Starting Fresh - Top Tips for a Closet Declutter
Now that the turkey is finished and there are only coffee sweets left in the Roses tin, many of us will be turning our attentions to the January sales. Before you embrace the thrill of bargain hunting, however , remember years long passed (and last year) where the endorphins were quickly replaced with the empty and anxious feeling of having spent too much money on items you didn't really need or want. Worse still, they're non returnable.
The key to successful sale shopping is knowing what you really need and the only way to do that is to reevaluate what you already have. It's time for a closet clear out. Put on your ruthless pants and lets do this.
Knock it down to build it up
Take every single thing out of the wardrobe. Yes, this includes top shelves, bottom drawers and stuffed suitcases. You need to cast a cold eye over everything in there, so take a good look and then try telling us you have nothing to wear.
File and save
A series of makeshift laundry hampers will serve you well here. Mark them according to dump, donate/sell or save. Don't call them into action just yet though.
Select your category
Go through your clothes by type. Take all of our trousers, and carefully survey. If there's any in there you haven't worn in the past twelve months they go in the dump or donate pile. This rule applies to everything bar formal wear that still fits. You can keep that for the next ball Cinderella.
Take a good look
You need a full-length mirror for this exercise. Try on anything you're unsure of. The big question you need to ask yourself - if you were in a shop now, would you buy it again? If the answer is no, it needs to go.
Breaking up or making up
If you're hanging on to anything that needs to be altered or mended, be honest with yourself about how long you've said you'd get that done. Are you really going to? Put the pieces that need work but you want to hold onto in a bag. Place that bag in the front seat of your car so you have no excuse not to go to the dressmakers. If you haven't done so in a couple of weeks, wave goodbye to the items.
Eat, sleep, wear, repeat
If you have multiples of the same item, consider how many you really need and rid yourself of the most worn/worst quality. Yes, a long-sleeved black top is a handy thing to have, but do you really need seven of them, all from Penneys?
A hole-y show
When it comes to the underwear drawer, take no prisoners. If you like to splurge on satins and silks, good for you. Most of us though have the odd nice item flanked by a range of cheap-as-chips panties in all colours of the rainbow. These are easily and cheaply replaced so there is absolutely NO excuse for hanging on to grey and frayed items that would mortify your mammy should you be hit by a bus.
One woman's thrash...
Throw out items you know are past the stage of wearing. Everything that still has life in it could find another home. It's great to donate, so pick a charity you can get on board with and drop by with some goods. If you're short on cash post-Christmas, you could also consider selling your clothes and accessories. To make any real money, you're really talking about items that were worth a lot to begin with or ones that have never been worn/used.
Hanging in the balance
When you're replacing the "Save" clothes, make sure they're all going back in washed, ironed and in wearable condition. Hang with the hangers facing outwards. After you've worn something, hang it back in the other direction. In a few weeks you'll have a tangible picture of the items you're still skipping over all the time. Ask yourself why that is. Should they have been in the "Donate" pile? It might be time to go again...
Work of art
Keep nice items on view. If you have your statement necklaces on a pin board that you walk past everyday instead of lying in a drawer, you're far more likely to think to wear them. You've spent your hard-earned money on your stash, now use it! Sunday best? Pah! Wear it Tuesday and feel fabulous.
Now you're all cleared out, feel free to attack the sales. Just remember, if you wouldn't have paid full price for it, it's not a bargain!