Lifewrangling: Decluttering and Organizing
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Wardrobe de-cluttering for the change of season


I love a change of season. I don’t think I could live in a place where the weather is the same all year round. Whether it’s saying goodbye to being wrapped up for winter and saying hello to days at the beach or vice versa, it’s always so refreshing to have a change. A change in the weather, a change in sporting activities, a change in clothing.

So what happens when the weather changes? Well, we begin to look through our wardrobes for different clothes more suitable to the temperature and the activities we will be engaging in throughout the next few months. This is a great opportunity then, to look at the things we have in our wardrobe and have a good old de-clutter. Start by tossing out any items which do not pass the three step check.

Step 1- Is it in good condition?
Step 2- Does it fit?
Step 3- Do I wear it?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then that item definitely must not go back into the wardrobe.

Do you have a difficult time doing this? You are not alone. It can be hard to appreciate the importance of throwing away these unused items. When we regularly find it difficult to pull an outfit together with all of the things we already have, we wonder how we would ever be able to do it with anything less.

‘I have nothing to wear!’

It happens a lot doesn’t it? You look in your bulging wardrobe and lament that you have nothing to wear. To the outsider it looks as if we have endless options to choose from but in reality when we take into account all of the items which are no longer wearable or suitable, our choices can actually be quite limited.

De-cluttering the unworn.

You know that there are clothes in there you bought on a whim or at a sale which don’t fit very well, don’t suit you or don’t go with anything else. Stop tormenting yourself by keeping them. They are just a constant reminder of the money you should not have spent and serve no other purpose. Get those things off to the charity shop pronto.

Why do we recommend getting rid of something that is perfectly good but rarely worn? Well, unless it’s a special event outfit, that top or dress you never wear is simply taking up valuable real estate in the wardrobe and making it more difficult to find the things you do want to wear. So how do I know what I have worn and what I haven’t? A strategy made popular by Oprah is to hang all of the clothes in the wardrobe on backwards facing hangers. Once they have been worn, they go back in on forward facing hangers. The next time you go through your wardrobe you will easily see which items have been worn and which have not. A whole season without wear means it’s time for that space stealer to go.

What do we really need?

A fantastic look at what we actually need in our wardrobes is spelled out by Courtney Carver from Project 333. The idea of this is to pare your wardrobe down to 33 items which you will use exclusively for the next 3 months. While the thought of having only 33 items in your wardrobe might seem impossible to achieve, there are some fantastic ideas here about what is needed as a minimum. You are free to supplement these items until you are happy with the options you have.

For me, I have a selection of clothes I wear to work, a different choice for casual and another for special occasions. I try not to mix the three.  I have done this in the past and it hasn’t worked. I have begun to wear my nice going out clothes to work and then when it comes to going out for dinner, I look in my wardrobe and only see work clothes. This is a perfect example of looking in a full wardrobe and seeing nothing to wear.

How much do you actually wear?

If you are concerned about reducing the number of things in your wardrobe, consider whether you already gravitate to the same few outfits every time you get dressed. I know I certainly do.

I had an epiphany a few years ago when we were travelling. We went overseas for five weeks with one small suitcase each. We wore the same clothes in heavy rotation for the whole trip. While it might have been a little boring, it wasn’t actually difficult. Everything in my suitcase went with everything else. I could mix and match all of the tops, bottoms and other layers to make quite a variety of combinations. When I returned home I had a look in my wardrobe and realised that even though I had far more items in there, I really didn’t wear the majority of them. I decided that I would go through everything with the mindset I had while packing for our travels and see what I ended up with.

I researched capsule wardrobes which gave me an idea about the basics I needed to begin with. While it is still a work in progress and I have never pretended to follow fashion or know anything about the right thing to wear and with what, it has certainly made a big difference to the time it takes to get ready in the morning, the amount of clothes that go unworn and the amount of money I spend on new items.

If you decide that you are going to reduce the number of items in your wardrobe, when you do buy new clothes you are able to consider purchasing higher quality items because you are only buying a few of them. Cheap clothes wear out quickly, lose their shape and fit and do not last anywhere near as long as a more expensive item will.

Pack away off season clothing.

So, now is the time to pack away out of season clothes that you will not need until next year. Get them out of the wardrobe and into a drawer, in a box stored under the bed or somewhere else out of sight. Of course, just because the calendar says that the season has changed, doesn’t mean that we can pack away all of the clothes we have been wearing but there will be quite a few we can put well out of the way. Remember to complete the 3 step check we talked about earlier and get rid of anything that does not pass.

Organise that wardrobe.

Now that our wardrobe has only those clothes for the current season still in it, we need to begin organising. I like to hang all of my tops together, trousers together, dresses together, jackets together etc. I don’t fuss too much about this but I like to be able to flick through all of my tops in the one spot to decide which one I want to wear.

If I have convinced you that a wardrobe audit is in your near future, there are a couple of different ways you can go about it. You can go for the all at once, get in, get it done and move on, approach or you can complete it in small bursts over the course of the week. The one you choose will greatly depend upon your personality and the amount of time you have to devote to the task but either one will get you to the same place in the end.

I challenge you to take advantage of the change of season to get stuck into a good old wardrobe clean out and be ready for whatever the new season throws at you.

Quick Declutter Checklist

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