Here are my 5 top tips for decluttering your wardrobe that I shared with Good Housekeeping Magazine last year:
- Make things visible
How often have you discovered an item in your wardrobe that you’d completely forgotten you owned? The answer is probably all too often; our clothes are so tightly packed in drawers and cupboards it’s impossible to actually see each item.
Unfortunately, the only way to solve this (other than buy a bigger house) is to get rid of as many clothes as possible, in order for your remaining garments to become visible (and therefore get worn, not forgotten).
A top tip for doing this is to go through all your clothes and only keep items which you either really need (e.g. your black vest top) or you really love (and we mean love, not just vaguely like).
Also get rid of anything which is difficult to wear, for example because it needs to be ironed every five minutes or requires a particular type of underwear you don’t even own.
Finally, look at what you have multiples of and narrow this down – for example, if you have six ‘useful’ white T-shirts, get rid of any that are greying or scruffy.
- Consider what really counts as essential
One excuse we frequently use for hoarding possessions is sentimental value. Whether it’s the dress you wore on your first date with your husband, or a top you always associate with a fun girls’ holiday, many items can end up hanging around in your wardrobe long after you stopped wearing them.
While it’s completely understandable that you may want to hold on to one or two items forever, it’s important not to use the word ‘sentimental’ as an excuse.
Instead think of how they could be put to better use. Would a granny’s old coat be happier gathering dust in your wardrobe forever, or finding new life after being picked up by a stylish student at a charity shop? Remember there’s joy to be found in giving clothes a whole new life, as well as from holding on to them.
- Create a holiday box
Realistically, there aren’t many days a year when it’s sunny enough to wear strappy dresses, kaftans and sandals, so having them clog up a sizeable chunk of your wardrobe just doesn’t make sense.
Instead, create a holiday box, full of items like bikinis, sun hates and floaty summer dresses which you only wear on holiday.
Make sure it’s clearly labelled and pop it up high on a shelf so it’s not taking up valuable everyday wardrobe space. What’s more, you’ll feel a real sense of excitement every time you reach up and bring your holiday box down for a trip.
- Store occasionwear separately
As with holiday clothes, special occasion attire can be stored away from your everyday wardrobe – after all, a ballgown takes up a significant amount of room and probably only gets worn once a year at most!
Pack special occasion items away carefully using acid free tissue paper to keep them in perfect condition. Make sure the box is clearly labelled so you know exactly what’s in there, before stowing away on a high up shelf or above a wardrobe.
- Protect your clothes
One of the joys of creating a clutter-free wardrobe is that you can actually cherish and protect your clothes properly. Once you’ve done your clear out, first clean the entire inside of the wardrobe or chest of drawers, ideally using natural cleaning products.
Next, add in some form of moth protection – hanging sachets are a good option for wardrobes, and can be bought easily from Amazon.
Avoid wire hangers – these will misshape your clothes – and instead opt for skinny hangers which don’t take up too much room (wooden hangers can be very bulky).
Finally, make sure you don’t let your wardrobe get out of hand again; you could try a ‘one in one out’ policy, or just start regular pruning to ensure that everything you own truly deserves its place in your clutter-free wardrobe.