Clearing out your home and closet was the hot topic of 2019. Whether it’s Marie Kondo and her #sparkjoy phenomenon or Tan France’s style make-overs on Queer Eye, having a clear-out is the new black, especially your closet. We are inundated with clients who want us to show them how to get started and how to get from a state of wardrobe malfunction to opening up their closet doors and sighing with pleasure.
Here are 8 tips to get a spring in your step and heading in the right direction.
1 DON’T DO IT ALL AT ONCE
Learn to exercise your clearing out muscle. I know the TV experts have you tossing everything you own into a huge pile in the middle of the room and attacking said clothes mountain in one fell swoop. Please don’t. It’s overwhelming and you’ll lose your mind. Do it by category, either by clothing section – t-shirts, trousers or shirts; or by occasion – work wear, weekend clothes, gym gear. Finish each category and enjoy the sense of achievement before starting another.
Our Founder’s Tip – Start with easy decisions and begin with items that are easy to throw out – clothes that no longer fit, are beyond repair, have stains and marks, or you simply no longer like. Once you have begun training your clearing out muscles, then it’s time to move on to difficult challenges!
2 ACCEPT THAT THE MONEY HAS GONE
This is a really common issue. My clients have a closet full of clothes they’ve never worn and carry a suitcase full of guilt about the money spent. Sometimes you simply need to accept that it was an expensive mistake.
Our Founder’s Tip – Try to learn from your mistakes, analyse why you never wore it and avoid purchasing similar in the future. It’s a good way to see where you went wrong with shopping and improve your shopping skills. Then, let it go. Donate to charity or give to a friend.
3 MAKE A SEASONAL WARDROBE
Most people can’t find what they need in their wardrobe due to the sheer volume of ‘stuff’. We suggest creating a seasonal wardrobe every six months. When spring is safely upon us, clear out all winter coats, trousers and jumpers. Either put them onto higher shelves, vacuum pack or put them into storage. In six months’ time, swap over. This simple exercise clears a lot of space in your daily working wardrobe and lets you see more clearly what’s in there.
4 DIVIDE INTO CATEGORIES
Once you have created your six-month seasonal wardrobe, then it’s time to break down what you have into further categories. The most common categories are work, weekend, evening and sport. I also prefer to hang as much as possible, so everything can be seen more easily. Put what you need to wear most often (like workwear) in easier to access areas of your wardrobe too.
5 RESPECT THE SHOES
Some of my clients hold onto shoes for years and years! Shoes date very quickly and to be honest, you don’t need that many (OK I did have 250 pairs in my heyday!) Get them all out of boxes and onto shoes racks as you’re more likely to wear them if you can see them.
Our Founder’s Tip – Use shoe trees or tissue to maintain shape and polish and feed with leather polish to keep the leather supple.
6 TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Having the right hangers in your wardrobe makes the world of difference. Velvet and silicon hangers will stop clothes sliding off and making a bid for freedom to the floor. These can be bulk bought online. I prefer larger wooden hangers for coats and jackets and I use tie racks for scarves as well as ties. Socks and undies can be divided up into compartments using drawer dividers.
7 BORING BUT ESSENTIAL
When you have completed your six-month seasonal clear-out, use this opportunity to clean your closet space and get rid of dust, threads and old buttons which have accumulated in dark corners.
Our Founder’s Tip – Invest in some cedar wood moth balls and wipe down surfaces and walls with vinegar to keep clothes-destroying moths at bay.
8 SHOPPING LIST
Once you are clear on what you have, you can see what gaps there are in your wardrobe. Perhaps it’s a black cashmere jumper so you can wear the wool trousers you’ve rediscovered, or a new, linen, white shirt to freshen up your summer look. Make a list of what you’re missing as this will make clothes shopping far easier. You’ll find before too long that you are wearing 80% of your wardrobe instead of the usual 20% and decisions on what to wear become easier of a morning.
Our Founder’s Tip – call a professional in to help you . We love getting Life by the Blonde to come in and sort it all out for you.