It's easier than you think, and we show you how.
Nothing is more cathartic than ripping your wardrobe out and starting from fresh. There’s something about having a well edited clothes collection and knowing exactly where it all is that brings us peace of mind like nothing else. If we’er having a hard time we swear we feel a million times better when we give our space all the love and attention it deserves. There’s something about a clear wardrobe giving us the mental space to look after ourselves.
Sometimes the thought of starting can seem overwhelming though. So much stuff, all crammed into a tiny space- we get it. But this is the technique we’ve perfected over the years, from room swops to house moves, and have finally nailed the process. You don’t have to do it all in one go either so don’t worry about giving up the next long weekend. We’re all about the easy to manage baby steps that make your life easier. So here’s how you can do it.
Do the washing
Before you start anything do all your washing so you know what you’re working with. This will be important when it comes to hanging things up and dumping things later on, so start with an empty wash basket.
Don’t buy anything - yet
While it’s tempting to buy shoes racks and fancy hangers, hold off until you know what you need. These should be the last step in your clear out, otherwise you might buy something that isn’t quite right and will be a total waste of money.
Pack away the season
We’re heading into summer, there’s absolutely no reason bulky coats and jumpers should be taking up all that space. Pull out all the out-of-season stuff you’re definitely going to wear again and pack them in vacuum bags. This should leave you with loads of room to work with.
Start with the socks
Some people tell you to pull everything out and start from scratch and while this seems good in theory, we’ve found that we get easily overwhelmed with this approach. We’re much bigger fans of starting small and doing it well. The sock drawer is a good one as we find we’re not as emotionally tied to old tights as we are with everything else we own.
Bin everything that you no longer use - or shouldn’t. So that’s anything with holes, anything that’s shrunk in the dryer and any you just don’t wear. Then pair up all remaining socks and BIN THE ODD ONES. Seriously, just cut your losses on this one. You’ll feel so much better reaching into a neat clean drawer every day and not wasting time searching for any two socks that look like they vaguely go together. This will give you the motivation to keep going.
Move on to shoes
Shoes are a great next step - they typically take up so much space that a clear out leaves room for everything else. Bin what you don’t wear anymore, and be honest with yourself. If you have four pairs white rummers and only wear one - what are you doing? Think about your life - if you used to go on the lash every weekend in 6 inch heels but now spend your time walking the dog what are you doing hanging on to all of your party shoes? Pick the ones you’ll DEFINITELY wear again and get rid of the rest. The same with the uncomfortable pairs you never wear. Stop torturing yourself and just donate them now.
Go by section
Pick an item like skirts to trousers and pull everything from that part out and see what you’ve got. This is when you decide what you’re keeping and what you’re binning. Start by separating the stuff you love and setting it aside. Then either bin or donate anything you have no interest in. Then the hard part starts - deciding what makes the cut. Be super honest with yourself at this point. If it doesn’t fit just get rid of it, it it looks old and tatty bin it, if it’s out of style donate it. At this stage you should be only left with the stuff you love and wear regularly and a few maybes that have made the cut. Set these aside and move onto the next section till they're all done.
The sentimental factor
If there's certain things you no longer wear but can't bare to part with, like the dress you wore to your 21st, that's fine. You can keep them, just not in your wardrobe. Pack them away properly - protected by tissue and garment bags and find somewhere else for them. You can cherish them without them taking up precious wardrobe space.
After you've gone through every section and pulled them out you should be left with a completely empty wardrobe. if there's anything left at this point it doesn't belong there. Broken skates? Old golf clubs? This isn't their home. When the wardrobe is completely empty you can move on to cleaning it. Dusting the shelves, hoovering the floor space and getting it up to scratch. At this point, and only this point can you start putting stuff back in. How you organise it is up to you. Some people prefer to group by item, others by sections like workwear, but just do whatever works.
After you've gone to all the effort of making bin and donate piles you need to actually follow through and do it. Don't leave them all hanging around your house because they'll inevitably get swallowed back into your wardrobe and that's the last thing you want.