Marie Kondo became a global icon in tidying and organizing after Netflix released her hit reality show where she went into the homes of American families to help them put their stuff, and their lives, in order. It was so popular that thrift stores in the United States and in the United Kingdom saw a surge of donations from people who decluttered possessions that no longer “spark joy.”
The popularity of Kondo and other home tidying and organizing gurus only shows that people want some order in their lives.
But, everyone lives with clutter. It has become a regular part of a lot of people’s homes and offices. Although it may seem harmless, it can lead to high levels of stress. Moreover, it is causing a distraction that prevents you from becoming productive. It stops you from getting anything done.
One problem that so many people have to deal with is having too many clothes.
A Closet Full of Clothing
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average American household spends about $1,700 annually on clothing. That is about 3.5 percent of the entire family’s expenses. Meanwhile, another report found that almost half of all American households are not saving any money.
Worse, not all of it gets worn. One study found that most people do not use at least 50 percent of the things that they have inside their closets. Americans, in particular, only wear 18 percent of the clothes that are stored inside their wardrobes. Belgians have the highest percentage of unworn clothes at 88 percent.
It is horrifying, but it makes sense. People do not really need to spend thousands of dollars to buy new clothes every year. To put things into perspective, back in the 1930s, an average American woman owned nine outfits. Today, an average woman has about 30 outfits.
Part of the problem is cost. Nowadays, clothes are sold at a much affordable price. One can buy a skirt for as low as $5 from a fast-fashion brand such as H&;M and Shein. Women in the 1920s paid the same for a skirt except, back then, the average income was $3,269.40 a year. As of 2019, the average annual salary in the U.S. was $47,060.
So, people in the present earn more money while the cost of clothing remains low, and it is encouraging a culture of hoarding. People end up having more clothes that they can use that their closets have become an overflowing mess.
An Industry for Tidying
The problem of closet clutter will not be an easy thing to solve. People can declutter and discard clothes, shoes, accessories, or bags that they no longer need. However, unless they make the decision to make major lifestyle changes, things will continue to pile up.
There are services that have appeared to respond to the need of the public for tidying and organization.
Entrepreneurs are seizing opportunities to open franchises for closets designed specifically based on the needs of the client. Mass market closets are pretty standard. Most of the time, they provide insufficient storage which means that, eventually, clothes will look a little messy.
There are also professionals who are using their expertise to help people manage the stuff they have accumulated. Like Kondo, there are professional organizers who will come to a client’s house and develop a system that will create order from the chaos. A professional organizer can rearrange a closet to improve efficiency and prevent clothes from piling up in the corner of the room.
Online, there are YouTube channels specifically dedicated to tidying and organizing. On YouTube, there are countless videos showing people cleaning up their closets. Each of these videos has thousands of views, proving that there is a huge market for this type of content.A Long-Term Solution
However, having a good closet or hiring a professional organizer will only be a temporary solution. At the end of the day, the problem is people have too much stuff, and they do not stop from accumulating more.
Experts recommend that people reconsider what kinds of items they keep in their closets. A lot of people tend to hold on to things that they no longer wear or have not worn ever. It is a sign that they are clinging to a fantasy version of themselves, maybe when they were young or if they ever decide to go clubbing one day. If a piece of clothing has not been worn for over a year, it is time to get rid of it.
Moreover, clutter will continue to accumulate if people keep buying more stuff. Maintaining a small wardrobe, in which every piece if worn multiple times, is better than a closet brimming with unused products. The key is to cut back on spending.
People nowadays have too many clothes, and it is creating too much clutter. There are ways to lessen wardrobe mess, but the best thing that one can do is to declutter and avoid spending on unneeded items.