<edit – as 40 Acts don’t retain old content> here’s the content I submitted:
Clear Out Your Wardrobe
In Narnia (re-read in preparation for #BigRead13) what’s inside the wardrobe is “bigger inside than it looks outside” – we but live in the ‘Shadowlands’, and on death, if we believe, will be taken “further up and further in” to a world of glorious colour. Something to look forward to any day of the week!
Back in the material world, have you managed to squeeze everything into your wardrobe? I used to. Drawing on William Morris’ “Have nothing in your house that you do not believe to be useful or beautiful” thirteen years ago I started de-cluttering my possessions. Last year I finally got around to tackling my wardrobe. I was fortunate that my cousin (@findmystyle) does this for a living, so I asked her to help me with what’s actually quite an emotional process.
With body image a growing field of interest for many, we talked through a collection of words and images in order to identify a look that’s right, comfortable and uniquely appropriate to me. We then turned to the wardrobe, which was to be returned solely to its original function: removing all non-clothing items.
There were a number of decisions to be made about the clothing itself. If it fits, I like it, and it’s ready to wear, it’s hung in the wardrobe grouped by function, with the sizes removed from the hangers. Jewellery and shoes were untangled, polished and left ready to wear. A posterity bag was allowed for clothing that was ‘loved’ but wasn’t wearable, but only the best could be kept from my huge pile of t-shirts.
With each choice I had to face guilt over things that had been expensive, or were gifts from others, but if it’s uncomfortable, doesn’t feel good, or doesn’t ‘work’ with the rest of your wardrobe, pass it onto the clothes bank, charity shop or Freecycle allow someone else to enjoy it.
Months later, I’ve a clearer head, get ready more quickly in the morning, spend less on clothes, and find it easier to pass more items on for the enjoyment of others.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.