Friday, 27 March 2015

Five Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe.


Ok warning..this is a long post. I get carried away with cleaning and organising so APOLS in advance.

Over-hauling your wardrobe from time to time is essential as it stops you feeling bored of your clothes and you suddenly remember how many nice ones you have that you’d forgotten about because they’d got stuffed to the back in a heap.

Obviously everyone stores their clothes differently depending on space, but as much as possible I try to hang everything. I find if you can’t see it then you don’t wear it. When you’re staring at your wardrobe first thing in the morning it’s so much easier to have it all in front of you. Also, not folding things stops everything getting creased and horrible, because who needs to tackle an iron first thing in the morning?

This way of storing means I have two and a half wardrobes (the half is out of the one that’s technically my boyfriend’s) which I don’t feel bad about because it was sitting there all empty and tempting, he stuffs everything into a chest of drawers with no logic or organisation and I think I may have to leave him because of it.

ANYWAY, sadly my bedroom is pretty small and I have to find the best way of cramming stuff in that I can. I got two of these Ikea wardrobes on the recommendation of Lizzie and they’ve been an absolute lifesaver, insanely cheap as well.

Right then, take a deep breath. I’m actually start going to give you tips now because that’s why you’re here and TBH you probably didn’t even read all the rambling above, can’t say I blame you.

Take absolutely everything out of your wardrobe. I mean it. Everything. Clear the top of it. Pull the lonely socks from the back of drawers. Take out everything that hangs so you have completely empty, fresh looking wardrobes and drawers. HOW EXCITING IS THAT, it feels like a fresh start already.

Either with warm soapy water or general house cleaning spray, wipe down all surfaces, including the tops, shelves and walls.


While it's drying, this is the throwing away stage. Be brave, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine if necessary, (even if you’re doing this on a Saturday morning) and get stuck in. Put everything that needs to go in the wash in the wash. Including the stuff that usually lies on your wardrobe floor because it’s probably a bit gross by now. Make a pile of anything that’s dry clean only and actually take it (later, obvs). Out of the rest of your clothes make three piles, Yes’s, No’s and Maybe’s.

Yes’s should be clothes you wear a lot, clothes you love, and it should all fit you. If there’s a t-shirt there that looks battered and old, but you wear it a lot, make a note to replace it.

The No’s pile is old, tatty, damaged and out of date clothes that just don’t make you happy, and you don’t wear. And anything that you just can't remember why you bought it. Throw them all away (unless they’re in good condition, then donate them to charity).

The Maybe’s is the hardest pile. It’s probably full of things you like but don’t wear, stuff that doesn’t quite fit, and pieces that you keep thinking that you will wear again, but never choose.

BE BRUTAL when deciding what to keep. You need to assess why you don’t wear certain pieces. Do you like it, but don’t feel you have anything that goes with it? I found I had a lot of tops that I thought “Oh that would go so perfectly with smartish black trousers” ..but I didn’t have any. So I made a note to buy some and suddenly a whole load of new options opened up. Assess the gaps in your wardrobe and make a shopping list, which is often full of basics that will bring the best out of your existing clothes. For example don’t think “I’ll only ever wear this with those Prada boots I want” and then use it as an excuse to buy them. Unless you’re rich, in which case, go right ahead.
If you like it but don’t wear it because it’s not “you”, sell or donate it. Sadly this is the same with anything that doesn’t fit. I’ve kept things for years thinking I’ll slim back into them. I never do. Stop letting them hang there making you feel sad and fat. Get rid of them.

While we’re throwing away, pair up all your socks. Any with holes, or that you can’t find the pair to, throw. If you find the other one in a week it’s not the end of the world, it’s only a sock. (This is obviously not the case if they were expensive cashmere socks or something. In that case, keep the lonely one and pray for the best). I sound like I have some real vendetta against socks, I keep bringing them up. Socks are my friends though.

Now be practical and assess what you have left and what sort of storage you need. Do you need more storage for bags or shoes? While you’re at it, throw away all your metal hangers and those horrible childish plastic ones. Get some neat, thin ones that match. I know it seems crap spending money on hangers, but when all your clothes hang neatly at the same level it’s so much nicer and you can fit so much more in. Primark do sets of thin fabric hangers for £4 for 10. I’ve probably spent about £100 on them by now but they make me happy soooo that’s that. As long as you're delicate with them because they do have a tendency to snap if you manhandle them.

Knowing what you have will help you to know what sort of storage is best. I’m a big fan of boxes as it really makes the most of space. I have a few of these from Cargo in a couple of different sizes that I put in the bottom of my wardrobes, full of clutch bags and underwear. I also keep all my shoes in shoe boxes on top of my wardrobe. This can look really messy, so try and keep the boxes as uniform as possible. Either buy some (examples here and here), or buy some paper and wrap ones you have. I recently did one with this marble contact paper and it looks so much nicer (if I say so myself). 

Now you need to find a way to hang everything. I used to hang it all together, colour coordinated. While this looked lovely and made a wonderful Instagram picture, it wasn’t the most sensible for getting dressed (I rarely had a “pink” day, whereas I do have days where I just want a long sleeved t-shirt. I now have it like this:
- All skirts and trousers together on clip hangers, 2 to a hanger, colour co-ordinated (after all it looks so nice).
- All dresses together, colour co-ordinated. You can also split them into day and evening. All my sparkly party dresses are in the ½ wardrobe as this keeps them out of the way day to day.
- I run my tops by sleeve length (which sounds mental but works quite well, weather wise, and if you haven’t shaved your armpits or anything, you know). I start with strappy vests, and hang my jackets over them. This leads to sleeveless tops, then t-shirts, then long sleeve (shirts etc), then jumpers.
- Jeans I fold and put on a shelf, as they’re bulky and take up less space this way.

And I think that’s it. I’m bloody exhausted, I feel like I’ve done the whole thing again! I realise I haven’t tackled jewellery and accessories, but I’ll do that in another, hopefully shorter post.

I hope this helped! To anyone that made it through the whole thing, was there any useful information in it? Do you have any tips for me?

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