|This blouse was one of this year's purchases|
I suppose one benefit of not having much money is that even if you're a hoarder, you think very carefully before buying anything, so that's one useful habit I picked up from that time. I may have amassed stuff, but I did it slowly.
This week we had to chase the kittens out from under the bed because they had to have their jabs. The amount of clothing I found under there shocked me. Because I've hung on to things like the dress I wore to see Fields of the Nephilim in 1990 (and the T-shirt I bought there), my favourite velvet dresses from uni, my graduation dress, the first few things I bought BRAND NEW for myself when I started working, the outfit I bought one honeymoon and so on, I have a lot of completely unwearable stuff stashed away. That's okay.
I also found I had loads of stuff that was now too worn for me to feel completely happy wearing, that I had no particular attachment too but had outgrown or that I'd picked up in charity shops and decided I didn't like. WHO ON EARTH HOARDS THINGS FROM CHARITY SHOPS? Me, that's who.
Clearing my mother-in-law's house this year was a painful learning experience. Most of us have things we treasure that no-one else will. Clothes are probably top of that list. And if you want something and can afford it, you might as well get it, because you might just wait too long. So this year I've been shopping more than ever before - I've probably got one or two things a month, vintage, new or from charity shops. With these acquisitions there simply isn't room for hoarded stuff. So, I've been clearing stuff out.
Earlier this year I got rid of two vintage dresses - black 1940s ones that were too small and not really my style, from my early days of vintage shopping when I had a tendency to pounce on anything that might fit and still was a bit caught up in my head with what other people thought was suitable. They went to a charity shop with a specialist vintage rail; I let the manageress know what I was donating so she could price accordingly. I thought I'd regret giving them away, but I didn't, I actually felt better for not having them lying around the place reminding me I was too fat for them. It's much nicer being able to go to the wardrobe and see garments that make me feel good about myself! So my worn-out clothes are now in a bag for the rag recycling bank. Wearable but unwanted ones are bagged up for the charity shop.
I'm still a hoarder. I still have all those 'memory' clothes I mentioned earlier. There's now space for everything, though! (Let's not talk about the wool and book piles right now...)
Do you hoard unwearable clothes, with or without memories attached?
(The kittens are fine, by the way, and Pippin now approaches us, if we're sitting quietly on the floor. Ziggy, meanwhile, has allowed us to see him, which is very brave of our Cowardly Lion.)