Spring is here and that means it’s time to cleanse your closet
|Courtesy of Ikea|
SEPTEMBER marks a change
of season. Women everywhere will be going through the motions: our sisters
in northern hemisphere will be squirrelling away summer clothes while getting ready
for fall and winter. Erstwhile, we in
the southern climes will be packing away our winter warmers and sprucing up for summer.
The seasonal change is
also a great opportunity to discard the unworn (buying mistakes), the unloved
(out-of-date) or just plain unwearable (they no longer fit, faded or worn
out). But if you’re having separation anxieties, remember if a garment
makes you look dumpy, frumpy or ordinary, it doesn’t deserve the wardrobe
We cling to certain
things for emotional reasons, but the more clothes we have, the more we
have to move, organise or store. So it’s
good to cleanse your wardrobe once or twice a year, even if it’s just
to create some space. But before you start, be clear about the clothes you need for
the style you want. This way you’ll end up with
a fresher, more versatile and better-edited wardrobe.
The secret is to get
organised. Here’s my 10-step plan that will take your wardrobe from disaster to a dream this weekend.
START by organising your wardrobe into two groups – winter and summer. Find a space free of clutter where you can spread out everything.
NEXT you need to store the out-of-season clothes. First, make sure all food and beverage stains are thoroughly removed before storing. Effective cleaning discourages moth and silverfish infestations. Second, mend anything that needs fixing. Keep clothing clean and dry in boxes, calico bags or vacuum-packed space bags from Lifespace, Target or eBay, and store with special insect repellant products or cedar balls or blocks to keep those pesky insects at bay. The balls will last for years. Simply re-spray each season with cedar oil.
NOW you’re ready to take
stock of the clothing that’s left. Create a “yes”, “no”, and “maybe” pile
and start rationalising. If you have the slightest doubt about something, try it on.
Experiment with new combinations to see if you can get any extra wear out of
them. Then ask yourself: Does it fit? Does it flatter? Is it functional? Is it
fabulous? If you’re not sure, enlist
the help of someone whose opinion you trust – a best girlfriend, sister,
daughter or your partner! If any garment fails all four “F” questions, it goes into the “no” pile.
Some things will make the “maybe” pile. Once you’ve
finished sorting, look for trends. What dominates in the “no” pile?
Items you bought on sale or on impulse? Are there lots of “yes” items
from the same store? The evidence in front of you should help you make
smarter choices in the future.
BE realistic – purge any trend-driven styles of seasons past and get rid of
the clothes in the “no” pile. Take them to your local charity shop, organise a
table at your local market, have a garage sale, or, if garments are still
relatively new and in good condition, sell on Ebay, take them to a recycle or consignment
THE clothes in the “maybe” pile
just might need freshening up with a little clever revamping. It’s amazing how a simple change such as changing
buttons, altering the length or shape of a favourite skirt, dress or pants, or
embellishing the collar or yoke of a favourite top might make. If you
aren’t handy with a needle and thread or don’t have a sewing machine, find a good
alterations person and make them your new best friend.
THINK outside the
fashion square! The elegant top or skirt you save for special occasions could
look just as good during the day or dressed down with jeans. Equally, the pants
or skirt of your favourite work suit may create an elegant evening look when
worn with a sequinned top, smart evening clutch and sexy heels. Let your
creative juices flow! Refer to magazines for inspiration. You might be amazed
at how you can wear things in different ways.
WITH your newly
sorted wardrobe, now all you have to do is hang your clothes according to type. For
example, hang your shirts together, dresses together, eveningwear together, and
jacket and suits together. Or hang everything according to
colour – lights through to darks. Personally, I prefer to keep garments in
their type categories. Not only will that make for easier selection and
viewing, but you’ll know exactly where
BANISH mismatching and wire hangers forever. Instead use wooden hangers and satin-covered, padded hangers for delicate fabrics. Look for a selection of suit hangers, hangers with notches, non-slip hangers, and pant and skirt hangers with clips from My Coathangers, Howards Storage World, Ikea and Shop for Shops.
A CAREFULLY curated and beautifully displayed wardrobe is what every woman needs – and dreams of! Throwing out clothes is never easy although it can be a strangely liberating experience. Reducing your choices will provide you with a better edited and more functional wardrobe. So now with your seasonly adjusted wardrobe, you can refocus on more important issues such as the clothes you really need for the style you really want!
Now it’s time to to go shopping … but before you do, plan your new season wardrobe and read my 10 rules of retail therapy.
EIGHT WARDROBE ESSENTIALS
Now that you’ve re-organised your clothes, it’s important you have the essential equipment in your wardrobe to complete
Here’s what every woman needs in
her dressing room or bedroom:
EIGHT CLOSET DOs & DON’Ts
- Good light
- Full-length mirror
- Foldaway step stool to reach top shelves
- The right hangers
- A selection of boxes, baskets and containers for smalls and accessories
- Plenty of drawers and shelf space for folded garments
- Plenty of space for shoes. Consider storing shoes in their original boxes or special clear shoe boxes such as these from Pink Lily or these from eBay
- Basket or laundry tidy for dirty clothes
- DON’T store out-of-season items in the wardrobe. Pack
them up and store them away in a cool, dry place – under the
bed, in a storage cupboard or, if you have the space, in another room
- DON’T forget the back of the wardrobe door. There’s plenty of room for hooks or hanging organisers
- DON’T hang a bunch of belts from a single hook or hanger. Coil them up and put them in a drawer, a box or on a shelf for visibility
- DON’T drop your clothes on the floor. Hang them up, put them away or put them in the laundry basket
- DO use drawer liners to keep your garments smelling fresh
- DO use lavender bags among your knitwear
- DO pile jumpers in short stacks of three. Any more than that and the pile will be forever tumbling over
- DO keep things that are “everyday wear” in easy reach at the front of your wardrobe.
Do you need help to rationalise your wardrobe? Not sure what to keep or throw out?
Got any tips or hints for cleansing your closet? Would love to hear from you.
Labels: from disaster to dream closet, how to cleanse your closet, how to makeover your wardrobe, spring cleaning, wardrobe makeover, wardrobe solutions, what every woman needs