When you’ve got a closet groaning with clothes yet still find yourself with nothing to wear - or wearing the same couple of outfits over and over, you know the time has come to have a bit of a sort out. It’s daunting and it takes time but trust us, it’s well worth it. We’d recommend setting aside a full day to do it.
Step 1 - Get storage savvy
Invest in plenty of storage before you get started so that everything has a place once you’ve sorted it. Think about any dead space in your room and what sort of containers you need to make the most of it. Crates for under the bed, bottom and top of wardrobes, drawer dividers, hooks etc. You’ll probably need more than you think, but it needn’t cost a fortune – pound shops are a great place to start. If you want to get really Monica Geller, invest in a bunch of identical coat hangers so that it all looks super pristine hanging up.
Step 2 - Make sure you’ve got a good bra
This may sound like a strange one, but if you want to give your clothes a fair trial, give them the best chance by making sure you’re wearing the right sized bra. Lifting those boobs an inch or two and making sure you’ve got no unnecessary lumps can really change the fit of things and work wonders for your silhouette.
Step 3 - Trying-on time
Put all the things you know you wear regularly to one side, and then get trying on anything else that’s not been worn in a while, or even never worn at all. Be ruthless. An item of clothing might be beautiful and you might really love it but if it’s not right on you then it shouldn’t be in your wardrobe. 'Not sure' isn't good enough. When it comes to getting dressed you’ll always reach for the things that you know you look fab in and the ‘not sures’ will continue to be ignored.
Make piles or fill bin bags of things to go to the charity shop or be sold on Ebay, but be realistic about how much time you really have to do Ebay listings. I usually only sell things that I think might make a decent amount and anything else goes to Oxfam. If you’ve some lovely pieces that are nearly right then make a pile to be taken for alterations. It’s worth paying the extra if it means you get something you’ll wear time and time again. Chuck out anything that’s too old and worn as well as the ‘not quite rights’ and remember, charity shops can get money just for material sold by weight so nothing need go in the bin even if it’s in poor condition.
If things are too big or small for you, decide how likely you are to fit into them again and if it’s pie in the sky then give them away. It might make you feel sad to give up on that size 10 dress but opening up a wardrobe where every single thing makes you look and feel amazing is sure to lift your spirits! Live for today not tomorrow 🙂
Do this with all your clothes – the ones in storage as well as in your wardrobe. You’re sure to unearth some gems you forgot all about. Same goes for jewellery, shoes and accessories.
Step 4 - Mix, match and identify gaps
Once you’re left with just the items that fit and flatter, try them on with the things you intend to wear them with; even if you have the most amazing skirt that fits like a dream it’s useless if you can’t make it into an outfit. Try combining and layering things in ways you haven’t before to find more ways to wear the things you have. And if you still have something that goes with nothing else (think about footwear and underwear in the mix as well) then you my friend have a license to go shopping! Make a list of what you need to make your wardrobe really work for you. Something as simple as a plain jersey top, different shaped cardi or multiway bra can open up a heap of new possibilities. We'd recommend covering off all the basics such as black skirt, black trousers, white blouse, neutral cardi... these items will help you get way more mileage out of your current collection.
Step 5 - Sort it out
So you’ve got your whittled down wardrobe; now everything just needs somewhere to live. Order clothes in your wardrobe by type – skirts together, jeans together etc and within that, if you like, by colour and length. Taking length into account is a good way to assure you make a good amount of space at the bottom of your wardrobe underneath your clothes. Short skirts and folded over jeans give you plenty of room to have storage boxes underneath.
Anything really out of season can go into more 'out of the way' storage – I have two old suitcases under my bed, one for summer holiday clothes and one for really wintry stuff.
If you’re blessed with extra wardrobe space elsewhere then archive off special occasion clothes or things that only slightly don't fit so that they’re not filling up your day to day wardrobe.
Tees and vests can be folded in drawers to save on wardrobe space – drawer dividers or even small cardboard boxes can be used to keep things separate and neat.
Think about what you like to wear and what you need day to day and separate things out in order to make your life easier. For example if you need different socks for different pairs of boots, split out your socks so you can grab the type you need quickly in the morning without scrabbling around. Pick out your favourite pieces of jewellery and accessories and keep them somewhere easy to access so they get plenty of wear; hooks on the inside of your wardrobe door are perfect for hanging necklaces.
Just make sure you keep your most fabulous pieces away from prying paws 😉
Step 6 - Enjoy!
So now you've done the hard work, you can enjoy our clothes to their full potential. Open that wardrobe with a smile each morning and show off what you've got!