Spring cleaning, is in full swing in my home. My next job is the wardrobes/closets, especially my own. I’ve become a bit of an expert at this, as I have a *slight* addiction to fashion and buying clothes, bags and shoes, so need to keep on top of the excesses. Having fitted bedroom wardrobes means I have lots of space, but I try to assess and declutter about twice every year, spring time being the most thorough one. I was inspired to write this post following reading this post on space saving wardrobe ideas. Fitted wardrobes can have very nifty storage solutions within them, like shoe and tie racks, shelves and drawers. Its even possible to fit awkward room shapes, that traditional wardrobe wouldn’t fit, and even hide modern technology like TV’s.
My tips for decluttering your wardrobe or closet are simple, but you really do need to follow them in a specific pattern to get the most out of my plan.
Make sure you have plenty of storage bags, I prefer airlock bags, as they save space, and are really effective at keeping dust at bay.
You need to have a flat surface, I put a sheet over my bed (that I can then throw in the wash afterwards) it amazing how much dust is created when you are decluttering a wardrobe. You need some black bags and I also like to buy cedar wood blocks and some extra hangers. My favourite hangers are the black felt ones, because they are suitable for pretty much every kind of garment and are extremely space-saving because of their design.
2. Empty the space.
Whether this is a set of drawers, wardrobes, hanging rails, or shelving, the best way to declutter is to take everything, and I mean everything out. This also gives you the chance to vacuum, and wipe down the area more effectively.
I also at this point look at my storage afresh, and think is there anything I can add or takeaway to make it work more efficiently. A year or so ago, I added double hanging space to one of my fitted wardrobes, the other wardrobe I left, so I could easily store dresses and coats. I also added a shelf above this so that could store bags neatly. How about adding hooks on the door for necklaces too?
This may take some time, trying things on really is a must. You might think that, that urban safari look still suits you, or those power suits will one day come back in fashion, but try them on see how they suit your style now.
All of the items you have taken out need to be put into piles, for ease I split them into 5 piles.
KEEP – These will be going back into the wardrobe. You use them a lot, they fit and don’t need any alterations or repairs, and most importantly you LOVE them! I try not to keep items if I haven’t worn them for over a year, but of course there are exceptions like wedding outfits or certain kinds of holiday attire.
KEEP – Clean. In spring I also have another pile that is for coats, dry-clean items and things that might need some attention. They can then be sent to the dry-cleaners and/or repairers if you aren’t able to do them yourself.
KEEP – Wrong Season. If you have space, these can be kept in one section of your wardrobe all together, if not these should be stored in the airlock bags and placed either under you bed, in a guest room, or even your loft. Sometimes this is a great idea, as it gives you more room in the wardrobe, and your clothing really gets a chance to breathe. It can be easier with fewer items in your wardrobe to put outfits together too I find.
KEEP – Sentimental. This could be your wedding dress, or anything that doesn’t fit right now. I don’t think its healthy having clothing in your wardrobe that don’t fit, but if you are loosing weight, why not bag them up in an airlock, and keep them handy, to add back to your wardrobe as they do. Its important to remember at this stage to label these airlock bags with what’s in them. It could simply says ‘My size 8’s’ (in my dreams) you can even take photographs of items for even easier identification.
GIVEAWAY – These can be items that you want to give to charity, sell, gift to a friend/family member or throw away. From experience, it is better if you can do this straight away, as if they hang around for too long, they tend to make their own way back into the wardrobe. So make a plan of action for these and set yourself a time limit to organise it.
The final step comes in two parts really. I add the items back into my wardrobe into groups.
- Long sleeve tops
- Short Sleeve/Tshirt and blouses
- No Sleeve
- Evening wear (Not dresses)
- Bags – Dust covers, if not put in drawers.
I know some people prefer to do things in colours, but for me this kind of sectioning works the best. I then two weeks later look at the space again and figure out of I can improve it.
So that’s how I declutter and organise my fitted wardrobe, is there anything I’ve left out, or any tips you have?
Image from the StylizimoBlog.