It’s exciting and fun to open your wardrobe to new clothes and shoes, but sadly there comes a time when said wardrobe becomes somewhat scary. Most women will relate to what I’m talking about – you can barely jam another coat hanger in there, let alone know what clothing you actually own. When you’ve reached the point that you’re throwing pieces back in before quickly slamming the door it’s time to take action before you’re buried alive under an avalanche of clothes, or worse, shoes.
While cleaning out your wardrobe can be daunting it will make your day-to-day life a lot easier, and is a great way to refresh your style. Decluttering is fantastic for your mind as well, and will leave you feeling far less stressed and scattered. With winter almost over there’s no better time to spring clean your style than now. Here are five tips to help you clean out your wardrobe without winding up in the foetal position or halfway through a bottle of wine.
1. Be prepared
At minimum you will need plenty of garbage bags and a clear space such as a bed to sort through your wardrobe. Cleaning materials are also a good idea as it’s likely your wardrobe hasn’t seen a cloth or vacuum in a while. You may also like to listen to your favourite music to make the task more enjoyable or perhaps drown out your audible frustration for other family members. Finally, it’s important to keep hydrated so chose your drink of choice whether it’s tea, coffee or water (or wine, who are we to judge!). Organising these things beforehand will ensure that you don’t get distracted on a trip to the kitchen and end up sleeping under half of your wardrobe that night as a result.
2. Start in sections
While some people suggest pulling out your entire wardrobe, I find this can be entirely overwhelming and may make you feel like running out of your house and never returning. Although you need to work out which way suits you best, there is something to be said for working in sections. For my last clean out I started with my shoes, then moved on to gym/lounge clothes, pants, coats, and so on. For each section I pulled everything out sorted it and then put back what I was keeping ensuring that I was never left with a mountain of clothes which seemed unconquerable.
3. Be ruthless
As well as being practical, clothes have sentimental value. It’s easy to get sucked down memory lane, rediscovering old items which you haven’t worn in years and wanting to hang onto them in case you one day decide to wear them again. Don’t be fooled though, this will only lead to your wardrobe being full of pieces that never see the light of day. Here are five questions to help you decide what pieces should really stay to ensure your wardrobe works hard for you.
- Does it fit?
- Is it in good condition?
- Do I wear it? (If you haven’t worn it in the last year the answer is no)!
- Does it go with the rest of my wardrobe?
- Does it suit me?
4. Divide and conquer
So, with the above in mind, it’s now time to sort each section into the following piles;
- Pieces that you love and which are on regular rotation in your wardrobe.
- Put these pieces back neatly in your wardrobe once you’ve give that section a good clean.
- Pieces which you love and wear often that are season specific and not in use at the moment, e.g. swimwear or skiwear
- Rather than taking up space, these can be stored on top of your wardrobe or under your bed in appropriate containers to protect them.
- Any pieces which you’re just not sure about or can’t bear to let go.
- Place these in a bag to be hidden out of sight and mind.
- Set a reminder on your phone for six months.
- If you haven’t pulled out any of these pieces in six months they can be given away.
- Give away
- Pieces which don’t fit you anymore, or don’t suit your style, i.e. anything which you no longer wear.
- These can be put in a bag to be donated for those who aren’t as fortunate as yourself.
- Remind yourself that it is better for something to be put to use or help someone as opposed to sitting unloved at the back of your wardrobe.
- Throw out
- Anything which is torn/damaged or stained beyond resurrection.
- Remember, that while it’s generous to donate old pieces to those less fortunate these pieces should still be in relatively good condition.
- These can be put in a bag to go in the bin.
5. What’s missing?
Possible the most exciting step, once you’re standing in front of your now clean wardrobe it’s time to see if there are any gaps. Perhaps you can now see that there’s a better way to store some of your clothes or shoes. Did someone say Ikea? Or maybe you now realise that a black blazer would pull together a lot of your outfits. While I’m certainly not condoning running out and shopping up a storm (and undoing all your hard work in the process), sometimes there are a few key items that can pull it all together.
Phew! You’re done! Reward your self with that glass of wine I promised you wouldn’t need or force a loving family member to give you a foot massage. I promise you’ll feel much better tomorrow.
With my top tips for spring cleaning your style out of the closet, do you have any other helpful hints to share?