Wardrobe decluttering… Your step-by-step guide
Do you need a wardrobe declutter? There are a couple of good ways to tell. The first one is standing in front of your overflowing closet thinking “Dang! I have nothing to wear”. The next is when hardly anything in your wardrobe makes you happy. And also… if you can’t actually close the door.
Now I have to be honest, wardrobe decluttering isn’t a quick 10-minute job. You’ll need to allow a couple of hours or more even if your wardrobe is quite modest. If, on the other hand, it’s the size of Bedfordshire… Well, one step at a time.
Let’s start with the first step…
Divide your clothes into categories
Everything at once is too overwhelming. Instead, start by laying out your clothes in basic categories – tops (long and short-sleeved separately), trousers, dresses, cardigans and so on.
Dealing with one thing at a time is much easier. And if you have a Bedfordshire-sized wardrobe, you can tackle just one or two categories at a time. Now for the next step…
Subdivide into colours
At this point, you might spot something interesting about your buying habits – repeat buys. We all do it. Black trousers, pink cardigans, red dresses… there are certain things we buy over and over again.
With repeat buys, try and choose a maximum of 3 – the 2 items you wear the most, plus maybe a special occasion item that you’ll definitely wear again. These are all you need. The rest are taking up space that could be used for fresh new styles and colours.
Next, go through the rest of your clothing bit by bit. If you haven’t worn something in the last year, put it in the donate pile. If something is a bit tatty from over-wearing, put it in the chuck pile. If, for any reason, you can’t make up your mind about particular items, place them in a separate `not sure’ pile. Right, this is the tricky bit.
Ask yourself some questions
The fact is, we all hold onto clothing for different reasons – mostly emotional ones, and particularly in relation to memories. We’ll be looking at ways round this in a moment, but let’s get back to that difficult `not sure’ pile of clothing. The best way to handle the decision-making is to ask yourself some honest questions:
- First off, does it fit you? OK, you may be do up that zip again one day. But not today. And in the meantime, it’s just sitting in your wardrobe making you feel bad. Why hold onto stuff that make you feel bad? You deserve to look good now, not later. Stick it in the donate pile.
- Is it the right colour for you? Try holding it up around your face. If it lights up your skin and makes you look vibrantly healthy, it’s the right colour. If it makes you look a bit tired, it’s not. Donate pile again.
- Does it fit your lifestyle? It could be work, play, sport, the school run, travel, holidays, socialising or just relaxing – if something is left outside of these, you probably won’t wear it. Take those items out of your life. You’ll feel better afterwards. Talking of which…
- Does it make you feel good? When you look your best, you feel your best too. There may be things in your wardrobe that you’re holding onto because they used to work for you. This is where the really big question comes in…
Why are you holding onto it?
It could be, for example, that an item of clothing reminds you of a certain time in your life. Don’t worry. You don’t have to throw these things out.
If clothing brings back good memories, instead of taking up space in your wardrobe why not put it in a memory box and store it away safely. If you’re short of space, you can always take a photo and put that in the memory box instead.
Does it represent a trend that really suited you ? It could be 60s, 70s or 80s, punk, New Romantic or boho… whichever style you made your own at the time. If it suited your personality back in the day, an updated version of that trend will still look fabulous now . After all, you’re the same person.
The thing is, everything in your wardrobe should make you look and feel beautiful right now.
If you need some guidance on updating your look, book a two hour complimentary session with me.
Now’s the time to put everything back. Everyone does this differently, but try not to be random. It’s sometimes helpful to sort different categories into colours – tops, trousers, skirts, cardigans, dresses, jackets. That way, even if you’re in a rush you can find an outfit that goes together.
Just a quick word about hangers… If you can, it’s worth buying a collection of thin velvet non-slip hangers. They’re low-cost, save tons of space and nothing falls off them – not even those silky things that always seem to end up at the bottom of the wardrobe.
It’s also helpful to have hangers facing the same way because, again, it saves space. But if you still have a few `not sure’ items that you can’t bear to part with, here’s a good tip: put them on hangers facing the opposite way. If they’re still like that in a year, donate them.
So that’s it. Everything you need for a wardrobe that makes you happy every day.