Now that Spring has officially sprung, many of us will be looking to ‘spring clean’ our homes, and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to make a start, by tackling our wardrobes.
For some of us, our wardrobes can be a place of inspiration and organisation but I’m sure you’ll agree, the majority of us are not greeted by such a beautiful sight when we swing open the doors. It’s time to have a declutter of our wardrobes and what better time to do this than in Spring. As a new, warmer season approaches, it’s time to store away our heavy winter clothes and bring forward our warmer pieces to ensure we get maximum wear of every piece we own.
Decluttering your wardrobe is also great to get rid of pieces you no longer wear, to of course make way for new pieces! Here are our top tips for organising your wardrobe, to get that euphoric feeling we all love (when it’s all complete that is!)
Ensuring you’re prepared for the mammoth task ahead is key for ensuring you don’t give up halfway through! Grab some carrier bags or some baskets which you will label ‘Keep’, ‘Donate’ and ‘Recycle’. This is where you will put items from your wardrobe depending on your decision to keep them for future wear; donate them to a charity shop if they are in really good condition or perhaps give to friends or family, or recycle, for pieces that are not suitable to donate but can still be recycled at a local textiles recycling point.
#2 Empty it!
Probably the easiest bit – empty your wardrobe completely, there’s no going back now! Take everything out, and we mean everything, shoes, bags, accessories, the lot! Take everything out and place it on your bed ready to start organising everything into its chosen destinations.
#3 Clean your empty wardrobe.
Before you start organising your clothes, thoroughly clean your wardrobe including any drawers and shelves to ensure that your chosen pieces will return to a sparkling, clean space. You need a clear, clean space to plan and visualize how you're going to re-organize your wardrobe.
#4 Time to organise!
Now comes the part you’ve either been looking forward to or dreading! Some people fear this stage and decluttering in general as they feel attached to particular pieces they ‘may need one day’ or ‘used to fit/be in style’. Try to work hard to keep these thoughts at bay and be strict with yourself to focus on what you will be keeping instead of what you will be getting rid of. Be practical, our wardrobes can only hold so much, so be wise with your choices – get ready to separate your clothes into your distinct bags/baskets/piles.
Go through each individual piece and ask yourself ‘keep, donate or recycle?’. Try not to dwell too long. A great piece of advice is to ask yourself how often you have worn the piece in the last year. If the answer is very little or not at all, this is the decider for choosing to donate or recycle the piece, depending on its quality. You can also consider selling some of your exceptionally high-quality pieces. Some many apps and websites will help you sell your clothes. Three questions that are also useful to ask yourself during this process are ‘do you love it?’, ‘do you wear it?’ and ‘does it project the image you want to portray?’ If the answer is "yes" to all three, then you can confidently place that item into the ‘keep’ pile.
If you find yourself deliberating, create a separate ‘maybe’ pile and revisit this in one, three or six months time. If you find you forget about these items, this is the confidence you need to donate or recycle these items.
Once you’ve worked your way through all your clothes, including bags, shoes and accessories, and made your set piles, it’s time to move onto the next step
#5 Assess your wardrobe storage solutions
Do you need to purchase some additional storage solutions for inside your wardrobe to help keep it looking fabulous, practical and navigable all the time? Baskets for the bottom of the wardrobe, as well as hanging baskets, and using double hangers are all great ways to make the most of the space you have and keep it organized. Here are a few of our favourite pieces for wardrobe organisation on a budget.
#6 Sort each pile
Now it’s time to work your way through each pile, starting with the pieces that you will recycle. Bag these up and check your local area for your nearest textile recycling point and their conditions. Next, it’s time to take on the ‘donate’ pile. Ask friends and family member if they would like some of your pieces or again, bag these up and take them to a local charity shop you would like to support – we guarantee they will appreciate your donations! Resist the urge to just throw your unwanted pieces in the bin, as this can significantly harm our environment with textiles taking up to 200+ years to decompose in landfills.
#7 Refill your wardrobe
Taking the ‘keep’ pile, organise this further into distinct piles of, for example, workwear, activewear, loungewear, occasion pieces as well as pieces that are no longer suitable for the season we’re heading into. Then, work through these piles to put them back into your wardrobe in the most effective way. Perhaps, storing your winter clothing and occasion pieces separately as these will not be worn for a little while, and placing your most worn pieces in prime positions in your wardrobe for ease of access. Consider folding chunky knits, jeans and activewear to save on hanging space. Another tip to optimise hanging space is to opt for thin clothes hangers to ensure you can fit as many pieces as possible in your wardrobe.
The secret to maintaining an organized wardrobe is to keep on top of it little and often. The more often you work on keeping it organised, the less time it will take. Organising your wardrobe and knowing exactly what pieces you have put back in will make it easier for you to navigate the pieces you wish to wear. By completing this process, you will have also perhaps spotted key, staple pieces you are missing in your wardrobe. You can then treat yourself for your hard work by investing in a few key pieces that you know you are going to wear over and over again. Here a few staple pieces we recommend at Eleven – we know you deserve it!
And you’re finished! Hopefully, you will see that the process isn’t as painful as it can initially appear and the euphoric feeling of having a lovely, organised wardrobe is so worth the time and effort – you may even rediscover some pieces you’ve been looking for!