#JanuaryJoy – Have a Clear Out

Today, Michelle is here to talk about her ‘get organised’ plans for 2013. She has got a handy guide to how she tackled her wardrobe clear out that I think you’ll all find useful. I know I always find my wardrobe daunting. ‘Will I wear it again?’ and ‘It feels to wasteful to throw things away…’ but if you’re to have a streamlined wardrobe being ruthless is essential. Take it away Michelle!


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I’ll admit that when it comes to clothing I hate to throw anything away, yep my name is Michelle and I’m a hoarder. The problem became so out of hand when I had filled the entire wardrobe spaces across two bedrooms (3 double hanging spaces, and 15 drawers, yikes!) along with several more suitcases bursting at their seams in the attic space too. This came to light when my partner moved into my home and was genuinely horrified at the amount of ‘stuff’ I had that just did not see the light of day.

His continual nagging reasoning eventually resonated, I finally got that there’s no point keeping clothing that didn’t fit or was even remotely stylish anymore. It was time for a clear-out. Now along with my fear of letting go of anything in case I one day need it again, I also loathe waste and would rather sell my clothes on than just bin them. So when I have had a clear-out before I’ve simply moved the items from wardrobe to bin-liners in the vain hope I’ll miraculously find an extra 3-million hours to list everything on ebay and make enough money to treat myself to next seasons must-haves. #neverhappens. I simply end up with more clutter catching dust in the attic.

It was time to be radical, to let go and think with my head not my heart so I set aside a full day to have a proper clearout. I got rid of all those old clothes filling up my wardrobes and I made sure the things I use as part of my daily getting-ready routine were easy to locate and had a dedicated space.

The original day I set aside to do it actually turned into two but it’s time well spent in my eyes and boy am I glad I did it now. Over one month in and my bedroom is still exactly as it was when I finished the clear-out, totally zen and totally organised. The time it takes me to get ready each day has halved (yes that’s right HALF the time – just goes to show how long I spent ‘looking’ for stuff) and I’ve started to enjoy getting dressed again, co-ordinating my outfits and actually wearing more than a handful of core items.

So in the interests of sharing here’s my tips for having your own clear-out:

Put some loud music on – it will keep you going at a quick pace rather than getting distracted by all the things you’re unearthing
Start with a clean slate – pull out everything and pile it onto the bed, start with clothes, then move onto shoes, accessories and lastly your make-up/beauty items
Create three piles:

  1. The things you both LOVE and make you feel GREAT – these are the keepers
  2. The things you LOVE and want to keep but they need repairing or altering – you have to get these done right away or they’ll sit in your wardrobe for another 12-months
  3. The things that you’re not 100% sure about, items that don’t fit or have really seen better days – these have to go so get the bin bags ready!

Now be strict and keep only those items you really LOVE and WOULD/COULD wear. There’s no point keeping something you love but the fit being awkward, or the colour doesn’t really suit you, or you’re just waiting for something to go with it. If you have an excuse why you’ve not worn it then bin it. Keep in mind at all times, how those clothes make you feel, because really who wants to wear anything that doesn’t make you feel 100% great?

  • Decide which wardrobe and drawer space is best for each type of clothing, from hanging to drawers and shelving. Put items you need daily access to, like work clothes, in the main hanging spaces and those worn less often in drawers or on shelves.
  • When hanging your clothes back in the wardrobe try colour-coding them so they are easy to find when you’re pairing outfits together. I hang from light to dark shades with all my tops, shirts, blouses etc in the top hanging space and bulkier jackets, cardigans etc at the bottom. My trousers and skirts have a small wardrobe all of their own, jeans get folded up and put on shelves and everything else goes in the drawers
  • I know it’s a pain but try to iron your clothes too before they get put away, they will get slightly creased again but I find it’s easy enough to run a hot hairdryer over slightly creased clothes (or just hang them in the bathroom while you shower) than it is to get the iron and ironing board out every day. Also take the time to put them all the right way around on the hanger, you wouldn’t buy from a shop that had creased, inside out clothing on display would you? You want to feel good when getting dressed, it’s all about creating an enjoyable experience.

  • Utilise drawer dividers for things like jewellery and underwear, Ikea do some really cheap ones and they really do help to keep things neat and tidy
  • Anything that isn’t going to be worn for months (ie really seasonal items) should be packed away into suitcases for storing
  • Keep shoes in their boxes if you can as it maintains them for much longer. To help you find what’s lurking inside each box take a snapshot of each pair and stick it to the side of the box (I just used my phone to do it then printed on the home computer and stuck them on with tape, I would have preferred a polaroid but I don’t have one).

  • If you have a dressing table don’t be tempted to fill the surface with ‘stuff’ it may look pretty but I guarantee it will look chaotic after a week of rushed getting ready, instead try to keep everything in drawers. Keep only the items you use on a daily basis on your table and have them organised in pretty pots (mine are Cox and Cox candle votives) and use a nice tray for any flat items (like blusher and bronzer) that won’t go in a pot. Create separate compartments in the drawer space using plastic pots so you can group things like hairgrips, bobbles, nail products etc (mine are old business card holders reused)
  • Skincare products I find are better in the bathroom as they are part of my washing/showering routine

I quickly realised last year that I can’t continue the way I had been doing and a certain level of strict organisation was needed for my sanity. So I’ve started #ProjectOrganise and will be blogging, tweeting and instagramming about my progress over the course of 2013.

Please do join in, there’s nothing better than knowing we’re all in it together, if you have any time-management tips, or little aspects you also feel the need to tackle then drop us a comment and we’ll make sure it’s considered in a future post.

When our time is so precious it’s little steps like this that make all the difference. Every. Second. Counts and no-one wants to waste time hunting under the bed for their mascara every morning.

Michelle
Pocketful of Dreams

{Pocketful of Dreams are creative event designers, passionate about creating breathtaking experiences. They design, style and deliver unique weddings and events tailored to your own personal story.}