New research reveals the average Australian woman only wears a third of her clothes and has 104 items in their wardrobe they never wear.
One hundred and four? Wait. What?
I decided to put this to the test and do a wardrobe spring clean. The timing was perfect as firstly, it was in fact spring, and secondly I'm moving house and downsizing so I just won't have the room for unwanted clothes.
But where to start?
I enlisted the help of an expert, Anne Stringer, who is a stylist for celebrities such as Ronan Keating and the contestants on The Bachelor. She's good but she's brutal.
"My main rule is if you haven't worn it for over a year - cull," she said.
"People get frightened to cull - you second-guess yourself and you get attached. So if you aren't strong enough to do it yourself either get a stylist to help you or ask an honest friend to come over.
"I like the idea of a couple of girlfriends making it fun. Have a glass of champagne and you never know, the clothes you reject could suit them. Your trash could be someone elses treasure."
Decluttering expert Lisa Oshlack, from Moving On, has set rules for cleaning out your wardrobes (see questionnaire below).
"If you wear them often and feel great in them, yes they can stay in your wardrobe. Anything needing fixing must be dealt with immediately and not returned to your wardrobe until in pristine condition and everything else should be given to a friend or charity."
Stringer said it's a perfect time to assess your style.
"You can get stuck in certain shapes or styles. A lot of women buy things because they know certain designers or colours suit them but it may not be the right piece for you."
So I took to the task with gusto.
In the end I had culled a whopping 56 items from my wardrobe. Not quite the 104 average but a bloody big effort nonetheless.
"I didn't think it would be that much," said Stringer.
"I would say the average of 10 items maximum aren't being worn at all."
I was impressed with myself and the bulging bags of unwanted clothes. So what to do now?
Donate, swap or bin.
The research that came up with the 104 number was conducted to mark the launch of ahm Fashion Exchange events where people bring up to six pieces of clothing they used to love but now don't wear. A token will be received for each, and then these tokens are used to shop the swaps.
The exchange said the research shows unworn wardrobes could be the reason nearly half (44 per cent) the country have lied about how much they've spent on an item of clothing and nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) return clothes as they regret buying them once they get home.
But I decided to donate mine to Dress for Success as I had a lot of work clothes and heels that would be perfect for disadvantaged women trying to get back into the workforce.
I feel happy to have helped others, lighter for the move and excited about buying some new items!
To help you feel the same follow Lisa Oshlack's tips.
Wardrobe decluttering questionnaire:
1. When was the last time you wore this?
2. Is this something you would still honestly wear?
3. Does it really suit you anymore?
4. Does it fit you well?
5. Does this/or do these colours still suit you?
6. How do you feel when you wear this?
7. Does this need altering or fixing in order for you to wear it?
8. Does it have any stains or moth holes?
With each garment use the following guide:
A - Wear often
B - Wear sometimes
C - Wear for special events only
D - Love it but not appropriate anymore
E - Have never worn it
F - Space filler
G - Unsure
H - Sentimental
I - Yes
Action to take:
A and B can entre your wardrobe
C can enter your wardrobe in its own section
D, E and F should be given to a friend or donated to charity
H should be stored in a box in the top of the cupbaord
I appropriate action should be taken, do not leave in wardrobe as is
- Sydney Morning Herald