“I like my money right where I can see it – hanging in my closet”
If you ever watched the hit TV series ‘Sex and The City’ you may remember this favourite quote from character Carrie Bradshaw but what if your wardrobe is so cluttered that you can’t see anything “hanging in your closet”? You stand there looking lost and bleary eyed in the half light of morning not knowing what you have in there never mind what to wear for the day!
If this is you then it is time for a sort out (easier said than done … we know)!
Imagine this – you wake up in a morning, open your wardrobe and within seconds pull together an outfit (at random) because whatever items you pluck out ALWAYS co-ordinate! Your wardrobe isn’t crammed because it doesn’t need to be! A Tortue capsule collection if chosen correctly will always co-ordinate and look good and even better – you can build up slowly with just a couple of pieces each season to keep your look fresh without spending a fortune on things that you forget about or grow out of (pretty much everyone we know has ‘thin days and fat days’ … never mind holidays …. where our weight allowance often comes back on our waistlines as well as souvenirs in the suitcase!).
Most people tend to wear only a small percentage of the things in their wardrobes regularly so …. where do you start? If your wardrobe is cluttered it can be overwhelming so first of all you have to be ‘in the mood’ for the job otherwise its not going to work. Pick a time when you have time to dedicate to the task (ie. Not half an hour before you have to go out to pick up the kids from school). Some of us like to do this task when our partners are away - especially if you get the “Is that new?” comment from your Partner occasionally (to which the stock reply is “I’ve had it in the wardrobe for ages” … probably as you have and had forgotten all about it as you couldn’t see/find it!).
Preparation is key! Before you start you need to think about what you are going to do with everything. You may want to store some items in boxes away from view (e.g. beach wear or swapping over thick winter jumpers/flimsy summer wear depending on the season). If so, you need to have the boxes, label them and know where you are putting them before you start!!
If something is damaged we recommend putting it in your textile recycling – many local Councils will collect clean but damaged textiles from the kerbside but check your own Council website for details.
Things that don’t fit or those that you aren’t loving any more but are in good condition can be donated to your local charity shop (ask them about Gift Aid on your clothing donation – this costs you nothing, the taxman pays the charity a bit extra so they raise more money for their good cause and it only takes a minute to fill out the paperwork the first time you drop your bits off). Some charities have clothing banks in supermarket car parks – if you use this option your clothes need to be in shop size bags that you can tie up – don’t load everything in a black bin liner as it probably won’t fit in the drawer of the clothing bank (we’ve made that mistake before).
Consider selling some of your pieces on sites like ebay, Depop or Vinted or maybe at a local dress agency shop who will give you a commission on any items that they sell on your behalf? We love the concept of shopping local so your unwanted pieces may be someone elses livelihood as well as “one mans trash is another mans treasure”!
Facebook marketplace can be a good option to consider as you don’t pay any commission fees on your sale but check out what is being posted near you first.
Look out for “Swish” events – these are events where you pay a small donation to drop off your good condition unloved clothes and accessories. These will be laid out lovingly in size order by the organiser and when the doors open, you get to take what you like – we love these events for finding jewellery and funky accessories. Its fun to go with friends and anything left over at the end of the session is usually donated to charity so saves you taking things to your local charity shop - handy if you don’t live close to one or parking is an issue. We’re seeing lots of school PTA’s and reuse groups organising these at the moment so if you are not sure, go along with a handful of pieces (and a friend) to check it out!
Now that you have given some thought to what you are going to do with your “stuff” the scary first step is to take EVERYTHING out of the wardrobe – and we mean EVERYTHING! Once emptied this gives you a chance to give it a bit of a clean and see if anything needs fixing!
Next step is to look at the “Mount Everest” of wardrobe contents that you have probably piled on the bed and do a first sort out.
You will need:-
- a store away section (holiday beach/seasonal pieces)
- a definitely going section
- a definitely staying section
- a not sure section
For those things you are just not sure about getting rid of, perhaps they have particular memories attached or maybe they were expensive so you feel a bit cheated by getting rid of them, we recommend you have a “last chance” area to put them – it could be a section of your wardrobe or perhaps on the back of your bedroom door but wherever you decide, they need to be where you can see them, prompting you to think about them and decide either way whether they stay or go. If there is sentimental value attached then box them up and store them away rather than having them hanging in your day to day space.
For the ‘definitely staying’ section look at what you have BEFORE putting it back in the wardrobe!!! Check that the pieces you have in front of you co-ordinate with one another – consider if the colours still work on you (especially if you change your hair colour from time to time) and also consider if the shape of the garment or style of print looks outdated (time to get rid of that puff ball skirt you loved as a teenager)! This will help you to move items to the “going” section for pieces that you can’t mix and match into an outfit.
Check that your accessories coordinate with the things you are putting back in your wardrobe!!!
We find that neutral pieces (black, navy, pewter, white or ecru) items will always be handy and go with most things but if you have 5 black handbags you need to take another look at which ones to keep and which to go – a small bag for “days/nights out” and a tote size bag should be more than enough per colour if this is you!
Some people like to go all out on their storage solutions but there is no need – simple cardboard boxes can be reused/cut down to size to separate things out if you need to, but make sure there are no lids – you need to be able to see what you have got!
There’s plenty of advice online and in books about how to tidy/declutter – we like Marie Kondo the Japanese “Guru” in this area!
Why not give it a go and show us your “before” and “after” pictures on Facebook or Instagram? Or if you have sold on your unwanted pieces tell us how much you made and what you are going to use the money for? Maybe you have gone to your first Swish Event to #reduce,reuse,recycle? If so, we would love to hear how you got on. Angela x