Papow Ponders #1: Is it an addiction?


Last week, I cleaned out my wardrobe – it was necessary.

Slowly, my clothing collection had expanded to the point where it crept in to nearly every room of my home. Stacks of laundry had sat waiting to be stuffed into draws or storage boxes already at breaking point, shopping bags had remained untouched and doors had become impromptu hanging rails. I felt claustrophobic.

This wasn’t the first time I felt like this. When I left home and moved into my flat, I went from having three big wardrobes to one small one. It was a tough transition, which ended up with most of my wardrobe being vacuum-packed or shoved in storage boxes. Seeing the expanse of clothing I owned put me in a sick panic – why the hell did I have so much stuff?

Still, I lugged it all into my new place and there it stayed. Fast-forward two and a half years and, while I haven’t thrown anything out, I have amassed more and more pieces in my wardrobe. I went to San Francisco in the summer and brought back even more. Once I’d unpacked everything, that same sick feeling came back. This time it was worse – I had to take some sort of action.


My first action was to put a ban on dresses (my greatest weakness) for one year at least. Next, I decided to go through my things and sort out what I actually wanted to keep.

I am terrible at throwing things out; sentimental value plays a part, as well as the thought of something coming in handy one day. As I sorted and sifted, I realised that I hadn’t worn well over half of the things in my wardrobe. In my job as a teacher, I have a set of clothes that I wear for work. I honestly think my work clothes (which aren’t as awesome as my off-duty wardrobe) get the most wear. In a weird way, I felt sorry for clothes that had never seen the light of day. Why buy something fabulous, if you’re not going to wear it?

After chucking out five bags of clothing, I made the decision to start appreciating all the pieces in my wardrobe. I need to enjoy what I have and get the most out of my clothes.

What troubles me is that, even though I’ve made promises to myself, I can’t stop looking for more and more pieces to add to my wardrobe. I keep making wish lists of dresses, separates, accessories, make-up etc. It’s never-ending. I have over ten different red lipsticks, but I’m still looking for more. Every time I see a sale or a discount, my heart literally races. I try to justify every single purchase to myself and will feel tortured if I can’t buy something.

My home has got to a point where it’s almost at bursting point and there are still items that I haven’t touched, yet I still want more. Now, I’m not going into debt (I have savings and I rarely go over-budget) but I do wonder – IS THIS AN ADDICTION? Should I be concerned about the way I collect clothes, make-up and accessories? Should I be spending my money on other things? Is this normal?

I really don’t have an answer but the questions keep swirling around my brain. What do you think?