Full Laundry, Fresh Style: the final analysis

Laundry pinterest

(Please excuse the strange blend of fonts – I tried but couldn’t fix it this morning and wanted to get this post up!)

It’s here at last, the end of my FLFS Challenge. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about you can read my previous post with full explanation and background here but, in short, I have worked my way through my entire wardrobe, not laundering anything or buying anything new until I had worn everything in there!

I have a few key learning points and reflections from this challenge that I’d love to briefly share with you.

1. I have a lot of clothes. A LOT.

2. My shopping habits, albeit mainly from charity shops, had gotten way out of hand. I was in the habit of buying things that I liked but didn’t love and definitely didn’t need. As a result there were quite a few things that I didn’t wear that often but sat there taking up space.

3. I do have some items in my wardrobe that I truly love and want to wear more, but they were getting crowded out by all of the other stuff.

4. You CAN change your shopping habits, and going cold turkey is actually very refreshing and freeing.

5. I have a new appreciation of the clothes I already have. I’m about to do a mountain of ironing and when it all goes back into my wardrobe I will feel like the richest woman in the world, all with stuff I already own.

6. Instead of charity shops I’m going to try arranging clothes swaps as a way to bring new items into my wardrobe. I’m also going to rotate what’s in my wardrobe more often so that things feel new to me when I see them and so I’m therefore less tempted to but something new, just for a fresh change.

This has been a great challenge to do, helping me to see what I own in a new light, changing my habits of consumption and helping me to ask myself some important questions about what I buy, why I buy it and if there are other ways to think about that process.

If you’ve found yourself in an unhelpful shopping habit and need a bit of a wake-up call, why not give it a try – or something like it. If you do, I’d love to hear how you get on.

And if you’re nearby and fancy a clothes swap, I’m your girl.

Full Laundry, Fresh Style – Update

About a month ago I wrote a post about my new clothing regime: Full Laundry, Fresh Style, the basic idea of which was that I would do no more laundry until I had worn all of my clothes!

Laundry  pinterest

I am now five weeks into this scheme and so I thought I’d give you a little update.

Firstly, before you are too shocked by the fact that I have five weeks of clothes (and counting…) in my wardrobe and start judging me for my Imelda Marcos-like tendencies, let me point out that as I started at the end of summer I have been using both summer and autumn clothes during this time. There are definitely things that, once laundered, will not go back in the wardrobe but rather be tucked away again until next summer. Similarly there are a few things that are coming into the wardrobe now that’s it’s getting cooler which were away in a drawer since the start of spring. Also, there are obviously lots of items, particularly trousers and skirts, which have been worn more than once.

That being said – I do have a lot of clothes. What’s more, I don’t absolutely love them all.

And so my mind begins to turn to what I am learning from this process and what I might do differently at the end of it. Given that an estimated £140 million worth of used clothes goes to landfill in the UK every year (some of which has travelled via charity shops and hasn’t been sold), I don’t want to return to my default setting of sending things out the door in a donation bag and think that this lets me off the hook. However I do feel the need to simplify, at least a little. I think a clothes swap may be in order.

There have been a few wonderful benefits along the way.

  1. My default pair of jeans were in need of retiring to the ‘gardening clothes’ category and I wondered if I could make it through the challenge without going to buy another pair. Lo and behold, deep in the darkest recesses of my wardrobe was another pair of jeans that had, at one point or another, fallen out of favour but which were in perfectly good nick. They are the new default jeans.
  2. I really haven’t felt too bereft of visiting in my beloved charity shops. Because I’ve had more variety in the clothes I am wearing every day I therefore haven’t felt the need to add a little something new by shopping.
  3. I’m entering the skirt phase. I have quite a few skirts which I like but don’t wear often. Now that the summer trousers have all been worn and the jeans are in the wash, bring on the skirts!
  4. Hardly any laundry.

I think I can probably get another 2-3 weeks out of this plan if I can make things match and tie together ok. I’ll keep you posted!