Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with these 10 Tips from Organising Claudia
With all of us spending more time in the home right now, many of us are finding that the cluttered, messy and somewhat catch-all areas in our home are irking us a little more than usual and driving us crazier than they ever would if we were leading our ‘normal’ lives. However, whilst there are many things going on in the world at the moment that we cannot control, we CAN control our immediate surroundings and decluttering is a great way to do that. Get stuck into that spring clean! Starting with your wardrobe!
With the hope of summer on the horizon a task such as decluttering your wardrobe will not only help you to get ready for the new season- where things hopefully will be much improved-, but it will also help to focus your attention, gain some space away from the newsreel, and seeing the changes that you have brought to your home will massively increase your positivity too.
I will admit it is not the easiest of decluttering jobs, but it is for sure one that will make some big changes to your day to day life and this is why I have chosen it to be the focus of this blog. As this is a task I often get asked to do by my clients, below I have provided 10 steps to help you organise your wardrobe and take back control from the textiles. Although this is a mammoth task, it is almost impossible to do bit by bit, so take the day, Make a Spring Clean Zoom date with a friend – or indeed Organising Claudia- and let’s go!
1. Make a Mess
Step one: start by getting all of your clothes out of the wardrobe and emptying your drawers. Gather them from the floor, pull them from their hiding places and create one huge pile of clothes on your bed. If you are also sorting accessories, add them to the mix as well!
Although seemingly counter-intuitive to create such a mess, this serves two purposes as now you can now see what you truly have, and also what space you have to store them …
2. Create Order in Chaos
Now to start restoring order. Begin by sorting your clothes into clothing ‘types’. Of course, sort based upon the clothes you have, but a rough categorisation I have found to work for most people is as follows:
Vest tops, t-shirts, blouses, ‘nice tops’, long sleeve tops, jumpers, trousers, jeans, shorts, short skirts, long skirts, dresses, occasion wear, ‘holiday clothes’, pyjamas and nightwear, gym clothes, jackets, and finally, coats. It seems a lot, but then again, we have lots of clothes! If sorting accessories too, I suggest; jewellery, bags, scarves and ‘winter items’ (including woolly hats, winter scarves and gloves).
3. Prepare to Let It Go
Next- and before we start throwing clothes around the room – let’s prepare. Regardless of the reason for undertaking this task; having nothing to wear, wardrobe bursting at the seams or that you can never find what you are looking for, there needs to be some decluttering. So, grab three boxes or bin bags and label them ‘mend/clean’, ‘donate’ and ‘recycle’. A ‘sell’ box is also allowed, but only if you promise to sell the items in good time and not leave them to clutter up your wardrobe for another eon.
Now you are ready to start making some decisions.
4. Undertake “The Cut”
Selecting one ‘clothing type’, pick up each item in turn and decide whether to ‘keep’, ‘donate’ or ‘recycle’. If it’s a keeper, fold and place back on the pile. Otherwise, put it in the corresponding box. Move through each clothing type until you have several piles of folded clothes which are to keep, and another set to be mended/cleaned, donated or recycled. Do the same with accessories as well.
Although it may be difficult to let go of some items, be honest and trust your gut instinct. If you are finding things particularly tough, it is here that the help of a trusted girlfriend pays dividends.
5. Evaluate Your Space
Following ‘the cut’ you now know how many clothes you have, and so can realistically assess how to store them. You want to organise your wardrobe so things can be seen, and are accessible as required. Keeping clothing ‘types’ together, think about what you want to be hung and what can be folded, what is best on shelves and what can go in drawers, and the possibility of using other space to store out of season clothes.
As an advisory, vests, t-shirts, jumpers and jeans can be folded onto shelves. Dresses should be hung and out of season clothes stored in vacuum bags under the bed. Pyjamas, nightwear and gym clothes work nicely in drawers as do handbags on shelves.
6. Source Additional Storage Items
After assessing where everything is going to go, you may feel you need some extra storage materials to help you best utilise your wardrobe space and keep it tidy. Useful things include; a scarf holder, trays for smaller items such as jewellery or clutch bags, vacuum pack bags for out of season clothes, hooks for the inside of doors or under-shelf baskets. However, before rushing headlong into buying more things, do take a look around your home and repurpose items where possible.
7. Clean, Clean, Clean
So now you can put things back? Hold the phone. No way. Not yet.
Next, clean your wardrobe. Even if you just wipe over with a cleaning cloth, you don’t want to be putting your newly sorted clothes back into a dusty wardrobe or drawer, or onto a dusty shelf. Find out why the Japanese are serious about the mental health benefits of a good spring clean.
8. Put Things Back
Fabulous, now for the putting back. Take each pile of clothing in turn, fold or hang, and place in your wardrobe according to the evaluation you did before the cleaning frenzy. Again, my main advice here in this is to keep ‘clothing types’ together, and to make sure things are visible and accessible. Other tips include learning how to fold clothes properly, not making piles too high and not cramming too much into one space.
Now is also a good time to plan precisely when you will take the clothes you are not keeping to the charity shop, the recycling, the tailor or the dry cleaners. Make a special effort to do this- and soon- or else they will creep right back into your wardrobe again! Of course this is problematic at the moment, so make sure that you store and label them properly and PROMISE YOURSELF that as soon as we can get out and about, that you will take them to where they need to go.
9. Relish in Organised Wardrobe Bliss
…And relax. Finally! Take a step back, admire your handiwork and treat yourself to a glass of wine.
Be proud of what you have achieved and reap every day the time-saving, stress-relieving benefits that having an organised wardrobe brings.
10. Create New Routines
Perhaps not so fast on the relax thing. You don’t want to put in all the work of a lockdown spring clean only to find yourself in a mess a few months from now. Now you have a beautifully organised wardrobe, I am sure that you want to keep it that way! Below are a few small changes you can make to your daily routine to ensure your wardrobe remains blissfully organised:
- Firstly, get your clothes out the night before. This gets your day off to a good start and reduces the likelihood of you having to pick up 65 discarded outfit choices later in the day
- Put all of your clothes back in their rightful place at the end of each day. This stops clothes accumulating outside of the wardrobe and ensures that putting them away is a sub five-minute task
- Finally, refold piles that get messy so you don’t get tempted to just throw something in the wardrobe and shut the door!
And there you have it, voila! 10 steps to organising your wardrobe. You can find some great tips for the next thing on your Spring Clean to-do list with Rachel of Organising Claudia.