How to declutter and organise your wardrobe
With the cool autumn air firmly here and the crisp white mornings showing their faces, it is certainly time to dig out those winter coats and hats from storage and pull together a winter wardrobe. But if your wardrobe is already full to bursting, how can you make room for those bulky coats, jumpers and thermals in your wardrobe? What's more it would be nice to be able to see everything clearly and not cause a clothing avalanche every time you try to take an item out to wear?
Here is my step by step guide for sorting out your wardrobe this autumn.
Get everything out on your bed!
And I mean everything, you'll need a blank canvas to work with here, so remove all items; clothes, shoes, scarves, hats, swimming goggles, old Christmas cards, that picture that you're waiting to hang up etc etc... and then give the wardrobe a clean. Wipe away any marks, flick a duster round and get the hoover out. You want the wardrobe to look like an inviting space to store your clothes so don't skip this step. If you cover your bed with clothes you'll have an incentive to finish by bedtime. It goes with out saying you are going to need a put aside some time for this.
Does it deserve your space?
Next you need to look at each item individually, pick it up and see how the item makes you feel. Clothes and accessories can make you feel great or can prompt less positive feelings. If an item makes you smile because it looks fabulous on you, you love the colour/style or has happy memories then it has earnt its right to live in your wardrobe. However if an item makes you feel sad, guilty, too fat, too thin, too something else, doesn't look right on you, has seen better days, or hasn't been worn in ages then it is time to say goodbye. You don't need to open up your wardrobe every morning and been confronted with those sort of negative feelings before you've even started the day. This stage can be quite tiring and even emotional so don't be surprised if you find it a bit overwhelming and time consuming. This is often the hardest bit for many people but also the most rewarding.
Sort your items into piles as you work.
Those items to keep can be stored away at the end of the sorting season, but you may also need piles for things that need to be repaired, dry cleaned or washed. Decided if the discarded items are good enough to donate to charity, sell on eBay, recycle or throw away. You may want to donate some items to friends, but just be awear that others might not be so supportive of your decluttering efforts and could question your decisions. So you will need to stand firm if you plan to pass onto friends or family.
Well done the hard work is now over.
The next phase is to place all your items back into the wardrobe and it's going to look amazing if its just holding your favourite pieces. Let's start with the seasonal clothes that you are going to need easy access to this season. That way if not everything fits you can pack away non seasonal items. Personally, I like to keep everything out (except strictly holiday clothes) as I tend to just layer up in the winter.
Store like with like.
For example, hang all jumpers together, all blouses/shirts all together, all trousers/skirts together. And if you really want to go for it, by colour. During this phase you should aim for no more than 80% capacity. That way you can easily see and access everything (with out that clothing avalanche) it looks nicer, your clothes will have room to breath and are less likely to get creased.
Hanging verses Folding?
It is worth investing in good quality hangers, you clothes will last longer and it gives a luxurious feel to your wardrobe. These can be easily obtained from Ikea and other outlets at an affordable price. When it comes to folding I am a big fan of the Marie Kondo method of vertical storage, your clothes can all be seen at the same time, you don't need to dislodge items to pull out something from underneath and they remain cease free. When it comes to deciding what to hang and what to fold, I think this depends on how much hanging and drawer space you have, but for what it's worth, here's what I do.
Hanging - Dresses, coats, jackets, blazers, blouses, jumpers, smart tshirts, trousers, skirts.
Folded - Vertical folded tshirts, long sleeved tops, vest tops, tights, leggings, sports wear,night wear
Good luck and do let me know how you get on.
For further ideas and inspiration check out
Courtney Carver's "Project 333" on Capsule wardrobe
Marie Kondo's book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying"