As you know, I’m a complete organisation freak. Your typical Type-A personality. To the point that I sometimes watch KonMari folding method videos for pleasure (the underwear technique is revolutionary, I tell you!). And nothing thrills me more than a good closet cleanse. I pride myself on my spring cleaning abilities, and with the season now in full swing I thought I’d share my top tips for mastering a wardrobe clear-out…
1. TAKE STOCK OF WHAT YOU’VE GOT
I’m quite hardcore when it comes to organisation (surprise, surprise). And I don’t like doing things in halves. So, if your closet is in dire need of a clear out, I think you’ve got to dive straight in and cleanse it from top-to-bottom.
First of all, take stock of what you’ve got. Go through everything – including drawers and storage boxes. It’s easy to forget less glamorous items like underwear, socks, pyjamas and gym clothes, but that’s often where we end up hoarding the most junk.
Once you know exactly what you’ve got it’s easy to ditch pieces that are taking up precious space!
2. PLACE THINGS IN SEASONAL STORAGE
One day I hope to have a walk-in closet, Carrie Bradshaw style. But until then I’m stuck with a modestly-sized IKEA wardrobe. And to squeeze everything in I’ve had to divide my clothing into seasonal collections. During the summer I store my winter pieces in plastic containers on top of my wardrobe. And once September arrives I switch it over again.
This system actually works really well. My wardrobe is never littered with pieces I’m not going to wear. And if I pull something out of storage that I’d completely forgotten about it’s usually a sign I wouldn’t miss it if it was gone. So I’ll donate it to charity instead of putting it back in my closet.
3. TRY THINGS ON
Parting with clothes and accessories can be hard. Especially if you’ve made great memories in them. So if you stumble upon something you never wear, but can’t bring yourself toss, try it on and see if that changes your mind. If it no longer fits or doesn’t suit your current style get rid of it. It’s nice to hold onto special pieces, like a prom dress or the outfit you wore on your first date with your partner. But those are the rare expectations. Anything else that doesn’t fit properly should go!
4. GET RID OF UNECCESARRY DUPLICATES
Obviously it’s useful to have duplicates of certain pieces (skinny jeans and Breton stripe T-shirts, for example). But if you’re anything like me you’re probably hoarding things you don’t really need. I had five khaki jackets in my spring/summer wardrobe. Five! I kept telling myself I needed them all, because I wear khaki a lot. But when I thought about it properly I realised two styles rarely saw the light of day. They were either too similar to a preferred jacket or not a great fit. So I donated them both to charity.
So start scouring your wardrobe for duplicates. Do you have an unnecessary amount of denim jackets or little black dresses? If the answer is yes, scale your collection down to the styles you absolutely refuse to live without. Then ditch the rest.
These are four different jackets. So, yes, I have a problem…
5. CATEGORISE UNWANTED ITEMS
Instead of just throwing everything you no longer want into a giant heap on the bed, put things into separate piles as you go through your closet. This might seem like more work, but it will save you masses of time in the long run.
I tend to place things into four categories: donate to charity, give to friends, resell and recycle. Most cardboard and plastic recycling stations have a fabric bin, so anything that’s too old or distressed to donate to charity can be tossed in there.
When it comes to reselling designer items I use Vestiaire Collective’s concierge service or consignment stores. They do all of the work for you (taking a percentage of the sale), so I find it more time efficient. But Depop and eBay are great if you’re going to manage online sales yourself.
What are your top tips for a closet clearout? And is your wardrobe in serious need of a spring clean right now? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…
Lead image by Marlene Lee