The countdown is over, it’s time to Hoist The Hangers.
The first day of a new year seems like the perfect date to kick off this project.
What is Hoist The Hangers you ask? Excellent question, dear reader. Hoist The Hangers (#hoistthehangers) is a focused plan to get rid of some of the excess stuff I’ve got hanging around.
The realisation that I’ve got too much stuff isn’t new, I’ve had a few clear-outs in the past couple of years, but there are still far too many clothes stuffed into my wardrobe, shoved in boxes under my bed and hanging on a sad little lopsided clothes rail in my storage room.
Time to actually hoist the hangers.
Step One – to literally hoist all of the clothes that I keep on hangers outside and on to my trusty Hills Hoist, so I could take a visual inventory.
Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of hangers. I could not capture a shot of everything, there was just too much, and no wide-shot-assisting ladder on hand. I tried climbing the fence, but didn’t want to have to change the post title to ‘hoist the sling’.
That my friends, is every item of clothing that I usually keep on a hanger, weighing down my clothesline in a quite worrisome manner.
Actually, it’s not every stitch of usually hangered clothing, as there was stuff in my laundry basket and a few things thrown on a chair in my bedroom when I hoisted, but this is practically all of it.
It took me about an hour to #hoistthehangers , and I think I developed a very effective and soon-to-be patented upper arm workout while I was at it. Feel the burn – hoist, hoist! (DVD available for pre-order shortly.)
Once I had everything out on the Hills Hoist (sorry Hilly), which meant hangers were strung and straining on every line from the outside to the usually neglected inner line, and on the rods, I decided to count up what I had. Here’s the tally (deep breath):
12 pairs of pants (not including jeans)
52 assorted tops – from basic tees to fancy-pants tunics (yes, you read that correctly, 52!)
20 cardigans and/or jackets (When does a cardigan become a jacket? Is it about length, material or cut? So many questions.)
5 hoodies (I seem to have picked up 3 in the same style, in various colours. I never wear those ones.)
That’s a staggering 99 items! What the what now? (Can someone make the appropriate Jay-Z joke here, I can’t get it to work properly. Leave it in the comments, please!)
For me, having 99 pieces of clothing is utterly excessive. I’m a favourites girl, I reach for my trusty go-to items, the things I wear over and over, which means the majority of those 99 items hardly ever see the light of day.
It’s high time they came out of the closet – for good!
Without a word of a lie, I pulled things out of my wardrobe that I had entirely forgotten I owned. I pulled out items I don’t like, that don’t look good on me, that are only hanging in there because they were given to me, and things I no longer wear but which I’ve steadfastly hung on to for years (actual human years – thousands of days!). I rediscovered things I do like but hadn’t seen for a while, old favourites, and things that have seen better days, but are still hanging in there, for no good reason.
The point of Hoist The Hangers wasn’t just to weigh my Hills Hoist down, almost to breaking point. That was merely step one.
I was hoping seeing all of it at once would stun me, and it really did.
So many clothes, flapping in the summer breeze. Sheesh.
What I want #hoistthehangers to be is a process of paring back, and an examination of why I’ve been hanging on to so much stuff.
Over the next four weeks (or however long it takes) I’m going to post at least a weekly Hoist The Hangers update – from sorting to ditching (which will include donating), to what I discover as I discard stuff that’s just taking up space, to the battle to let go of that ‘just in case’ thing, and I’ll be answering the greatest mystery of all: what the heck is stashed under my bed? Dust masks at the ready!
I hope you’ll come back and see how I’m progressing with Hoist The Hangers, I may need some encouragement not to just shove it all back in the wardrobe and pretend I never took step one of the hoisting process.
Aside from the spatial benefits I’ll gain, I’m hoping that hoisting the hangers will shed some light on what’s behind the keeping of all the stuff, and what it feels like to let it go. And it’s not just about clothes on hangers, not on your Nellie (poor lass), but that’s where I’m starting. You never know, this might even prompt a hoisting revolution. (Look, a girl can dream can’t she?)
For now, I think I’m going to go and give my Hills Hoist a hug, I really gave it a workout!
Yours in hoisting,
PS Feel free to share your stories about clear-outs, clean-ups, minimalism vs maximalism (Is that a thing? Should it be maxing out?), culling and curating in the comments. We’re in this together!