With more time on our hands and limited opportunities to go out wearing our favourite outfits, now is a great time to sort through our wardrobes, donate clothes we no longer wear, and make space for new looks. In this blog post, she provides tips and tricks for maximising space and style in your wardrobe.
1. GET EVERYTHING TOGETHER AND CATEGORISE
It sounds simple, but the best first step to going through your wardrobe is to make sure you have all of your clothes in the one spot. There is nothing worse than thinking you've finished sorting everything out then you find a bunch of clothes hiding in the ironing basket, hanging over the back of chairs or collecting dust behind the washing machine. Having everything together means you can see what you have - which is especially important to make sure you can make fair comparisons and don't have double-ups.
Once you have everything together, sort your clothing into categories. When I do a wardrobe tidy, I sort into piles like: t-shirts, knitwear, jumpers, jeans, dress pants, suits, blouses and so on. Again, this will help to ensure you know what you've got and you can compare across the same types of clothes. It also means that if you want to break the project down across different days or don't have enough time to do it all in one go, you can set smaller goals and not forget where you're up to.
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2. CHANNEL YOUR INNER MARIE KONDO
So we're starting with skirts - now comes the hardest part, deciding what to let go and what to keep. First things first, make sure you try your clothes on. There is no point keeping something that no longer fits or you don't like the look of on you. And yes, you do need to try on that one dress that you *know* fits you, because you might be surprised.
The next rule of thumb I subscribe to is "have I worn this in the past 12 months?" If the answer is no, seriously consider whether you're likely to wear it in the future. If the answer is yes, then I think about where I wore it, what I wore it with and if I actually enjoyed wearing it. Did I spend the whole time pulling it down because it moved uncomfortably when I walked? Did I only love it with *those* pants but they ripped last month? Did I wear it, feel amazing and get 50 compliments? Did it spark joy? I think you know what to do depending on your answers to these questions.
3. BE RUTHLESS BUT KIND
To really maximise your wardrobe, you need to be ruthless. There will be things you know you don't want or need anymore, so pop them into a pile. Then there will be the 'maybes' - you know, the things you haven't worn in ages but really quite like still but not sure if you'll ever truly wear them again. Put the maybes in their own pile and revisit them at the end of your clear out. It will give you a chance to sleep on it and really think about it. If possible, er on the side of removing them. Chances are if you're not sure, you don't really love it enough to warrant keeping it. The other thing I always do is allow myself a maximum of five items to keep that I perhaps shouldn't. These are the things that you LOVE but don't quite fit right but might in the future. Or the things that have really seen better days but you can't quite bare to part with them just yet. There's nothing wrong with having a couple of these pieces in your wardrobe, just make sure you're really strict with the number of items in this category otherwise it defeats the purpose of cleaning everything out!
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4. DO EVERYTHING
It can be easy to fall into the trap of just going through your tops and stopping there, but I would strongly encourage you to go through ALL your clothes - including your socks, bras and underwear! Other things that take up space in our wardrobes that we sometimes forget about include pyjamas, scarves, shoes, beanies, hats and jewellery. By also going through these things, it's a great way to make sure you really do maximise the space in your wardrobe.
5. RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE
Now that you've gone through all your clothes and accessories, the next step is working out what to do with what you're no longer keeping. The most important thing is to avoid, as much as you can, putting things into landfill. For clothing that is still in good condition, we recommend donating it to a charity you know and is close to you. The Salvation Army and Red Cross are two great Australia-wide organisations that take donations of suitable clothing. If you're in Victoria, Diabetes Victoria also takes clothing donations and will pick up from your home. Please be sure to read each organisation's website and information before donating.
For the clothing that is no longer suitable for wearing, we recommend recycling it. There are numerous organisations and stores that accept old clothes to be donated. Two great options are King Cotton Australia and H&M Garment Collecting Programme. Another great option is Manrags, which also accepts socks and shoes as well as clothing in their recycling program. Each website is linked so you can find out more about their programs and what can and can't be recycled.
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6. GET ORGANISING
Now comes the fun part, putting everything back into your wardrobe and making it look fresh, organised and new! The best tip for space-saving I've received is to use black velvet coat hangers for your clothes! We use them at Her Wardrobe and find they are a fantastic space saver whilst also keeping your clothes safe and protected. These coat hangers are smaller in width than your average plastic coat hanger which allows you to hang so much more in your cupboard. They're also great as clothes do not slip off them and you can use them to fold long items of clothing in half through them to ensure nothing drapes on the ground or as a way to maximise space if you have limited (or no) long hanging. You can find black velvet coat hangers in all sorts of stores including Bunnings, Target, Costco, The Reject Shop and Amazon.
When putting your clothes away into your cupboard, find an organisation system that works best for you. For me, my wardrobe is sorted into categories - suits together, jeans together etc. Other great categories are colour, season, and workwear/casual wear/activewear. Find what works best for you and stick to it - it makes finding things so much easier!
7. TREAT YOURSELF
Now that your wardrobe is neat and tidy; you've got your donations ready to drop off; your recycling is ready to go; and extra space in your wardrobe - why not treat yourself to a new look from Her Wardrobe's collection of new and pre-loved dresses? By going through your wardrobe, you may have identified gaps of colours/styles you'd like to have in your collection. With so many benefits of buying pre-loved dresses (check them out here!) it's a fantastic way to help complete your collection without breaking the bank or sacrificing all that hard work you've just done to recycle. Here are some of our favourite pre-loved picks that you're guaranteed to re-wear. With solid colours, these dresses are easy to accessorise in different ways for each event; they're all cut in comfortable fabrics and are very flattering on.
These dresses and many more are now available to buy online. Why not bring something fresh and new into your now organised wardrobe? Make the most of Free Standard Shipping on any order over $100. Or, if you need help styling your look, contact Her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover image sourced here.
WRITTEN BY REBECCA ARANDALL, HER WARDROBE STYLIST