my wardrobe that is worth keeping a-hold of for now, but won’t always be relevant and will be easy to get rid of. This makes up 45 items in my wardrobe.

The best thing about the stock take was that I finally got up the courage to sort my wardrobe. As most people find when they do a big clear out of their wardrobe, I learned a few things about myself.

  • If it goes into the mending basket it’s probably going to stay there. Either I get motivated or I out-source. Some items have been there for years!
  • I have held on to things that I really like even when they don’t fit me or suit me. It was easy to get rid of them when the reality of how much choice I have hit me in the face.
  • There is no point in holding on to that pretty purple hand-dyed slip from the late nineties. I’m never going to wear it again. It is never going to be 1997 again and even if that becomes a ‘thing’ again I will definitely be too old to wear underwear on the outside…or skirts over pants.That’s over. Get rid of that skirt.
  • Holding on to my old stretched out singlets isn’t necessary. I have 28 singlets. I am definitely going to work my way down to a more realistic number of singlets – though I do wear one every day.
  • There are not that many items I’ve bought in recent years that I really love. The things that I enjoy wearing are my oldest clothes – wardrobe staples. Maybe I was truer to myself then?
  • I DO NOT need any new work clothes. I work 5 days a fortnight. I can come up with 5 work outfits a fortnight out of my current wardrobe. I could come up with 20 if I needed to. I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE CLOTHES.

This has been a really eye opening experience for me. I don’t think I’ll be joining the six items challenge any time soon. I obviously have bigger wardrobe issues than I realised.

Mama xo

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15 thoughts on “A clothes shock take. Arg!

  1. Thank you for the link. How fabulous that you’ve done the clothes inventory – I love reading everyone’s numbers! I’m sorry that it took 2 days 😉 It sounds like it will pay off big time though. It’s such an enlightening experience isn’t it. It’s amazing how what we think we have and what we actually have can be entirely different things. The result of my inventory was also the decision that I actually don’t need to buy any clothes for at least the rest of the year. Oh, and sounds like you need a moratorium on socks and undies for awhile!! I love your blog by the way.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Kim. It was a great exercise. I feel really guilty about the amount of clothes I have, but at least now I won’t be moaning about not having enough!

  2. Wow, I had 150 items of clothing so that’s a fair effort. Isn’t it amazing when you actually count your clothes and you realize just how much you have. It makes me feel very lucky and wealthy beyond what I ever thought.
    I think the next thing for me to do is count my jewellery items. One of my weaknesses.

  3. Ok I have already recently cleaned the wardrobe of too giant bags of unworn clothing. Its been hard because I have gone from corporate 5 day a week work to student placement 3 days a week. I also have a $100 Chadstone gift voucher to deal with. Its so hard when you have a fuller figure or even a smaller one, because your choice is reduced so you tend to grab anything you like in first your size, then your colour lastly your style. So you buy heaps, but wear once for an event. Many of the things that went to the donation bins had been worn once, but I didn’t feel right in them. I have been applying for jobs and starting to hope for the job interview, have I left myself short of the interview outfit? Inspired by your blog I will now count what I have and see if I have an interview outfit. It has to feel good, make me happy, represent me and working in aged care. No Black corporate. I have reduced my wardrobe but know I can make it easier on myself by matching up outfits on the one hanger. I am not a morning thinker, so for a working mum I think this is a great hint. I will lets you know my stock take al be it I have completed one cull. I need to find that one outfit for job interviews that expresses me.

    • Sounds like a fun challenge – I bet J would be able to help you. Good luck on the interview front and also on the outfit hunt! I like the idea of loading a hanger. Sometimes I do it, but other times I leave it up to the Gods. Ha! (My colleagues would know which days are which!)

  4. I’ve been meaning to declutter the wardrobe for a good while now. I’m still hoarding a bunch of items that I’ve been meaning to sell (but never get round to). How has been your experience of selling clothes on eBay/Etsy, etc.?

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  6. Wow…I didn’t think about counting my clothes. I am sure the totally would be a huge number! I think I have about ten pairs of jeans!
    And I am exactly the same with my clothes that need to be mended…I have one pair of pants that I have wanted to get hemmed for years!
    I am looking forward to reading through your archives to see how your challenge went!

    • Ooh I would so love to see what your total is. It might make me feel better 😛 I have a pair of pants that I bought in NY in 2009 that are way too long for me and I have planned to take up. I will be taking them to a clothing alterations place (that is local) this week, as I know I will NEVER do it otherwise. For $10 it’s worth it. Thanks for your comment 😀

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