Whereas I strive to live lightly and not to accumulate stuff in my life, my wardrobe is the one place I reserve for hoarding. I probably place too much importance on clothes; I have always loved clothes. I think we were brought up in a way that put great emphasis on appearance. I always had ‘the best’ (by that I mean the most expensive) outfit for own clothes day at school and I would be dressed in outlandish suits and dresses which were always remarked upon. The need to express myself through clothing is something I’ve carried through into adulthood.
I do not buy into trends. I hate to wear the same thing as others. I’ve calmed down a lot since my teenage years. Once I actually wore my jeans inside out – cringe!
I like to buy quality clothing that doesn’t date. It’s more expensive but for me this makes sense. I have things over ten years old in my wardrobe that I still wear (I am 26) which I think is pretty good going. I shudder to waste my money on something that can supposedly only be worn for a season – according to the fashion machine.
People also give me a lot of clothes, up to half of my wardrobe consists of things that used to belong to someone else. So all in all, I don’t do too badly: I don’t buy much clothing but when I do I keep it for many years, and wear it alongside items that others have given me.
But even I am aware that this many clothes is excessive. The wardrobe is so over-stuffed and untidy I can’t see what I have. The clothes are all screwed up. There are things in the wardrobe monster that I don’t ever wear. It called for a wardrobe tidy and sorting session:
I sorted the wardrobe contents into seasonal clothing to keep for next year (the storage pile), a pile of clothes to repair, a pile of rags etc for textile recycling, and a pile for the charity shop. In case you’re wondering, the pressure cooker is there because I bought it in Nepal but I have always been too afraid to use it – they sometimes explode! While I concede that I probably do still possess too many clothes, I try to take good care of what I have, and endeavour to dispose of what I don’t want responsibly.
It was time to erase the unsightly hard water limescale mark in my toilet. Rather than chuck some chemicals down there, I experimented with using vinegar to clean.
First of all I put some white wine vinegar (purchased in bulk from Summer Naturals) in a spray bottle and applied it to the stain. As I could not drain my toilet it was impossible to immerse the whole bowl in vinegar, as was suggested by sites I had found online. I still wanted to turbo charge the clean so I soaked a sponge in vinegar and wedged it in the top of the toilet bowl.
I left the sponge there for two hours and sprayed on additional vinegar with the spray gun intermittently.
The limescale isn’t completely gone but it is the best it has ever looked
Today I celebrate my one year anniversary of living in whiffy garbage heaven.
Its malodorous content radiates fried chicken grease with a hint of pongy rotten vegetable matter. It’s 29 degrees Celsius; close your eyes, inhale the sweet aroma of household waste, gently fermenting. Absolutely nothing is recycled here; we like the bin to be full and stinky and we only empty it every eight or nine days! Sometimes we like to leave it in the hallway for four days before chucking it; that way it bids you the most pungent olfactory greeting imaginable.
When I moved in September 2010 I broached the bin issue: was it erm, always full? Oh right I see you work a lot and you don’t know how to recycle. Okay. Well this is recycling receptacle – holds it aloft and spins it around – and inside you can put in anything that can be RE-CY-CLED. Things like newspapers (they are made of paper so they can be recycled). And cans when you have had a soft drink. And glass bottles. These things can be recycled.
If you put a clean recyclable thing in the recycling receptacle I will take it down for you, so no need to worry if you don’t have the time, because you work a lot, don’t you. I will take it down for you. It’s really easy, anyone can do it. That should mean we won’t have to take the bin down so frequently too.
The thing is, it didn’t really work out that way.
After a spell of pulling up the slack: recycling where possible, taking the bin out when it was full and before it got smelly, nothing had changed and I found I couldn’t take it anymore.
I had to stop rescuing cereal boxes from other people’s garbage; I was twenty five – I had a life to lead.
It wasn’t healthy to cry a plastic tear every time I looked at our household landfill site. I elected to opt out.
So I became the apathetic womble of Old Street. A creature with strange rubbish collecting and sorting habits conducted in the privacy of the bathroom.