AAAH... REFRESH... HOW TO DECLUTTER LIKE A PRO
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
I am a retailers dream… I buy lots of things "just in case," or things the push me out of my comfort zone… but I always end up sticking to what I know best. Jeans, neutral colours, classic and timeless shapes and styles with a killer pair of heels where possible, but (lately) mostly a good pair of trainers. My work wardrobe consists of pencil skirts/ dresses, great tailoring, and blouses - simple.
This means I have a massive amount of clothes, but very few good basics, which then means I can never find anything to wear! I regularly sort out and declutter my wardrobe, packing away chunky knits for summer time, and only having summer wear out during those few short precious sunny months.
Every season when I do the bi-annual wardrobe swap over, I also use the opportunity to have a big clear out and get rid of those items that fall into the "what were you thinking" and "impulse buy" category. Anything brand new or expensive will go on ebay, anything else I give to various charity shops.
There is something about having a good clear out that is really theraputic. Going through your wardrobe and getting rid of things you no longer need/ wear/ fit into (!) can be really quite relaxing.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will probably have seen from my stories that I have recently been doing the seasonal clear out/ wardrobe swap over and update. I really feel I have mastered the "de-clutter" and it only takes me a couple of hours now whereas it used to take bloody days!!
This year I have really tried to be brutal. If I hadn't worn it in the months pre-baby-bump, it was going. If it didn't fit me then or now, it was going. If it was too big, it was DEFINITELY going! I had a huge suitcase in the loft (I'm not kidding it is absolutely massive!) that was full to the brim of clothes that didn't fit me in the months before being pregnant, so I bought that down to sort through that as well as all my summer clothes.
My tips for how to declutter your wardrobe -
Empty your wardrobes, draws, and (if you’re like me) any suitcases in the loft/ basement that are hiding away last seasons goodies. Once you have everything you own, put it all in one place, and start creating piles.
This is my system -
Spring/ summer clothes
Holiday clothes like beachwear kept separate
Autumn/ winter clothes
Special occasion wear
I sorted absolutely everything into piles (including the things that didn't fit me before baby bump!) so I could start sorting through each one. I tried abslutely everything on… if it didn't fit me I got rid (unless it was just a teeny tiny bit on the tight side as I am planning on loosing another stone before the summer is through!). Luckily, I've already lost enough weight that about 80% of my old clothes fit me again so I was really pleased with that, plus it gave me the motivation to carry on!
Things to consider -
When did I last wear this? If it was over a year ago - get rid.
Does it fit? See above point… if it doesn't fit, get rid.
Do I love it? If the answer is yes, don't chuck it!
What is the condition like? I have got rid of a few tops this time round that were just looking too tired to jusitfy keeping.
Does this work for my lifestlye? This one was a bit of an anomoly for me this year… I'm curretnly on maternity leave but returning to work in a couple of months. So I justified all my business dress based on the fact that I will definitely need it when I go back to work!
Would I buy this if I saw it now? If you wouldn't pick it up in topshop now, why are you holding on to it? Get rid.
Is it my style now? This year I got rid of some of my clothes simply because I feel like I'm probably a bit too old for them now, or I don't feel comfortable in that sort of stye anymore.
Does it suit me? If it doesn't suit your current figure, and you don't feel confident in it, get rid.
Once I had done that, I sorted each pile into jumpers/ tops/ jeans/ etc to see where I had too much, or gaps etc. I went back to basics, keeping the investment pieces and getting rid of some of the cheaper, more seasonal items that I knew wouldn't see the light of day again. For example knitwear, I invested in a couple of chunky jumpers from Reiss and The White Co this year, so I managed to get rid of some of the older, cheaper ones that are pointless to keep now. By keeping investment pieces, it's easy to then add the odd piece from cheaper places for a season knowing that it doesn't matter too much if it doesn't last.
You can see that my colour palette is very neutral, I'm not a colourful person when it comes to my wardrobe, preferring to wear mostly black and grey. That does make it easier when getting ready/ adding items to the collection, because everything already goes together!
To be honest, I probably could have been more brutal, but I struggled to get rid of some of my work clothes "just in case". Over the next few months I'm going to implement a one in one out policy, and I'm really going to focus on investment pieces rather than stocking up on cheaper options that end up getting sent to the charity shop at the end of a season.
There are still some things that I have only worn once BUT, they are mostly special occasion items that are the exception to the rule (or they are in my books anyway!)
Once Ihave sorted through everything, I like to give the wardrobe a good clean before putting it all away! Our wardrobes are from Nankivells, a local firm who provided a brilliant, professional service with great quality results. We didn't want doors as the space is used as my dressing room as well, and I wanted a walk in wardrobe. It is surprising just how dusty it can get in there! Once you have cleaned it all, you might want to create a way of organising the space as well.
The right section of my wardrobe is for all my tops/ jumpers etc, and is sorted by colour. That was the husbands idea, not mine, but I do have to admit it does look better than the mish mash it was before! The left side is skirts, blazers, and jackets. Then the final tall section is where all my jeans, trousers, coats, jumpsuits, going out stuff etc is kept.
I see shoes, handbags, and coats as investment pieces so the one in, one out rule doesn't really apply here. Apart from perhaps with coats! I like an investment coat but I also love a good seasonal style update and I think coats are the perfect way to take a simple neutral outfit and make it a bit more interesting and fitting for the season.
Finally, buy some decent coat hangers. They don't cost a lot, but (especially if you have open wardrobes like me!) they look a million times better I use THESE and THESE - buy more than you *think* need, it's amazing just how many coathangers you will actually get through.