Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

When shopping brings tears to your eyes – but not in a good way

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2010 at 9:23 am

There are so many things I never should have bought!  The maroon coloured vinyl jacket with the big buttons that now make it out of season.  The five or six handbags that I never use.  I am not sure if I have the resolve to throw them out.  There seems to be a need within me to make them useful somehow. – a uk website for helping people deal with clutter acknowledges this but says  “Live dangerously, take a chance and get rid of it. You take greater risks every time you drive your car than the imagined risk of getting rid of an item that you haven’t used for a long time.”  I take another look at the clothes hanging in my wardrobe, grab a pile and in my haste to dash back to the computer almost trip over something lying on the floor of my apartment.  Clutter not only clutters the living space and the mind, but it could cause an injury. 

If you tripped on these while dashing back to your computer you would be in trouble

 The blue beige and white blouse that suits me well colour wise but the style probably won’t be suitable for me to wear for another 10 to 15 years.  The red silk dress that I had specially made for me by a flatmate who was a dressmaker – however I didn’t have a specific occaision coming up to wear it to and as yet have never worn it.   That was over seven years ago.  Seven years I have had an item hanging in my wardrobe that I have as yet never worn!  The clutter website advises that items of clothing that you never wear are ‘imposters in your wardrobe’.  The website goes on to recommend:  “If they are being saved for a special occasion then how long have they been waiting? Will that occasion ever come? Why not wear them next time you go out to a restaurant? Saving clothes for a special time which may never come is really sad. If they don’t suit you or make your bum look big then you will never wear them: ditch them right now.

If they remind you of something special but you never actually wear them then consider taking a photo of them or of yourself in them. If you already have a photo then put it in a frame and display it or put it in an album. You will have the reminder without the clutter in your wardrobe.”

It never pays to bottle up if you are a hoarder

A colleague in NZ was obsessed with labels.  She would only shop in Ballantynes, the Christchurch equivalent of David Jones.  One day she realized she would be much better off if she had a car to get around in.  However her fiscal situation did not warrant the purchasing of a car, even if second hand.  One day she wandered into her spare room and saw all the empty Ballantynes bags and burst into tears – she realized that what she had spent on all the (unnecessary) items in those dinky little bags added up to the equivalent of a car – what she needed.

I interviewed a woman last year  – Neradine Tisaj  -who overcame her shopping addiction and reined in her out of control credit card bill – her endeavours led to her writing a book – How to Give up Shopping .  She realized her overshopping was a way of dealing with a stressful media role but that the euphoria of the purchase became a low when the credit card bills came through.  She now only enters a mall if she has a specific item in mind to purchase, something that she has saved up for and that she has determined she really needs – if there is no specific item to purchase she avoids entering the mall altogether.


The Sunflower Bedspread

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

Airing my sunflower bedspread before bidding farewell

I realize I have to get strategic about my stuff.  I recently emptied out my spare room in prep for my sister visiting in October but have to confess it was more a relocation of the unopened boxes into a built in cupboard next to my bathroom.

The weekend brought me to Burwood mall and my favourite clothing haunt, Chica Booti.  I espied a peach top with lacey sleeves and inset at the front.  Fortunately it was hung well out of reach – which gave me enough time while staring at it to realize that it was very similar to the Barcelona top I had picked up at Carriageworks.  I remembered that I interviewed a woman last year, when as a co-producer of 2SER’s women’s show, Double X, who realized she had a shopping addiction when she was rummaging in her wardrobe and found two identical blouses.  She had no recollection of purchasing the first – and had bought the second without any awareness she already had the exact same blouse languishing in her wardrobe at home.  Why was I interested in purchasing a top very similar to one I already owned?  It reminded me of that scene from Fight Club where the Brad Pitt character tells the Edward Norton character that consumers are stuck in a treadmill of purchase and consumption of stuff – or sh*t in his words – that we don’t really need.  “The things you own,” he says, “End up owning you!”

Even Dame Edna doesn't need these glasses anymore

I realize it is time to get rid of some stuff.  The first item to go is a bedspread with massive sunflowers that I bought from the Camden markets in London.  I had insisted on bringing that with me to Sydney.  I had used it in New Zealand but didn’t use it anymore.  Was my attachment to it purely sentimental?  Why did I insist on keeping a large bedspread that I never used?  In my nine years of living in Sydney I must have moved at least six times – Newtown to Marrickville; Marrickville to Newtown; Newtown to Marrickville again; Marrickville to Annandale; Annandale to Summer Hill; Summer Hill to Ashfield, where I now reside.  Had I used this bedspread once?  I hadn’t.  It had become an item that I had had to move  with me six times.  It took up half a large box each time I moved.  It now just seemed like folly.   I took it to an op shop in Summer Hill.  I had to check with the person in charge as to whether I could take photographs.  He asked me to check with the manager next Tuesday.  He thanked me for the donation.   Of the large sunflower bedspread.