So, it's a new year, or at least it was a new year a few weeks ago. We've had a lot of new starts, the upshot of which are that we have somewhere new to live (hooray); no money (boo, but what's new) and quite a lot of things to do.
I never make new year resolutions for all the usual reasons - plus I have a memory like a goldfish. This year, however, I have made a sort-of resolution - or at least, issued myself a challenge.
We were a bit homeless last year, which is to say that we were living in a few rooms with all our things in storage, bar the child's clothes and toys.
We expected to have moved by March, so I kept out my winter clothes and stored the rest. This meant however that once the sun started to appear and all I had was jumpers and furry boots, a little bit of shopping was required. By the end of the full 12 months, I had acquired a whole second wardrobe - along with a shopping habit.
Roll forward to December this year when the boxes were finally unpacked and I was faced with a true first-world problem - too many clothes.
The first thing I did was cull, robustly. Three bin bags of kit went to the Barnardos shop right away and another went a few weeks later.
Having narrowed it down to things I couldn't bear to part with, I made myself a deal. No new shoes or clothes for the whole year. None. Further, I have to wear everything in my wardrobe at least once this year, or out it goes.
It's odd. I thought that the simple act of not-buying things would be really easy, but now that I can't buy clothes I am obsessed with the spring window displays - which is bizarre because really I'm not much of a consumer; 60% of the jumpers I still wear are ones knitted or woven for me by family before I left home. I'm nearly 50 so I think that counts for something. The rest are ones my husband purchased because he couldn't stand to see me in 35-year-old knitting. He may have had a point.
I essentially live in the same 2 pairs of jeans and 5 tops year round which is part of the problem. I keep thinking I should wear something different so I dabble in the shops. A dress here, a pair of shoes there... so the wardrobe grows. But it does mean that I have had been growing a pile of clothes that I never wear and that's what's going to change.
I will wear them. I will wear them and if they don't fit then I'm going to pass them on. If I can't wear them, I can't keep them - and so, I am wearing them. Every day I pull out something from the wardrobe that I haven't worn in a while. I wore a trouser suit the other day that I haven't worn in about 3 years. Looked great
I have no idea whether I will have learned a goddamn thing by the end of the year and frankly this isn't about lessons or denial or any other worthy thing. I'm broke and I have too many clothes - it all seems to make sense.
In the meantime I've added 2 more charities to my list of automatic monthly donations (Sight Savers and Shelter) partly because clearly there will be a teeny bit of cash I'm not spending - and partly because I'm appalled at my own excess.
Happy New Year everyone, I'll be the one looking awkward in a dress.