Columnists

If your wardrobe has taken on a life of its own, it may be time for a closet clear out

Research finds that half of us regularly wear just 50 per cent of the clothes hanging in our wardrobe

IS your wardrobe full of clothes or do you have a set of drawers bulging to the brim? Have you the cheek to stare at packed rails every morning and still utter the immortal words 'I've absolutely nothing to wear'?

I raise my hand and admit I'm completely guilty of these traits. I'm that constant hoarder who can't throw anything away but who keeps buying more.

Part of my problem is that I hold onto things I don't wear or like very much - just in case I need them some day.

Another issue I have is that I often buy new clothes without realising that I already have something similar squashed into the back of my wardrobe. (Note, please stop me if you see me about to buy another striped top).

Far too often some of my things are worn once then eventually make their way to the wardrobe no man's land.

Or worse still, I've maybe never worn them at all. The fact that the price tags are still attached makes it even harder for me to get rid because there's that little reminder of how much money I wasted, hanging from the label.

Sometimes you can't see what to wear for all your clothes.

If your wardrobe has taken on a life of its own and you have recurring nightmares about the heaving mass bursting from the doors and consuming you - it may be time for a closet clear-out.

This was the situation I had found myself in over the past few months. My wardrobe was a disaster.

My clothes had become so squashed I often have to re-iron them when I dragged them out. I've also been attempting to squeeze hangers into negative spaces and I had started to line my shoes up against the wall because there was just nowhere else to put them.

It had become very overwhelming knowing my clothes were in a complete mess.

But just last week I read the results of a survey that showed I'm really not alone with my storage problems, that I'm not the only one with clothes that sit unworn month after month.

Research by BT has found that half of people surveyed in Northern Ireland wear just 50 per cent of the clothes hanging in their wardrobe on a regular basis.

The findings - part of BT Shop for Change which is a one day takeover of Marie Curie shops in Northern Ireland - also showed that just 24 per cent wear just a quarter of their wardrobe regularly, while one in 10 have 11 or more items hanging up that they have simply never even worn.

However, the survey also suggests it's good news for charity shops as 77 per cent of people give their unwanted clothes and other items to the shops.

And 90 per cent claim a clear out makes them feel either good or brilliant.

So with this in mind, I decided to begin a total closet clear out at the weekend. It wasn't easy and I felt a lot of guilt for wasting that money in the first place. But in the end it felt good.

I started with my wardrobe, the main source of the mess, then moved onto the drawers - going through each section, taking out the things I hadn't worn in over six months or things that I just didn't have any use for or didn't fit any more.

The closet purge was overwhelming, it was stressful but it was a massive relief at the same time. I had to be ruthless and within no time at all the charity shop bags began to pile up.

By the time I was done, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

There was space in my wardrobe at last and besides, the knowledge that the clothes were going to a good cause as well as someone else's home where they actually would get worn, made me feel good.

:: BT Shop for Change takes place on October 13 to raise crucial funds to provide care and support for people living with terminal illnesses. Please visit www.btireland.com/ShopforChange

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Competition

From humble beginnings in Co Tyrone, The Logues have become one of Ireland's most sought-after live bands.

The rockers, who are signed to AMA Music Agency, have been described by reviewers as a 'psycho ceilidh' and 'whiskey soaked folk' and went down a storm at Electric Picnic.

They recently launched their second album 'Comin' of Age' and received rave reviews.

The band will be performing at The Empire Music Hall in Belfast on Saturday October 29, where they will officially launch their new single 'Yvonne John', before embarking on their European, US, Australian and Middle East tour.

I have five pairs of tickets to The Empire gig to give away. For your chance to win, simply email your name, address and telephone number - along with the answer to the question below - to competitions@irishnews.com

But if you're not lucky enough to win this prize tickets still available priced at £7 on the band's Facebook page www.facebook.com/theloguesband

Closing date for entries is Tuesday October 11 at noon.

(Q) Name the Belfast venue where The Logues will be performing on October 29.

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

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What's Hot!

Lidl Fashion - The retailer has unveiled its Esmara 2016 Autumn/Winter Collection, a range dominated by rich colours like Bordeaux red, olive green, slate greys and blacks. The focus is on functional staples, plush fabrics and elegant layering at prices that won't break the bank. The range features items such as faux fur gilets from £11.99 and jumper dresses for £10.99. The collection will also include a range of menswear and kidswear.

Hero collection - Elemis has pledged to donate £10,000 to Breast Cancer Care from sales of its limited edition 'Hero Collection' for total face and body nourishment. The set contains the new pro-collagen neck and décolleté balm, marine cream, frangipani moni body oil and the cellular recovery skin bliss capsules. It's worth £95, but is priced at £55 and available on www.elemis.com

What's Not!

Heist - So who was behind the Kim Kardashian jewellery heist? The reality star was held at gunpoint in Paris by five armed robbers who ransacked her apartment in the French capital and fled with millions of pounds worth of jewellery.

End of an era? - Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has hinted that the next series of Sherlock could be the last. A fourth instalment of the hit BBC drama is expected to air early next year but Cumberbatch recently said: "It might be the end of an era. It feels like the end of an era, to be honest".

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Competition winners

The winners of last week's If I Forget You novel competition are Nancy O'Toole from Loughinisland, Rosaleen McNally from Portadown and Kathy Duggan from Dungannon.

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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is Waffles with Salted Caramel, Banana and Berries, courtesy of McKinney's Sugar.

You will need:

4 eggs, separated

300 g flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tbsp Siúcra granulated sugar

50 g melted butter

600 ml milk

Salted caramel sauce:

150 g Siúcra light golden brown sugar

50 g butter

300 ml whipping cream

1 pinch of salt flakes

To make:

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and set to one side.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar.

Add the egg yolks, melted butter and sugar and mix.

Add the milk, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth mixture.

Finally, fold in the egg whites.

Bake the waffles in a waffle iron.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Pour all the ingredients for the caramel sauce except the cream into a small saucepan.

Heat gently, stirring occasionally until everything is dissolved.

Raise the heat and add the cream when it starts to bubble.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes, remove from the heat and add salt.

Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top. Serve with banana, berries and ice cream.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Suzanne McGonagle,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,

Belfast,

BT1 2GE

or

s.mcgonagle@irishnews.com

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