The Wardrobe Declutter
The Wardrobe Declutter
With the Summer season upon us, and as thoughts turn to summer dresses, sandals and squeezing into that swimsuit, there’s no better time for a wardrobe declutter.
I’m going to be honest here – most of us have way too many clothes. In fact, previous research has shown that 55% of womens clothes are never worn!
But there are many benefits to curating a smaller, simplified wardrobe. It will help you get dressed quicker, find what you need more easily, with fewer decisions to make and and far less stress. So here I share my thoughts and tips about how to tackle this most voluminous of clutter categories:
Visibility is key
We’ve all discovered items in the back of the wardrobe that we had completely forgotten about. Often our clothes are so tightly packed in cupboards and drawers it’s almost impossible to see what we’ve got. Unfortunately, the only real answer to this is to reduce the total number as much as possible. Then at least your remaining clothes can be seen and more importantly, can be worn rather than forgotten.
Keep what you love
To do a really thorough job you need to go through all of your clothing, or at least everything you have in each type or category of item. It’s only by putting all your dresses, jackets, skirts, etc. together that you will get a true picture of the total amount – and it can be a real eye opener!
So consider each item in turn, (trying on if needed), and try to be ruthless – keeping only what you really need or really love to wear. Let go of anything that is worn, ill-fitting, or is uncomfortable to wear. There’s no point in keeping a dress that needs a special bra that you have never got round to buying. Now look at what you have multiples of and narrow them down. For example, if you have ten pairs of black leggings, get rid of any that are past their best, then consider how many you really need to keep.Could you set a limit for yourself by deciding on a maximum number for each category?
If there are items you just can’t make a decision about, pack them up into a ‘maybe’ bag. Put it somewhere out of sight and put a reminder in your diary for six months time. When the time is up, if you haven’t needed, wanted or thought about the items in that time, it’s very likely you’ll be just fine without them!
Create a Summer box
There aren’t really that many days where it it’s hot enough to wear strappy dresses and bikinis, so it doesn’t make sense to have them take up a sizeable portion of your wardrobe all year round. Instead, create a Summer box and use it to store sun hats, floaty skirts and those snazzy trousers you only ever wear when you go abroad.
Cherish your clothes
One of the joys of streamlining your wardrobe is you can look after them better. Give your wardrobe a hoover to get rid of any lingering fluff and wipe down the inside with a damp cloth. It’s a good idea to add some form of moth protection – hanging sachets are a good option. Next sort hangers, chucking out any broken ones or cheap wire hangers that will misshape clothes. Consider using matching skinny velvet hangers, which, unlike wooden ones (which can be very bulky) don’t take up much room, look neat and are gentle on delicate fabrics.
How to rearrange
As you put items back, make sure that all hangers are facing the same way – it will make it easier to take things out. Arrange clothes in categories: coats, jackets, shirts and tops, then dresses, skirts, trousers, etc. so that everything is easy to find. Then sort into colours within each category, e.g. all blue trousers together, red tops together and so on. If you have patterned items with multiple colours, create a patterned section or decide on the primary colour and group it with that colour. I also like the Marie Kondo idea of hanging items dark or heavy on the left and light/lighter fabrics on the right, to create a feeling of lightness as you look along the rail….maybe I need to get out more!
Finally, be sure to put some strategies in place to avoid your clothes mountain building up again, because unless you do, it probably will. Of course it all starts with the purchase – so mindful shopping is a good place to start. You could also try a ‘one in, one out’ policy (this works for me) or do a regular prune to make sure that your wardrobe stays neat and clutter free.
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