Spring has sprung (here in London at least) and with the new season comes new beginnings, personal freshen ups and the chance to give new years resolutions that were broken by January another shot.
Although I desire to be that minimalistic babe whose three pairs of perfectly un-scuffed shoes and collection of penguin classics sit neatly on her Expedit shelving (RIP), in reality I’m beginning to need a second person to power the body slam required to close my cupboard door. Sure, that sounds like a Carrie Bradshaw dream “problem” worthy of a let’s-all-lol-over-those-old-rags-while-we-drink-champagne-and-twirl montage right? It’s not. I have about two outfits I actually like which are worn on repeat, hoping if I pin my hair back one day and leave it out the next nobody will notice that the shirt I spilt curry all over on Monday is the same one with a mysterious brown stain on Tuesday.
According to the rules of Feng Shui, a cluttered closet means a cluttered mind and a clean closet means a beautiful, peaceful inner world.
Shit, if this is the case (and the internet assures me it is) then I have one serious mess to work on.
So it begins, from the closet, to the bedroom floor—it’s a start. Maybe just a transfer, but it’s working on the inner self stuff at least (I tell myself this every 10 minute “toilet” break I take)
My room is filled with garbage bags, bursting with memories from the past ten years, memories that don’t require objects to arouse nostalgia, yet I can’t move them. I can’t seem to bring myself to pick them up, walk twenty meters to the dumpster and let go, although I am fully aware how much better I will sleep once I do.
I wonder if this is in fear of losing the memories to that dumpster also. It’s amazing how much power we trust in an item of clothing: our first shag, a friendship rekindled, a concert, a job, a festival. It’s a lot of pressure to place on a pair of Valley Girl pants and a Jay Jays mini skirt.
The fact that I battle with myself to keep these items confirms that the memory attached to them is so strong and of such importance that a simple closet clean up can’t erase them. Between sneezes and sips of lukewarm tea, the memories play out.
This back and forth with myself, my inner self that is getting healthier by the bag-load, continues until I have a cupboard I can see the back of. And you know what? I still remember the awkward things I said in attempt to impress a band I loved back in 2006, I still remember the way he looked at me as I walked out in that dress that doesn’t fit anymore. I still remember my outfit the night my heart was broken, and the shoes that made me feel ten feet feet tall and stumble like a giraffe at our joint 21st, the long coat I stepped on a plane, sobbing into. But along with these memories, I feel relief.
I am one very large leap closer to becoming that minimalist babe. Despite the discontinuation of the Expedit shelves the image is clear, the lined up magazines, the pencil tin, the folded jumpers, the neatly stacked jeans—good lord imagine what my insides look like!
Words by Leah Edmond
Illustration by Zoe Wonfor