Style Tips / Decluttering your wardrobe (redux)


Since I officially have a new closet, I thought it was time to re-post an old favourite: How to declutter your wardrobe. First, let me tell you a bit more about the beast: we used the Pax/Komplement system from Ikea, which means that you get to choose the size, fittings and finish of your closet. You can even do an online simulation before you buy it, that was really helpful. It really helps figuring out how you want to organise your stuff.

The crazy thing is that it really does make my life easier when I try to pick an outfit. Everything is here in front of me, I can see all of my clothes, so I can straight away decide what will go with what. Even down to the accessories.

The one advice I would add for 2009 is to organise the whole room before you reorganise your closet. A few weeks ago I started sorting out my desk and dresser, to make sure everything had a place and to know what would be left out and needed to be put away in the cupboard. In my case, it was mainly getting small boxes and trays to put jewellery and magazines, but some of you might want to make more drastic changes to the layout of the room beforehand.

Here’s how I roll – my tips to organise your closet without losing your mind.

❤ Choose a time when you know you don’t have anything else to do & you feel happy, relaxed and confident – it is important to make sure you won’t discard anything too hastily.

❤ Start with what you kept last time thinking “I can use this to sleep in”. The truth is, you do use it to sleep in, but how good does it make you feel to sleep in an old tatty tee-shirt? Not very good, that’s how. So take all those items and put them straight in a bag. In the future, promise yourself to wear proper pyjamas / slips / chanel numero 5 to sleep. I will explain later what to do with this bag.

❤ Now let’s move on to the underwear and hosiery drawers… I tend to get rid of knickers as soon as they have a hole in them / an elastic getting loose / turning gray from too many washes. This way, my knickers drawer never gets out of control. As for bras, just try them all on. Any ill fitting one, put in a bag. Same goes for tights and socks. Holes, ladders – discard. I used to keep my laddered tights to wear under trousers when it gets really cold. It never really gets that cold. If it leaves you with nothing, make a list of what you need and go shopping for essentials.

❤ Are you warmed up already? Then it is time to look at tee-shirts and jumpers. I keep my tee-shirts and jumpers on a shelf, folded. Take out your pile of tees and quickly assess which ones you wear (make a pile), which ones you don’t wear because they are destroyed (start a bag) and which ones you don’t wear because you just don’t (make a pile). Put back in your closet the ones you wear. The destroyed ones, you can’t even give to charity shops, so either use the fabric to make stuff (pillowcases, toys etc) or simply discard them. I am not a big fan of throwing clothing away, but sometimes, that’s the only thing left to do. You are left with the tees you don’t wear just because… These are tricky ones. Put aside the ones you could give to friends (only if you are sure your friends will like them – they are your friends, not your bin) and make sure you don’t wait for ages before you actually give them away. What’s left can be divided in two piles: charity shop and eBay.
You can do the same for jumpers.

❤ Finally, on to the hanging things. This is what is most time consuming for me as I own many dresses and jackets. Get everything out of the closet and off the hangers. Check that all your hangers are wooden (not to spoil the clothes) and that they are not broken. Then do what you did with the tee- shirts and jumpers. When you hang your dresses and jackets back, make sure you button them up, so they don’t lose their shape. If you have very valuable items, put them in special hanging bags.

❤ To make my closet organisation efficient, I try to keep everything sorted by colour. My clothes are fairly colour coordinated anyway, so it is easy. If you have a lot of prints, try and sort your clothes by types of prints and then by colour.

What about all those bags? Well…

❤ Anything very old and tatty can either be thrown away or used to make things (I tend to opt for this one). If you are going to keep old clothes to make things, then rip them apart straight away and turn them into fabric as it is very easy for them to find their way back into your closet!

❤ Anything good that would make a friend happy, wash, iron & wrap in silk paper then send to your friend.

❤ Anything designer or vintage you don’t wear anymore, sell on eBay.

❤ Anything high street you don’t wear anymore, bring to your local charity shop.

❤ Anything that needs altering, go and have it altered, don’t delay it or they will quickly become clutter again!

When was the last time you decluttered that wardrobe? What did you do with the things you didn’t want anymore?

Original photo from Piggy Forever, altered.