06 January 2017

Easy Ways to Declutter Your Wardrobe

by Roberto Revilla

Happy New Year!

So, it’s New Year Resolution month – the month when you need to focus with maximum effort on all those resolutions you made last weekend, to turn them from a wish list into an actual habit that will last year long!

For anyone whose wardrobe is becoming one of life’s annoyances, this is the perfect time to have a quick audit and clear out. I’m doing exactly this myself, having gotten tired of the pile of ties, shirts, jackets and suits at the back of the wardrobe that I haven’t worn for 2 years or so for various reasons. It all must go.

My quick and easy tips for getting rid of the unwanted clutter from the wardrobe involves asking yourself some – sometimes quite hard – questions. The quickest way to wardrobe heaven is to ask the ultimate question:

“What items of shoes and clothing do I have that make me feel AMAZING when I wear them?”

To answer that question, grab every item of clothing that you look at and say “This makes me feel amazing!”, put it to one side and whatever is left is what you need to throw out/donate to charity/sell on eBay.

If you can’t bring yourself to be as ruthless as that then there are a series of questions you can run through to whittle things down in what might feel a gentler manner.

1. How long has this been sitting here unworn?

We all hoard things to a great or lesser degree. When it comes to decluttering the wardrobe what we are looking for here are any clothing items that we haven’t worn for 18 months or more. You can be a little more merciless and say what haven’t you worn for 12 months or more, but I prefer the 18-month rule as it’s fairer on some seasonal items that may not have been worn due to, say, an extraordinarily mild winter for example.

It’s usually quite easy to find the 18+ month items as they are gathered together – ties at the back of the rack, shirts all shoved together on the far end of the rail, suits stuck down one end of their respective hanging area too, shoes at the back of the cupboard, dusty and long forgotten.

If you haven’t even looked at or sought out a piece of clothing for a year and a half there is no point it taking up space in the wardrobe!

2. How do I feel when I wear this?

Whether it’s a piece of formal or casual clothing, we want the result to be the same. We want to out a piece of clothing on and feel good about ourselves. If it’s not doing that for us, if it’s making us feel self-conscious in even a slightly negative way then why are we hanging on to it?

3. Does it fit me anymore?

Often if an item of clothing doesn’t fit then get rid – if it’s been sitting there ages because you thought you might be able to get into it one day, guess what, you haven’t done what was necessary to change your shape in that time so what makes you think you are going to start now?

Of course, if it’s an item of clothing that you spend good money on – one of the suits I made you for example – then ask yourself this question:

4. If this fit me, would I wear it?

If the answer is a resounding YES, then put it aside but IMMEDIATELY make a plan to get a specialist to look at what they can do to alter it for you. Otherwise, get rid.

5. What condition is this garment in?

- Shoes that are cracked and broken
- Shirts that are worn on the collars, cuffs and underarms
- Ties that are picked and pulled
- Jackets and trousers that are shiny with wear
- T-Shirts that look worn and tired
- Sweaters that are pulled, torn and look over worn

Everything in the above list should go.

In terms of where to get rid of things, if clothes are in a poor condition then you need to throw them away. The best thing is to take them to your waste and recycling centre as they will be able to ensure the fabrics get recycled.

Anything that is in reasonable to very good condition I urge you to consider giving to charity shops. We support the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in North London and there will be plenty of similar charities in your local area who will be so grateful for your donations. Be sure to give them your name and address details so they can claim Gift Aid on any sales and send you a statement to use for your charitable giving column in your tax return, so you get some relief.

Some people will also sell items on eBay but for me personally, no matter what I spend on something, if I haven’t made the use of it for a good amount of time or it’s no longer fit for purpose, it’s better a charitable organisation can turn those items into much needed funds.

As ever, I’m always on hand to help with any questions you have regarding wardrobe organisation and rationalisation so be sure to email or call me any time!

Happy New Year and happy wardrobe de-cluttering!