I have moved house a lot over the years – 7 times in the last 8 years alone! One thing I love about each move is the chance to declutter and start fresh. I love the blank slate. Our last move was 11 months ago this week. We threw away, sold and donated heaps of stuff before that move, but I swear our things have babies when we sleep. With the change in seasons I tackled my wardrobe yet again as I swapped over clothes. I figured many of you would be doing the same this time of year (whatever season you happen to be in).
Our collections of clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories seem to grow out of control as we hang on to things we no longer use. There are so many reasons we find it hard to declutter, but I am here to convince you to finally throw out the ill fitting undies, the 1980s jacket and those shoes that really kill your feet. You can do this – it only takes an afternoon and a willingness to clear the clutter so you can see what is really working for you.
Step 1: Like with Like
If your wardrobe is not currently sorted by item type, then go ahead and do that first. There is no way you can see what you own if you have shirts scattered amongst skirts and pants and so on. Pull it all out and group shirts together, skirts etc.
Step 2: Get rid of the trash and obviously ruined items
This is the time to get real and put your best self forward. If you have undies with holes, shirts with stains (even small ones), an old sweatshirt stretched 5 feet wide – dump it in the trash. If it is not in a condition that a donation place would accept then don’t accept it for yourself. If you have a special item go ahead and keep it for sentimental reasons – but not 10 things.Finally ditching sweats from old life in USA, ugly T shirts, old workout clothes
Step 3: Go through each category of clothes and accessories and assess what is left
Is there any category that has an excessive quantity? Example: Now that you have all your trousers together you see you own 5 plain black pairs. Do all five pairs fit you perfectly and make you feel fabulous or do you really only wear your two favourites? Donate the ones you never reach for. If something was buried in the closet and has now been rediscovered start wearing it. Make a note not to buy any more of this item of clothing. It is great to have repeats of a favourite, but not excessive, unworn amounts.
Is there any category that is now in need of replenishment? Example: If during the sorting process you finally acknowledged you did not need to hold onto those stretched out tops and you are now left with only a few nice ones. make a note of what types of clothes you might need to replace. Do not rush out shopping just yet, we are not done culling your collection.
Step 4: Go through and ask yourself some hard questions:
a. Have you worn the item in the last 12 months? if not, seriously ask yourself why not?
b. Does it fit poorly? If so, can it be altered and if yes, are you willing to invest the money to do so. No point altering a pair of pants you know in your heart you will never wear.
c. Is the item from another time in your life? Are you trying to go back to that time? – those pants from your pre-baby days; the jacket that no longer fits, but reminds you of happy college days; the suits you wore to your old job 8 years ago (yes I am donating these); the dainty handbag you know does not hold enough.
d. Was the item a gift and you are simply keeping it for sentimental reasons? If you do not love or use the item think very hard before you put it back in your closet or dresser. Things are not people so it really is okay to choose to make room in your home for other things by letting go of gifts. Of course we make choices and you can make room for a truly special sentimental item or two…just don’t hang onto that sweater with mistletoe on the front that Great Aunt Susie gave you four Christmases ago – just because she would love to see you in it.
e. Are you hanging onto it simply because it was expensive? Money that is spent is gone – you can now choose to donate it/give to a friend and make someone else very happy or sell it, but it is not doing anyone any good taking up space in your wardrobe. Today I am finally donating an old favourite Alannah Hill skirt that I know just is not right for me today along with my favourite suit from Seduce that I always felt incredible wearing. I hope they help someone else feel awesome from now on!finally letting go of things that just don’t work for me – off to new homes!
Step 5: Create your new wardrobe
Time to put away all the items you love and know you use and wear. Anything else gets one last look and decide now if it is to stay or give away /sell. After putting away the favourites you are now limited to whatever space remains. Do not refill the closet or drawers to bursting point. Be aware of what you now have to wear. Consider what needs to be replaced and how it fits in with the other items. If you love a skirt but no longer have any tops that go with it – that is your next action step. Specifically looking for a shirt that will make the skirt awesome! If you no longer wear tiny undies go on a mission to find the prettiest and most comfortable undies you can afford. You are worth it – feel comfortable AND beautiful!
When was the last time you cleared out your wardrobe? Is there something there that you can finally let go of to make room for new and fabulous things?
Find your simple,
Image credit: out with the old in with the new