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The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying

Yes, I found a copy of Marie Kondo's book in my stocking and have spent the best part of the last week putting her methods into practice. It has been an exhausting but fascinating process - to be completed might I add.

As Marie suggests I started with my wardrobe, which, I am embarrassed to admit, was bursting at the seams, with the clothes so tightly packed it was difficult to see exactly what I had. I proceeded to sort and filled lots of bin bags with clothes that no longer sparked joy. Remembering Sophie Vent's article In the Jumble from issue 83 in which she explores the afterlife of second-hand clothes I decided to opt for recycling instead of taking them to the charity shop.

I ventured to the Islington Recycling Centre for the first time. An education in itself- the high street may be dead, but the recycling centre is buzzing. A series of large skips labelled for cardboard, plasterboard, garden waste and clothes etc... lined the warehouse walls. I discarded what I could but returned home confused and with nearly half of what I had set out with.   I am confused about what can and what can't be recycled and exactly what happens to it when it is recycled. The colour coded system we see on some bins is helpful, but it is not universal.

In the end, I cut up my old clothes and turned them into tea towels and dusters, at least this way I know how they are being recycled.

Blog post by Polly Leonard.



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  • annie packer on

    T-shirts with no side seams can be ripped and rolled into a ball of “yarn” for jumbo knitting, garden ties and binding twig bundles for winter fires. The leftovers I seized upon and cut up into squares when the hay fever season hit – good old hankie substitutes – save-a-tree!

  • Maureen Kinsey on

    Surely it is better to take clothes to a charity shop so someone can get the benefit of them. There are so many people who have to shop in charity shops .

  • Suzi Drew on

    Thanks for your story. Your thoughtful process of following up on how clothes are recycled and deciding to repurpose some items has been inspirational for me. I absorbed the Marie Kondo concept last year and I must say it has made me really think about my purchases and what I actually need these days. Marie Kondo is really talking about mindfulness after all.


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