I made an excel spreadsheet which records every item of clothing, which I own… the self-diagnosed OCD strikes again. Ok, so this might sound slightly crazy but with all the moving and packing that I have been doing recently, I have realised that I have far too many clothes. Visualising what I had and how often I used the item seemed like a good way to deal with this. This post is a rough guide on how to tackle the monstrosity that is your wardrobe and simplify your life just that bit more.

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First of all you should note down every item you have by looking in your storage spaces (wardrobe, shoe rack etc.) and briefly describe it. For example, I was sure that I owned no more than 10 pairs of shoes, yet I ended up counting more than 25. Secondly rate how much you like/use each item out of 10. Splitting the Excel Spreadsheet into categories (eg. Shoes, Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Jumpers etc.) has also helped to track down what I have much faster, so categorising is important. If you and your friends have the whole ‘what’s yours is mine’ thing going on, its also a good idea to keep track of who has the item, so you don’t waste an hour before a party looking for that specific pleather skirt to complete your look.

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After doing this, it became much easier to decide which clothes I had to bid farewell to before going to university. Ebay and Depop were the next stage. (psst check out some of the things I’m getting rid off, if you’re interested.) Finally, when your clothes become unsellable, its charity shop time. I have also realised that creating the spreadsheet has deterred me from purchasing unnecessary items. So if you do decide to make a purchase, try to get rid of something in order to constantly refresh your style.

More often than not we are influenced by the people surrounding us, our idols and society to do things which in our heart we do not want to do. It is important not to lose track and forget who you are. In our constantly developing lives, it is sometimes hard to remind yourself of what your values are and the person that you have always been. There is nothing wrong with giving in to peer pressure from time to time, but to be able to say “no” is one of the greatest skills in life.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you conform to other people’s expectations and ways of thinking this will ultimately lead you to unhappiness. The only way to prevent that is to remember your own morals and values. This is not to say that one must not take advice from others but advice and influence differ greatly. Furthermore when you don’t lose track of who you are, you will feel as though you have a tighter grip on life. When you are living for yourself, rather than other people, you will never have to rely on other people to be truly happy from within.

Zen tranqulity

When I start feeling strange about my life and as though I have no control over my own emotions while other people do, I decide to retreat into my shell and do something that I truly enjoy. eg. watch documentaries on ancient civilisations, go for a bike ride in the park or read a good book. When doing this, I remember to understand that I am my own source of happiness and it is perfectly normal to enjoy your own company. Moreover I look at old pictures to remember how far I have come from the person that I used to be. This is helpful because sometimes we are so self-critical that we forget how much we have accomplished over the years.

Morning Contemplation

Through doing these activities, I remember who I am as a person and outside influence becomes minimal in relation to decision making. eg. I have exams in 50 odd days and I really need to get on with revision. My friends were all going out but with the use of will power I politely declined. I knew what was best for me and my future, so I decided to stay in. Two years ago I would have felt like a loser for not going to a social event, nowadays I really don’t care what people think because I know that this will benefit me in the long run. Through knowing who you are, life becomes easier and more enjoyable to live.