As the season is finally turning, and the days are getting longer, it’s time to pull out the print dresses and put away the chunky, thicker knits. But it’s also a great time to do a proper Spring Clean and sort out your wardrobe or other clutter. I put together my top tips for getting your wardrobe, your home, your life, whatever de-cluttered and leaving you feel refreshed and ready to take on the Summer.
- Keep it fun: put on some happy music or even a favourite comedy TV show, maybe grab a bottle of wine, because this could be a big job and you want to make it fun, not a chore.
- Keep/Donate/Repair: Take out everything you own and dump it in a big pile. Ok, you can do it a drawer at a time or whatever if you prefer, but you want to go through and make some quick decisions. This is a first go-round, so things you want to keep go in one pile, things you are done with in another and things that you can’t wear because they need repairs, like a missing button, hemming, etc.
- The Throw Out Rules: Now you need to go through the Keep It pile. When did you wear it last? If you haven’t worn in in the last 12 months, or even forgot you had it, consider throwing it out. Secondly, does it make you feel amazing? Dump anything ratty, bobbly, or that doesn’t make you feel like a goddess. Why? See the next point.
- Don’t keep anything “for around the house”: I know, I know, you love that sweater that’s oversize stretched and soft, and those cozy sweats with the little rip in them… but dump them! Why? Because life ain’t no dress rehearsal. I’m not saying don’t own sweats, I’m saying don’t own clothes for schlepping around. Own clothes that make you feel awesome, that fit and that are in good repair. So what if no one sees you in them, you see you in them.
- Does it fit: You know what? You don’t need “guilt pants”, I know you think they’re goal pants, that you’ll fit into one day… but guilt is, statistically, a terrible motivator. If they need altering to fit better, toss them in your repair pile, otherwise, ditch them. If you wear clothes that make you feel confident, you’re going to feel good, and if you feel good, you’re less likely to comfort eat anyway. Your life is today, so wear things that make you feel good now, and ditch what doesn’t.
- Donate to charity: It’s really fun to swap clothes with you friends, a great way to get a little wardrobe style injection, but please don’t throw anything in the bin. Donate to your local charity. A quick google search will help you find a local one, and some of them even collect, if you have a lot of stuff. You can also register for Gift Aid, which is a tax break for things you donate to a charity in the UK, which helps the store and helps you!
- Organise to utilise: Look at you! You made it this far. The next thing to think about is this: when you were going through, did you come across a load of things you forgot you had? You might have a great wardrobe that you’re not utilising in the best way possible because you can’t find things. For years, I used to hang everything by colour, because I tend to dress based on the colours I feel like wearing. Now I tend to have more drawer space, and organise my drawers with like things together, neatly rolled (stops wrinkling) or folded. But consider belt rings and scarf or makeup organisers, so you can really see what you have and make the most of it. IKEA is a great place for cheap organisational life savers.
- Makeup shelf life: If you’re looking at more than just your wardrobe, you might like to take a look at your makeup. Changing your makeup regularly is highly recommended, and a good tip is to look for the little jar symbol on the back of the packaging. The number inside the symbol is the amount of months you should use the item before replacing. In all honestly, I keep my eyeshadow palettes for a really long time, and foundation lasts me longer than you’d expect, but lip gloss and lipsticks, mascara and powders I tend to change up more regularly. I’m not going to lie to you though, sometimes I pull out a favoured gloss and then realise how long I’ve had it for! gulp!
- Take things for repair or toss them: So, you might have a huge repair and alter pile. It’s pretty easy to sort this pile. Are you able and willing to do it yourself? Otherwise, take them to a dressmaker or clothing repairer. A lot of dry cleaners can fix buttons, and it’s pretty cheap too. You know a lot of your shoes can be repaired too, including getting them widened a little bit and re-heeled. But here’s the trick, if you haven’t taken them for repair in a month, just take them to charity. This is not an excuse to just hang on to things, and if you haven’t needed it in that time, do you really need it?
- The Best Step – Go Shopping! Ha ha! No really! But do it sensibly. Take a look at what you own, and think about what’s missing. Does your wardrobe match? Look at your wardrobe logically, and think about how to make separates work together. Your aim is to have a decent, “mix and match” going in your wardrobe. It’s lovely to buy that one piece that you love, but will it mean buying shoes, tights, a bag…? Think about what you really need and what you have, if you need to replace anything you had to throw out. And also consider passing on an item that you can’t wear because nothing else goes with it. Places like ebay and your local charity stores at great cheap places to pick up things to complete your wardrobe, (they don’t just sell second hand items, but loads of new things too) and since you’re going there anyway with that donation…
Those are my top tips, and I think you can apply them to pretty much any area of your home, really. Do you have loads of things in your kitchen you never use? A dull shelf of books that you’re not psyched about reading? A drawer full of cables and tech bits? A lot of the above can be a good guide for those areas too.
What about you? Do you love a good clean out? What are your tips for a good clean out? Leave a comment below, or find me on Instagram @hermioneflavia or Twitter @CravenWild