Clutter is costly

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My other half has just received a copy of Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. This is interesting and timely for a number of reasons, not least because my next post (a guest blog) will cover this very topic.

Plus, wait…., my husband has bought a book with minimalism in the title!

The first page we opened when Newport’s book arrived contained this phrase: Clutter is costly. This set my brain whirring. For me, this phrase suggests that clutter – when seen as excess – is not only costly on the wallet, it’s literally costing the earth.

Clutter is costly on the wallet

Whenever we buy stuff we don’t truly need, we’re spending money to satisfy a fleeting desire when these funds could be saved for a short-term financial goal or even invested for the future.

I recently pre-ordered my (digital) copy of Gretchen Rubin’s forthcoming book, Outer Order, Inner Calm. As part of a package of pre-order bonuses, I’ve been receiving some daily ‘outer order’ challenges via email. Today’s suggestion speaks directly to this theme.

Rubin asserts that impulse shopping is a “serious happiness stumbling block.” In her eyes, buying on impulse (so easy to do in the era of one-click shopping), creates unnecessary clutter. I’d go a step further and say it has a serious impact on your budget, too.

Costing the earth….

This week, there were more news stories on fast fashion and its negative impact on the environment. The UK Government was said to be considering a number of measures to tackle this, including the possibility of adding a 1p tax on every item of clothing sold, the revenues from which would pay for improved recycling solutions. This seems like a no-brainer, especially if it’s true that around £140m worth of clothing is going into landfill every single year.

Style not fashion

One of the problems with fast fashion is that it appeals especially to teens and youngsters who don’t have the means to invest in good quality clothes that would last. And why would they want to? When brands like Zara are bringing out new ranges every other week, my daughter’s generation are not going to be interested in saving up for something that would count as ‘investment dressing’.

Still, it’s good to remember that the late Karl Largerfeld, who died this week at the age of 85, said, “Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” That’s fine with me; I’m not a great follower of trends and have always been a late adopter when it comes to the novel or new (particularly when it comes to technology).

Declutter your life and save money

So, consider these tips to avoid costly clutter. We can all do more.

  • Get rid of the excess and you’ll be able to see – and enjoy – what you already have, before you buy more
  • Make money from selling unwanted stuff (especially higher-value items)
  • Remember the 3 Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
  • Consider ‘style’ over ‘fashion’ for long-term investment dressing (quality over quantity!)
  • Spend out! That is, use up all those consumables you already have and see how much you’ll save

So, what about you? Have you let go of clutter and reaped the benefits? Have you changed your clothes-shopping habits to create a more sustainable wardrobe? I’d love to know; do comment by replying below.


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2 thoughts on “Clutter is costly

  1. A few years ago I went through my entire wardrobe and tried everything on. What didn’t fit and could not be altered or did not really appeal to me I gave away to Dress for Success. What I did keep I altered or repaired where necessary. If it was beyond repair I brought it to a textile recycling center. Now all the clothes and shoes I own fit in my closet and small dresser easily. The styles are simple and classic in colors I love to wear so they really suit me well. I don’t shop very often anymore except when something truly needs replacing. My rule is one item in, one item out. I even recycled my excess hangers so I wouldn’t have a space and temptation to add more items. I shop very carefully to get the best quality I can afford so it will last as long as possible. I don’t bother with trendy accessories so what I do have will last for years as well. I feel polished and confident no matter what I choose to wear now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve nailed it, Annie! I’ve discovered a good ‘trick’ to enable me to buy quality for less – I only look at Clearance items in classic styles (British brands such as Boden and Hobbs appeal to me at the moment). I needed to replace a tired navy blazer and just got a new one from Hobbs reduced from £150 to £47. it will last for years. Because ‘shopping’ does not come into the ‘pastime’ category for me, I’m really intentional about what I buy and how I obtain it – I focus in on the best places to buy, find what I can afford within my budget and go for it.

    Like

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