Since this pandemic has us quarantined at home, we sure can take advantage of the extra time we spend at home instead of in traffic, having after-works drinks with colleagues or at business dinners. Spending more time at home gives us a great opportunity to play/talk with the kids, to work on that tan, to think about that side business idea we’ve always had, or to blow a new life into our homes.
In the meanwhile, Spring season made its great entrance with this beautiful weather and I like to say that every season should start with a big wardrobe cleaning. So, let’s channel our inner Marie Kondo and spend our weekend re-organizing spaces… to start with our wardrobes!
However, cleaning your wardrobe is not always that easy. There is an important personal and thus, very subjective matter linked to every piece of clothing and every decision you take for your wardrobe (e.g. what to keep, what to throw away) is not always the most logical or reasonable. Here is why I wanted to share my views on how to clean and (re-)organize your wardrobe in an efficient way.
1. Empty your wardrobe!
Take all the clothes out of your wardrobe, till there is nothing left. Avoid putting your clothing on the floor. Even if you just cleaned the room, you do not want the floor bacteria in your clothes (which you will be wearing afterwards). Then, clean the surface of your empty wardrobe.
If you have a busy schedule and you are not sure you will be able to do this in one day, start small: follow every step drawer per drawer.
2. Decide what to throw out
In order to make reasonable and efficient decisions on what to throw out and what to keep in your closet for next season, it is important to be conscious about the personal and thus, subjective aspect: Everyone has certain feelings or memories linked to a certain piece of clothing, e.g. the dresses worn at certain occasions (first date, promotion), gifts,… The trick is to not get caught up in these feelings, nor let nostalgia get to you while making your decision.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself, while thinking about throwing out/keeping an item:
1. Is the garment damaged, discolored, broken or worn out? One word: OUT! If the garment simply needs a visit to the tailor (e.g. broken zipper), then put the garment aside.
2. Does the garment fit me (now)? Except if you are pregnant, you should only keep pieces in which you fit.
3. Does the garment make me happy/comfortable/confident? Would I buy this again? This is a difficult one, since many women do have difficulties throwing out clothing that they do not wear because of “just a feeling”. However, a negative feeling towards a garment will influence your decision every morning when choosing your outfit. It is easy to persuade yourself to keep the garment “in case you may need it one day“, but here, you need to be honest with yourself!
4. Does the garment correspond to my style today? Is it out-dated? Old-fashioned garments should be thrown out your wardrobe, obviously. If you have troubles knowing if a garment is still in fashion, ask a friend or a professional.
5. I do not know how to wear this garment? Keep these garments.
To support these previous questions, one golden trick applies: the two-seasons principle. This simple trick I use helps you spot the bad buys from the good ones in a minute. When making the decision to keep or throw out garments, I ask myself if I did wear the garment at least one day in the previous two seasons? If not, it is not making the cut.
Note: do not forget to donate your clothing to the ones in need, if they are still in a good condition.
3. Organize your wardrobe
Structure is key when cleaning and re-organizing your wardrobe. The purpose is to make your upcoming (after-quarantine) morning routine the most efficient as possible. It must be easy to find the clothing you are looking for. Here are some tips to easily structure your wardrobe:
1. Separate the garments for cold seasons (autumn-winter) from warm seasons (spring-summer).
2. Hang your clothes per categories: dresses, tops, blazers.
3. Organize per color. Make a rainbow!
4. Invest in qualitative hangers, and hang the hooks in the same direction. Visually, it changes everything!
5. Render your most used garments easily accessible by organizing your wardrobe in the order you get dressed. The upper drawers/shelves for top garments (sweaters, tops, dresses) and the lowest drawers/shelves for bottom garments (pants, skirts).
4. Maximize the potential of your wardrobe
Everyone is familiar with standing in front of their wardrobe, which is bursting with beautiful clothes, saying you have nothing to wear. In our society, we are constantly triggered to buy and consume many products (clothes) in order to feel happy and confident. However, every wardrobe has long forgotten pieces, hidden treasures waiting to be worn again soon. This is why, a wardrobe cleaning is also the perfect moment to be creative and think about new outfit ideas.
After cleaning out your wardrobe, it can be smart to spend an hour or two creating new combos with these long-time-no-see pieces. Not only it may render your (after-quarantine) morning routine more efficient, it also gives you the chance to explore your creativity with fashion and maximize the potential of your wardrobe. And maybe, you will be convinced to not burn your credit card on your favorite webshops that same evening (thank me later).
To maximize your wardrobe by finding new outfits, think of following tips:
1. Give your once-worn evening dresses a new life. With the right styling, it is quite easy to downgrade beautiful evening wear into something more casual. Wear your evening dress (the one you wore at your best friend’s wedding or at that Christmas gala) with a cropped sweater or sneakers. Twist the style of your long gala dress into a summer boho dress with sophisticated sandals and a hat.
2. Step out of your comfort zone. If you do have a problem on how to style or wear one certain garment, that has been hanging there for months, take time to match it with other garments, even the less predictable ones. An important tip here is to be conscious about the pieces you have difficulties with, and look consciously for inspiration on how others wear these particular pieces. Remember, Pinterest and Instagram are your best friends.
To step out of your comfort zone, you can think of some weekly challenges. For instance, wear a certain color/fabric in your outfits every day of a week, e.g. a touch of red.
3. Ask a fashion guru for advice. Your best friend, your personal shopper or your sisters.
So, with these tips, you will be able to occupy yourself at least one day during quarantine. Hope you’ll have a great time re-discovering your own wardrobe. In the meanwhile, stay home, stay safe!
If you need some help with checking your wardrobe, do not hesitate to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org!