LARGE TRASH BAGS, or boxes which should be labelled
Do your yourself a favour and have a seasonal sort out; organise yourself; pack away summer gear – and don’t worry, there is still space in your wardrobe for one or two transitional pieces for now, or for if we get a freak Indian summer in March…
WHAT YOU NEED
CLEANING KIT – Vacuum cleaner, cleaning cloth, cleaning spray or hot soapy water.
STORAGE SPACE – allocate some space for storing your Spring Summer clothes and give it a good clean out – ideally with a vacuum cleaner first, to get in the nooks and crannies. Moth eggs can be difficult to spot and it’s no good tidily folding away your favourite silk summer dress or cashmere sweater, just to find it’s been chewed to death by moths next season – no good at all! Same goes for your everyday closet and drawers – Pull everything out and pile it onto the bed (start as you mean to go on and pile everything loosely into categories such as trousers, singlets, short skirts, shirts, jeans and dresses) and give your closet a good dust and clean, ready to be re-organised.
COAT HANGERS – no matter what style (wooden, padded, fuzzy, plastic or metal) matching hangers make for a tidier closet. When I moved apartments I was on a very tight budget, but I bought one multi pack of fuzzy velvet hangers per month and eventually filtered out the miss-matched plastic and wire ones. Now everything matches and I find it very calming!
VACUUM STORAGE BAGS (optional but highly recommended)
Whether your storage space is a suitcase or a box in the attic, you can pack a lot more, save space and protect your clothes far better if you use vacuum storage bags – and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch a giant bag of bikinis and sarongs, shrink down to half the size!
Style classics like a blazer or a good pair of skinny jeans (if the condition & fit is still good) can often be worked back into your wardrobe. (Definitely if it’s a blazer this Autumn) otherwise pack it away in a vacuum bag for when it’s relevant again.
“Have I EVER even worn this?”
If the answer is no, there’s usually a good reason, so set yourself a challenge to either wear it this week, or give it away. If it’s sparkly, fluffy, feathery or embellished, maybe you have been saving it for the ‘right occasion’, but 2017/18 autumn & winter, every occasion is right – so either be brave and put sneakers and a grey sweater with that never worn sequinned pencil skirt – or give it up!
“How many black singlets do I really need?”
If you have an everyday ‘uniform’ which involves a basic, like a t-shirt or singlet that’s totally fine! But have a biannual sort out and ditch any faded, stained ones and organise the keepers into a drawer or shelf. Or, if like me, you have a burgeoning pile of jersey which rarely sees daylight, pick out a few, then give the rest away – and for goodness sakes, stop buying more!
GET WITH THE PROGRAM
Now, sweaters, jeans and jersey basics can be folded or rolled away, then ultimately you will only have your favoured items left to hang and you can start to order them from left to right:
Short sleeved shirts, short skirts/shorts, long sleeve shirts, trousers, jackets, dresses (long, through to short)
Yes, it’s lovely to see all of your clothes in colour order, just like in a boutique, but actually I suggest this ‘category order’ because you can clearly see what you have to choose from and it’s easy to upkeep if you ‘stick to the program’ and you can also now see what’s missing for the season ahead.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR?
Now your A/W wardrobe is organised and you have all your summer pieces separate, so have a QUICK check through these to see if they are still fit for next summer. Don’t spend too long on this section, as you won’t be wearing any of them until next year – but assess what’s definitely worth storing; are your crisp white Broderie Anglaise blouses still looking good, or are they a little yellow? Is the elastic still going strong in your bikini bottoms? If anything is looking too worn, it’s time to say goodbye! (Except for good quality favourites which may require repairs).
Some pieces are transitional, such as slip dresses (with a sweater) and strappy sandals (with socks) so keep one or two of these in your closet, then fold the rest into vacuum bags labelled ‘dresses’, ‘beach’, ‘bottoms’ & ‘tops’ etc – you will appreciate it more if you book an impromptu holiday and can grab a bag of ‘Beach wear’ rather than digging through the whole summer kaboodle.
Get the Hoover out, shrink your bags nice and small then store it away, out of sight; drop off the trash and the donations, then marvel at your newly organised fashionable life!