How to audit your wardrobe like a pro? Listen to these expert tips …
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January may technically be early for spring cleaning, but it is all about a new beginning. There’s nothing more satisfying than clearing the decks after the indulgence of Christmas: whether it’s through the clothes you wear (see our guide to low-maintenance outfits to ease you into January here) or how you store them. Undoubtedly, now is the best time to declutter your wardrobe. If this sounds like your idea of hell (we hear you) then the experts are on hand to offer some worthy advice.
First things first: stop being in denial about what you actually use. “It’s so easy to fall into the ‘closet full of clothes, nothing to wear’ trap and one of the biggest reasons for this is holding onto clothes that simply no longer work for you and your lifestyle,” says Judy Gilroy, founder of Clossy, an Irish home organisation brand (www.clossy.co).
“It might be that they no longer fit, they don’t suit you anymore or maybe your life has changed and you don’t have the reason to wear certain pieces in your new routine: for example, if you have become a new mum and you spend more time in parks than out on a Saturday night, or if you have gone from working in a corporate environment to a more relaxed one. Whatever it is, if you don’t wear certain pieces any more, just let them go. It doesn’t matter how expensive the item was at the time or how much weight you are planning to lose to get back into those jeans, if you can’t or don’t want to wear that item regularly it’s not worth the space in your closet.”
How do you know if a piece no longer makes the cut? Limerick-based Annmarie Nagle of Marlene & Co (www.marleneandco.ie), a sustainable online fashion boutique, advises on the best way to audit. “If you move clothes out of your wardrobe to another space, make sure you go through each piece before doing so and ask yourself a) did I wear it this season b) did I feel good in it. If you didn’t wear it last season, it’s unlikely you will this season. I’m a big believer of wearing clothes that you feel good in, so if you don’t feel good in something, move it along,” she says.
For Gilroy it’s all about practicality: if your wardrobe is less chaotic, you’ll actually shop your own pieces from it. “I don’t have a specific rule for decluttering – I think it’s simply about being honest about what you will or won’t rewear in the future – but I do have a good tip for organising what you do keep: hang all of your clothes on the same type of hanger. A velvet or slim style with grip would be my preference because it maximises the space. When you use lots of different types of hangers it can look cluttered and be difficult to see what you have,” she says.
The item people often overlook is shoes. “Shoes are always one of the most difficult items to organise because they take up so much space. Split them into seasons if you can and pack away what you won’t wear. You’re never going to wear a pair of winter boots in high summer or pool sliders in the depth of winter so split them up and alternate. For high heels, place one shoe front-facing and the other backwards to fit more pairs in a row. Donate, sell or recycle what you don’t wear any more,” Gilroy says.
It’s not just about getting rid of things, though. It’s also about noticing gaps in your wardrobe. “Keep a list in the notes section of your phone of items that you come across in your closet that you are missing. For example, you might notice all of your socks are mismatched or your tights have ladders in them when you are doing your audit,” Gilroy says.
After all that, don’t let the ball drop on the last leg. The organising doesn’t end there. “Do charity drop offs and list items on Depop straight away to avoid having piles of clutter in your hallway for days,” Gilroy says.