How-to spring clean your style

With winter almost over there’s no better time to spring clean your style than now.

How-to spring clean your style

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;

  • Keep

  • Store
    • 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.

  • Maybe
    • 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? 





    COMMENTS

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    lindylou
    29th Aug 2014
    11:12am
    Thank you - needed some motivation to stick on the Wardrobe door to get me started :)
    JudyT
    29th Aug 2014
    12:26pm
    I love doing this job with my sister, as we help each other to say "let it go" and also we might like something the other is throwing out which is still in good condition.
    biddi
    29th Aug 2014
    12:29pm
    Very enjoyable and funny. Thanks! ...... and helpful.
    rtrish
    29th Aug 2014
    1:10pm
    I tend to keep too much, but every now and then I have a good clean out. I regular borrow from the library the book, "The clutter cure : three steps to letting go of stuff, organizing your space, & creating the home of your dreams" by Judi Culbertson, and I find that motivational. In Step 4 above, Divide and Conquer, I would add my extra criterion for decision making: if I moved house, would I bother packing this? In the case of e.g. a bulky straw hat, the answer would be no.
    HOLA
    29th Aug 2014
    1:37pm
    I had to be ruthless when I was downsizing, moving from a house to a 2 bedroom villa. When I lost a lot of weight a few years ago I still hung on to my bigger clothes, just in case I put the weight back on.But in the end I just threw it all into garbage bags and donated it to the Salvos. Now my new place is so lovely and tidy and I never want to go back to what it was.
    Arby
    29th Aug 2014
    2:53pm
    I'm a good "chucker outer" and now my grand daughter looks forward to my visits when we both go through her wardrobe. She loves the neat and tidyness. My recomendation for giving away is; Would YOU wear it if I gave it to you? if the answere is no, then bin it.
    suzmc
    3rd Sep 2014
    10:33am
    must be spring time, just started doing this "job" a few days ago, gives me a great feeling of relief, I use those large plastic drawers in my wardrobe as my clothes rarely need to be hung up, each drawer is labelled eg sox, it was so easy to do a nip and tuck on each drawer, instead of 25 Ts I now have 7 (days per week). I am looking fwd to being able to say, hmm only 2 clean Ts left here, I had better put on a wash! good article, thankyou :)


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