This is one of the few areas of organising I advocate taking a whole day out and just doing the whole thing but please don’t empty out every drawer in one go, take it slowly. Take one day 9am – 5pm and spend that day organising and decluttering your clothes, underwear shoes and accessories.
- Empty your knickers drawer and sift through everything checking for size, wear and general would-my-mother-approve-of-me-wearing-this-in-the-event-of-a-bus-based-emergency type thing.
- Drag out every pair of shoes, boots, sandals and trainers you own. Evaluate them and choose those you really need and get rid of those which pinch, rub or are uncomfortable and impractical. Be honest with yourself here, spending a day in painful shoes is pure misery so why continue with it?
- Clean the shoes, trim or restring laces.
- Neatly organise your shoes. Do you have the original boxes? If so pop them back in a pop a photograph on the front (you can snap them on your phone and print them off in supermarkets on the cheap). Do you need to buy something to store them in? You can buy clear shoes boxes in bulk on the cheap here or perhaps check out your local charity shops to see if you can spot an unwanted shoe rack or even book shelf. There are also lots of shoe storage ideas on my dedicated Pintrest board.
Now it’s time to go through everything hanging up in that wardrobe of yours.
- First remove the tops and dresses and deal with those. Do they all fit? Are any in need of repair? Which can be sold, which can be donated? Tops can slip off hangers very easily especially if they’re a silky material. Good hangers are a great, life time investment. You can grab 50 velvet hangers for £20 here.
Make sure you fasten buttons and zips in order to keep them neatly stored.
- Remove skirts and trousers – again do they fit? Are in any in need of repair? Sell/donate?
It’s important to store correctly so they don’t come out of the wardrobe as a messed up, creased ball. Proper trouser and skirt hangers like these help no end. I like to pop a bit of acid free tissue paper around the garment (especially on items not worn very frequently) where the hanger clamps down to protect the item.
Which items are unsuitable for this season? Now is the time to work out if you can store those summer dresses somewhere else whilst we’re in the deepest depths of winter, in order to free up some wardrobe space. There are various different ways you can store these items depending on your storage and home situation. Take time to think about it – we favour under bed storage like this but other systems may work better for you.
Now here is the bit I really enjoy doing - organise into colours and then into subcategories of shirts, tops, dresses, skirts and trousers then pop into the wardrobe and admire.
3.pm – 3.30pm
- Clean up items and then put in a ‘keep’ or ‘donate’ pile.
- Accessories are easy to build up a huge stash in the blink of an eye so promise you’ll go through one subcategory (jewellery, scarves, bags, hats, gloves etc.) and declutter every month.
- I always think accessories are the one thing it’s okay to have a great stash of (if you keep on top of what you have) because you can change up staple outfits at the drop of a hat. You can easily rotate which items you’re using so it’s a great idea to have some out on display for ease of use with the rest stashed away.
- I have a large collection of costume jewellery collected for the past 15 years or so – I keep them all because I end up wearing each one at various points throughout the year, however I only have 10-15 out on display in my bedroom at anytime because I hate how cluttered a room can look with everything out on display at one time. I do the same with other accessories like scarves and belts, it’s easy to create a go to accessory ‘station’ with your current favourites out on display.
4.30 – 5pm
Donate or list
You probably have a huge pile of clothes to donate or list on eBay – DO IT NOW. You may not get all of it done but you can make a good start. You’ve achieved so much today, don’t lose your momentum, get those unwanted clothes out of your house.
- Look after the clothes you have. You spent your money on them, don’t waste that money. Mend them when they need mending, take shoes to cobblers and deal with stains as they appear.
- Don’t over stuff drawers and wardrobes. Just because you can fit 12 extra dresses into that space it doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. Don’t squish your clothes!
Questions to keep in mind
- Does it fit?
- Do I like it/would I buy it if I saw it for sale right now?
- Does it hold sentimental value?
- Could someone else make better use of this garment?
- Will I wear it in the next 6 months?
P.P.S. Photographs from outside sources are linked to the original source below each photograph. Please do click to read the full, related blog post.