Cleaning out my wardrobe has been on my to do list for what feels like forever.
For some reason an excuse would always come up as to why now was not the right time to finally tackle the task such as “it takes too long”, “I should really eBay everything” and perhaps the most painful reason …”once I lose weight I’ll be able to wear everything again anyway” 😂
I recently took some time off after my viva and decided enough was enough. I donated 2/3 of my clothes and I’ve got to say the experience was totally liberating! Here are my top tips for cleaning out your wardrobe:
1. Visualise who you want to be first
Before I even opened my wardrobe I sat down and wrote about the kind of woman I want to be and what that woman looks like. I want to be someone that looks put together and glamorous whilst wearing flattering clothes for my figure. Doing this before sorting through which clothes to keep really helped me to decide whether each item of clothing aligned with who I want to be and how I want to look.
2. Follow a strategy
Before starting I read Marie Kondo’s “Life changing magic of tidying up”, especially the section on discarding clothes. London suggests gathering every item of clothing in your house together (anything you forget to include gets donated as it can’t of been that important if you forgot it!) and placing them into piles based on garment type. I sorted them into tops, bottoms, jackets, dresses and underwear. Once I had done this I got my bin bag ready for clothes that weren’t fit to donate and my charity bag(s) ready.
3. Pick up each item and ask “does this make me happy now?”
Marie Kondo suggests asking if each item brings you joy, but I found anchoring the question in the present moment was useful especially for dealing with clothes that may hold memories that bring you joy and were therefore more difficult to part with (e.g. a t-shirt that I used to wear in uni all the time). I did have some clothes that don’t quite fit yet but I decided to keep the ones that aligned with my vision for the future after asking if this is something I could realistically wear again if not, (I’m looking at you little red hot pants that I wore to my first festival when I was 17) then they were donated.
4. Say thank you (it makes the process of giving things away much easier)
Giving your possessions away can be an emotional process, and clothes can bring up a lot of feelings. Happy memories of course, but also a hell of a lot of guilt! This was a gift….this was expensive…I’ve never worn it…it doesn’t fit etc. Saying thank you to the clothes for the role they’ve played might sound a bit nuts but I honestly felt like it helped me to let go of them in a positive way.
5. Invest in matching hangers
This was a tip that I’d read on Cara Alwill Leyba’s blog (link below) and I’ll be honest I was a little sceptical but in the interest of not doing things by halves I invested in 50 black velvet hangers from Wilko’s to try and bring some consistency to my wardrobe. I’ve got to say it’s made a big difference to making my wardrobe feel a little more luxurious and it felt good to invest time and some money in feeling good about getting dressed everyday!
So there we have it, these are my tried and tested tips for sorting out your closet!
Marie Kondo’s “The life changing magic of tidying up” book
Cara Alwill Leyba’s blog