Declutter, Refresh & Organise your Wardrobe
Updated: Jan 30
FASHION DETOX PART 1of2
Join the gym, start a new hobby, eat healthier, quit bad habits etc whatever your New Year's resolutions, goals or intensions might be, my January always begins with a house and wardrobe detox and re-organise.
Now I'm not one to follow the 'new year, new me' mantra but I do identify with a 'tidy home tidy mind' mentality, and after the year we've all had, I've never felt more motivated to organise everything I own and clear out what I don't need/use.
Fashion is my 'happy place', it's my heart, my passion, my hobby and my career, and in the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw, 'I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my wardrobe'. Now to any fashionista at heart, that may seem like a romantic idea, but she was also the same girl who came close to living in her $40K shoe collection lol. So, whilst the fantasy of a large, glorious wardrobe, bursting at the seams, filled to every inch of its life with endless outfit possibilities, that's just not a vision my OCD or mental state can handle these days nor is it a place that inspires me to get dressed on a daily basis.
Believe it or not, but an effective, functional and workable wardrobe is a continuous work in progress. It requires consistent attention and ongoing upkeep to ensure it remains hardworking, functional and relevant to your style lifestyle. The older I get the more I appreciate quality over quantity and the value that comes from investing into classic, hard working pieces I love and am inspired to wear as apposed to a wardrobe full of trend driven clothing that don't hold the same longevity and versatility.
When it comes to decluttering and organising my wardrobe, there is a method I follow to keep me on track for the already daunting process which really help to simplify a closet declutter.
(I have some useful wardrobe organisation tips and hacks, I'll share in a part 2 of this blog).
Choose your method - there are two methods to conduct a wardrobe purge.
Method 1 - remove everything out of the wardrobe (including the draws) and pile onto the bed. This will ensure you physically have to audit each piece and decide its fate.
I recommend this method to anyone decluttering for the first time, or planning to reorganise the function of your wardrobe at the same time as the declutter. It's more time consuming but a lot more effective and thorough. It also provides the opportunity for a deep clean before you start putting things back in.
Method 2 - purge directly from the wardrobe as it stands. This method is recommended for the serial declutters who regularly audit they're wardrobe, keep things relatively organised, have a good understanding of what they already have and where things are and know there's not too much to purge. You may just need to rearrange a few sections here and there to make it more workable, but generally it's a well-oiled machine with a few purges here and there.
Categorise - create three distinct categories (below) for your purge and be ruthless. I'm guilty of being wishy washy in the past deciding what stays and what goes, and all that does is prolong the inevitable while cluttering the space in the meantime. That top that I procrastinated over during the last purge is still hanging untouched, unworn and unloved and contributing to the 'wardrobe bursting at the seams, but I have nothing to wear' mentality, when reality is just a wardrobe of clothes I'm not longer inspired to wear.
1. Keep - in Marie Kondos words, these are the items that 'spark joy'. The items you know you 100% love, cherish, appreciate and wear. The pieces that you wear often, make you feel good and compliment your style. This also includes those few sentimental items that bring you equal amounts of joy, you may not wear often, but you still love.
2. Unsure - these are the pieces that you perhaps still like but don't love anymore. It could be pieces you completely forgot you had, pieces that only style with a few select things in your wardrobe or perhaps because it was an expensive purchase. Trust me I've been here, every purge in fact, but the more honest you are with yourself, the easier the decisions get. The benefit of the 'unsure' pile is not having to make a rash decision on the spot and allowing yourself time to really assess the fate of the piece before the next purge. These pieces can go back into one section of your wardrobe and if they haven't been worn by time of the next purge, its time to let them go.
Chances are, if it's in the unsure pile in the first place, there is already a level of doubt in your subconscious mind and you already know the answer.
3. Let it go - these are the things you no longer love, wear, appreciate or 'spark joy'. They are the pieces you are confident in purging. That may be because they no longer suit your style, maturity, lifestyle, they may be worn out, damaged, misshaped, they may be too big or too small or simply the wrong colour or fit for your body. If an item in my unsure pile hasn't been worn and enjoyed since the last purge, then it's time for it to go.
These pieces are either given to charity, sold on or rehomed to friends who will get more joy from them.
Whilst 'letting go' of something you once loved and spent your hard-earned dollars on can be a difficult process, I guarantee the future you will be very grateful you did.
Be ruthless - when you know you know, and holding onto it for another season or year, will unlikely change the outcome and fate of the garment. If there is one thing I've learnt, this will only prolong the process of getting your wardrobe to that 'happy balance', knowing you have to revisit and do it all over again at some point. Save yourself the time and stress and when you know, LET IT GO!
Take Notes -
Refresh - during and after the declutter, take notes of the things you feel you are missing from your wardrobe or tired pieces that simply need an update. More often than not, these tend to be those core foundation pieces that are the workhorses in your wardrobe, the pieces that cohesively make everything work together when styling an outfit. This could be a fresh basic white t-shirt, or a staple black bodysuit, or perhaps some classic tan slide sandals. You may even recognise the need for some dressier items like a 'nice top' or dress for those smart casual dinners or some special personality shoes like a statement pair of leopard print heels to wear with your favourite denim jeans.
Identifying your 'real' needs is a step in the right direction for shopping intentionally and cost efficiently and your future self will definitely thank you for this later, trust me.
Identify habits - After the purge it's so important to take a new set of notes, your shopping habits. Identify the colours, prints and styles you are not keeping and ask yourself why.
By identifying the common trend of the items, you are purging, you will begin to recognise the pattern of things that no longer work for you, your style or lifestyle and these are the things you want to avoid when shopping in the future.
Refresh and Reorganise - once the purge is complete, it's a great opportunity to give your wardrobe a thorough deep clean, wiping over all the surfaces and flooring before putting everything back. Take time to evaluate how you use the space on a daily basis and reorganise your clothing accordingly to make the experience of getting dressed each day one that is equally streamlined and inspiring.
Over the last few years I have definitely been more mindful of my shopping habits and what I bring into my home and wardrobe. Gone are the days of buying things on a whim just because they were on sale, or toiling with trend pieces that didn't suit my personal style.
By doing this exercise regularly, I'm able to continually audit my buying behaviours and make smarter purchases when I do. I now shop with purpose and my purchases are much more intentional.
For everything I now bring into my wardrobe, I ensure I tick off the mental checklist before I make a transaction. Do I need it, do I already have something like it, will it go with the other items I already own, can I make at least 5 different outfits with this piece, is it classic enough to have longevity for years and is it versatile? That may seem like a lot to tick off before buying even an inexpensive piece, but it helps keep me financially accountable, it keeps my wardrobe clutter free and supports my focus for a more sustainable consumer consumption.
I'm still not perfect, I love fashion, I love the act of styling, I'm always seeking a great bargin and I enjoy experimenting with new trends, but I'm getting much better with my purchases and I know my future self (and the environment) will definitely thank me for these small, but smarter choices.
With all the noise and hardships that 2020 gave us, an orderly home and healthy mental state is truly the best New Year's resolution we can give ourselves.
Love Bella x