The Great Closet Clean Out - You can do it!

The Great Closet Clean Out

In order to put together outfits that make you feel a million dollars, you need to be able to see your clothes. Having piles of clutter or uninspiring clothes puts it all in the 'too hard' basket. I am passionate about cleaning out my closet (and all my friend's closets!) at least seasonally if not more often. I always find several things to donate or throw away, and things I love that I had forgotten about. 

How to get started
Set aside a good chunk of time, get a big glass of wine (really!), grab a friend with a good eye for what you like and what suits you, put on your best underwear (there is a lot of trying on about to happen!) and get excited. You will feel better at the end I promise! 

Step 1
Set out three boxes or bags, one for things with rips/holes/stains to throw out, one for things to donate and one for things to sell (to fund your fabulous new season pieces!)

Step 2
Take it ALL out, one section at a time, and cover every available surface in your room - making the bed first helps! Vacuum the inside of your closet once everything has been removed, I know mine gets incredibly dusty, and wipe down the shelves with a soft cloth. 

Starting with the tops, make a pile of favourites that you know are in good condition - then put them back in the closet. Look at what is left, check for condition and put anything damaged into the throw away box. (The one exception to this rule is if you are going to have it mended- do you actually have the time/money/inclination? If so put it straight in the car, otherwise out it goes!) Try on the few items that you're not sure about and use your objective friend to decide their fate. Continue with each section including your underwear (rule of thumb, if you would be mortified for your friend to see it, it should probably be thrown away!) And of course holy tights, I always have several pairs of those...

Step 3
Return the clothes you actually wear into your wardrobe and think about where the gaps are. If you have 17 pairs of jeans but not a single skirt or enough tops, make a note in your phone so when you go shopping you can spend money on the things you really need. 

Storing and protecting your clothes
Is your closet clean and organised? I went nuts in one of the warehouse sales and invested in white wooden coat hangers, they don't leave any marks on clothes and make everything look bright and breezy. They also have hooks that rotate which make it easy to put away your clothes tidily. If you have any wire hangers in your wardrobe dispose of them, they will ruin the shoulders of your clothes and put permanent marks in any pants you have hanging. Knitwear needs to be folded not hanging; it is too heavy to maintain its shape and the pressure on the shoulders will damage them. Do not store your clothes in any sort of plastic. Plastic clothing bags trap damp and mustiness inside and will cause your clothes to mould because of lack of air circulation. You can buy muslin clothing bags if you need to protect a special item like a formal dress, but I find a cotton sheet draped over the garment works best. 

Store out of season items.
I tend to do this in a roll away box under my bed, but the plastic rule still applies if you are going to leave it there for years, this box needs to be cleaned out again every season. The same goes for clothes for specific purposes like your maternity gear, swimsuits and stretchy 'wear only for Christmas roasts' fat pants. 

No...I can't bear it! 
If emptying your whole wardrobe is too daunting, use the reverse hanger trick. Make sure your hangers are all facing one way (I put mine in like a question mark because I spent years in retail and am a bit obsessive about such things!) and each time you return something you have worn back in the wardrobe turn the hanger the opposite way. After 3 months (at the most!) you will see that the hangers that are still facing the right way hold clothes that you really don't wear. Clean them out! 

You will be amazed how having less in your wardrobe somehow feels like having more, when you can see what you own you are far more likely to wear it. I also like to take photos of favourite outfits I discover while cleaning out, so I can refer to them when screaming "I have nothing to wear!!!!!!!" 

Take the pile 'to sell' pile and list them on our buy/sell page, on Trademe or take them to your local consignment store. Easy! Happy cleaning :)

Until next time,

Be you- wear the jewels!