You LOVE clothes. You love buying them, wearing them, coordinating them and sharing them. They give you so much pleasure.
You’ve tried decluttering in the past. You’ve Konmari-ed your entire wardrobe (but kept 99% because EVERYTHING you own gives you joy) You’ve tried donating, gifted to friends, had a swap meet and even threw some away! But you’re right back where you started. Overflowing drawers, shelves, racks and cupboards. You can’t cram another thing in your wardrobe and it’s starting to get stressful!
You’re reading this for a reason. Few of us have the luxury of extra wardrobe space. If you love buying clothes (and that buying is not becoming a problem for you) you’re going to need to create space for the treasures you’ve found.
You could always take over a spare room of course. Not just the spare wardrobe, the whole room. Turn it into your beauty room, your dressing room, celebrate the gorgeousness that is your beautifully curated and organised collection of clothes!
But if you can’t do that, and you can’t get into your wardrobe or drawers because there are piles everywhere or you can’t find the things you want to wear or you end up buying another one and have to cram it in… it’s time to do a little light weeding.
Do these three things regularly and your wardrobe won’t stress you out:
Are there things you didn’t get rid of last time you decluttered because you thought you’d wear them this season? Or things you couldn’t decide whether to keep or chuck so you kept them?
Now is the time to check again. Did you wear it? Only once in the last 3 to 6 months? Is that piece of clothing earning it’s keep? Does it deserve the space it’s taking up? If this is the second or third (or even more) time that this item has made you wonder about its value, it’s time to find it a new home.
If you keep track of your do-over clothes you’ll soon see a pattern. Because you love your clothes so much you probably don’t need a tracking system, but if you do, try this:
- A mark with washable pen on the label each time you decide to put it back. Multiple marks means it really should go.
- A coloured ribbon on the hanger or coloured thread lightly sewn inside. Remove if you wear it. (See the Backwards Hanger Game below)
- A list, in categories, if you enjoy Order & Method. Cross off or note how many times you wore it.
If the piece hasn’t been worn or washed, the pen mark, thread or ribbon will still be there.
Friends, Lovers & Acquaintances.
This system was originally Friends, Acquaintances & Strangers, but the way you feel about your clothes… there are no strangers, nothing you don’t like (even if it’s only a little bit). This way it makes more sense.
Every piece of clothing or accessory you own will make you feel something.
- Friends – Loyalty & love. They last forever.
- Lovers – A passionate fling.
- Acquaintances – Nice to have but not essential.
The first category is going to be easy – your absolute all-time favourites, they’re the keepers. Lovers – do these serve their purpose, earn their keep? Or are they just taking up space, making you feel guilty or annoying you? Acquaintances – they need to be scrutinised for value in your life. Are they taking up your time sorting through them, better served enjoying your Friends and Lovers?
Touch-Me-Nots & The Backwards Hanger Game.
“I need to wear this more so I’ll get my money’s worth out of it!” “My wardrobe is starting to look like the local Op Shop!”
The Backwards Hanger Game
You might’ve heard of this one.
The original says to take everything out of your wardrobe and hang them backwards. Then if you wear something, you just hang it normally. Then when you come to do a little light weeding of your clothes you can see what you haven’t worn because it will still be backwards.
But you have a problem… You have so many clothes this seems almost impossible. Your heart sinks. I feel about this like I feel about the Konmari dump-everything-on-your-bed theory. It’s fine if you’ve got help, brilliant if you have heaps of time, but it sucks if you don’t.
So, we’re going to do the opposite. Make it a habit to re-hang the clothes you wear backwards. Just pop it backwards on the rack, point of the hook facing you.
This way you’re doing just a little bit, every day. Much less exhausting. Then when you’re ready to weed, at the change of season or once a year, you’ll be able to see what you’ve worn. And what you haven’t.
Those items you can look at with a more critical eye. (If you found you didn’t wear something after all, or didn’t like how it felt or looked, remember to hang it back normally. It will join the ranks of The Unworn.)
There’s likely to be one or two things in your wardrobe that make you feel uncomfortable.
Itchy, scratchy, too tight, too baggy, too long, too short or the zip doesn’t work. These are the Touch-Me-Nots. You reach for them, then, change your mind as you remember the itch or the baggy butt. But you keep them because… They’re a pretty colour, they cost good money, it was a gift! Darling, life is too short to own clothes you don’t love and wear. They can go – (or hang them back normally to join The Unworn for your next wardrobe weed.)
These three (and a half) methods are a great habit to get into when the seasons change and you start thinking about what you’re going wear next. Any time is good, if you’re in the mood. Especially if you’re stuck inside.
Refresh your glorious wardrobe, make space for more Friends, Lovers & other treasures that will make you far happier than holding onto things that are just not good enough for you.
You deserve it.
The Tidy Lady. Declutter Coach & Tidyness Expert.