5 Steps to
by Caroline Sullivan
I grew up, as many second children did, in the box room. It consisted of a single bed, a small desk and a purpose made half wardrobe. I still put my need for organisation in my bedroom down to growing up in this space, which by the way I loved, but my god what I would have done for that extra half a wardrobe!
Now I am the very proud owner of a dressing room, (if my 13-year-old self could see me now…!) where I have a lot more space, but the need to remain organised has not left me.
With so many of us staying at home, and by month 3, probably looking for things to do that we didn’t previously have time for, it is the perfect time to go through, clear out and reorganise your wardrobe. Put your phone down, put some good music or a podcast on and get ready to go…
Take absolutely everything out.
It seems extreme and really laborious at the time but it’s the only way you’ll really consider each item. If you are short on space do this in sections, putting everything on your bed as you go so you will be encouraged to finish it at some point that day.
Try every single thing on.
Trying the item on makes you really see each piece it; it reminds you why you haven’t worn it in a couple of years, even though you may like it and helps you notice any marks or parts that may need fixing.
I suggest doing this by category. Pop on a plain T-shirt and try on all your trousers jeans and skirts, then leave on your favourite jeans for example and start doing your tops. For me, it helps to do this when I have showered, brushed my hair & put a bit of makeup on – nothing looks as good if you’ve thrown your hair up and have the remnants of last night’s mascara still on!
Create piles as you go in different corners of the room.
Keep, mend, sell/donate, store. Once tried on, assign the item to a pile. Keep the items you love and that fit as you wish. Mend the items you still love but haven’t worn as you never got round to dry cleaning it last time, or fixing the strap. If you don’t know a seamstress and don’t feel confident enough to give it a go yourself, most local dry cleaners will do amendments if you’ve pinned it in place.
With jeans, consider taking a pair of scissors to any that don’t feel the right length and have a raw hem. Sell/ donate those items you no longer feel good in, that no longer fit, or rather no longer fit as you wished they did. The items that have seen better days, are no longer to your taste, or don’t suit your lifestyle can also be added to this pile. eBay have a great scheme where you can sell and donate a proportion to charity, well worth checking out for those pricier items. Always keep giving to friends in mind at this stage too. Store any sentimental pieces that you won’t regularly wear and your out of season items, (big chunky knits, heavy coats and high summer pieces) in breathable containers which you can pop under the bed, in the back of the wardrobe or wherever you have space. I’ve found the Lackisar structured storage bags from Ikea great as they have ventilation to keep my clothes fresh, and they look nice so I can keep them somewhat accessible.
Once the sort out is complete, hoover and clean out all the available space. Separate the pieces you plan to sell and bag up anything you are going to drop to friends or donate to charity. Then, the best bit, hang everything back in the wardrobe in organised sections – you can also colour code if that’s your thing – of course it’s mine!
Slim velvet hangers are my go-to for most items, they save on space, look neat and are much better at keeping your clothes on them than others. You can buy them with trouser clips too for skirts, strapless items or those with unconventional necklines. Plus it means you can cut out any hanger loops out that inevitably end up on show. More solid wooden hangers are my preference for coats and jackets that require structure to keep them hung well.
If you have started a 5th pile, named the maybe pile, (I am definitely guilty of this) put the hanger the opposite way to all your others when you hang it back in your wardrobe. In 6 months – 1 years’ time if it is still the opposite way you will know haven’t worn it and therefore really do not need it and its time for it to go to a new home.