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Are you a hoarder? 22nd Apr 2013

Hello all. You may have seen the article in the Saturday Times recently by Mariella Frostrup entitled ‘My Name is Mariella, and I am a hoarder’.

Read a précised version here and see if you relate to her over-stuffed and disorganised wardrobe. Decluttering can be a cost-effective way to make the most of what you already own, and set you on the right path before making any further willy-nilly purchases.

Contact me if you’d like help making the most of the clothes and accessories you already own (and for a great deal less than a celebrity de-clutterer).

Mariella Frostrup has barely thrown out an item of clothing in 35 years. It was finally time for professional help.

“Locating three items of clothing that went together had become a daily challenge; elongated searches for anything from a belt to a bra were raising morning stress levels to potentially fatal heights and consistently making me late… Hunting down a cream shirt I knew I’d once owned would involve pulling every hanger from the wardrobe only to find it stuffed under something else, fallen down among my shoes or lurking behind my precariously piled up sweaters.

I’m not naturally messy. Neither am I a big shopper, but with three and a half purchasing decades behind me and little care for the diktats of fashion, I’ve barely thrown out a jacket in 35 years.

It was time to call in a professional. I’d heard about declutterers but fancied they were for oligarchs’ wives who could empty Selfridges’ designer department in an afternoon. I imagined a terrifying paragon of perfection, immaculately dressed in shades of peach with a clinched waist and patent nude stilettos, who’d laugh at the tragic moth-eaten scraps I was emotionally tied to… (but) she looked well, human. It made revealing my sartorial crimes so much easier…

It was shocking to be faced with the scale of my consumption over the decades. Does anybody need six white vests, five of them grey? Shouldn’t I have flung out the square-toed boots that I didn’t even enjoy wearing in the 1980s, let alone now. And why on earth was I keeping hold of my pregnancy jeans? At 50 I was unlikely to be going that route again. (in the end) I became so sick of the parade of quantity rather than quality that I finally snapped. “Dump it,” I shrieked 30 minutes in, and found I couldn’t stop. “Dump it, dump it,” I carried on in Queen of Hearts style, as the reject pile grew.

Eventually the cupboard was bare and the bedroom a sea of mini moguls; clothes to sell, clothes to give away, clothes to re-hang and clothes to either mend or alter so they could enjoy a second life. Instead of a sense of desolation I felt utterly elated, as though a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

A half-empty, colour-themed wardrobe… where everything left was on display including several outfits I’d forgotten about, lined up to be used again.

I’ve started to really enjoy my clothes again. Admittedly not all combinations are a success(sequins at breakfast raised objections from all the family) but the miserable feeling of a morning of having nothing to wear as I gazed forlornly at the jumble has been totally banished…”


020 8690 2475

Deana Wood qualified as an image consultant with the country’s leading image consultancy, Colour Me Beautiful, in February 1992. Since then she has helped hundreds of women of all shapes and sizes, ages and walks of life, to improve their appearance and to feel more confident about the way they look.

Deana works from her home-based studio in South East London