The joy of tidying

I had a cathartic experience the other day: I tackled my wardrobe and threw away lots of old clothes. It took me a whole afternoon to go through everything, but I was left with about a third of what I started with. The catalyst for this unusual action – it must be at least ten years since I had a serious go at this – was the loss of about 15kg (equivalent around 33 pounds for US readers) in weight. Now, it’s taken me well over a year to lose this weight so it’s not been a quick fix but I can really appreciate the benefits. The main advantages are feeling so much better and healthier, the increased energy and optimism, but also there’s the pleasure of finding that many of my clothes are now too big for me. It took me a while to build up to the major task of going through wardrobes. Like many fat people, I have clothes in there in a range of sizes – hanging on to the old stuff in the hope that it might one day fit me again. Well, now some of it does fit me again, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to actually wear it. In the ┬áten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years since I first bought an item my tastes may have changed, and my age group certainly has changed. However there is some stuff in there that I can now wear, and am willing to wear for the first time in a long time. Notably, the jeans I’m wearing as I sit here typing. What a pleasure!

So, what did I do with the stuff I decided not to keep? When I got really fat I did spend some money on relatively expensive work clothing designed to minimise bulk. Some of this was so well made that it’s hardly worn at all. I will never need it again (no, really, I won’t) and these items went into the British Heart Foundation charity box. Some of the more casual clothing wasn’t fit to donate, though. When you’re too big, you might just make an effort for work, but being at home you tend to find that you wear the same few items over and over again. Where things were just too far gone, I threw them away. A third category of items was things that I can dye. For example, there’s a fine cotton lawn shirt that I liked very much but which is now far too big. I will cut this up and re-use it for natural dyeing.

Over the last few months I’ve bought some new clothing, as I’ve lost more weight. I do tend to take care of things and I’m hoping that these things will serve me well for many years. However, I’m planning to lose more weight so, who knows, maybe these items will end up in the charity box too. Here’s hoping…

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