Faced with more time at home and a change of season, many of us are directing our focus to one part of the house in particular: the wardrobe.
Whether you’re doing a deep cull or a simple reorganize, your clothes should always be approached with a game plan – and there are three simple questions to keep in mind.
What is my goal?
Whether you want to be able to run your hand along your coat hangers and hear them clink together, or completely overhaul your style, make sure you know what your goal is before embarking on your closet culling mission.
If you’re undertaking a simple declutter, it’s important to reflect on the past season and think critically about what you actually reached for. What was your most worn ‘uniform’, and what were your most common activities? If you have a pile of yoga pants but never do yoga, or dresses that never saw the light of day (or a night out) your wardrobe probably doesn’t reflect your lifestyle.
For a complete style makeover, you’ll also want to ask questions like; “Who is my style icon, and what do I love about their look?” and “Which colours or silhouettes do I look and feel my best in?”. A mood board can be a great help here. It’s no use throwing out every item of clothing and replacing your entire wardrobe – instead, choose your favourite pieces and analyse why you love them so much. Spend time building outfits (the fun part, if you ask us!), actually trying things on before tossing them aside. You may discover the building blocks to your dream look have been in your closet the whole time.
Is my current set-up working for me?
If you’re never quite sure where your favourite jeans are or can’t be bothered ironing your shirts, you probably need to reassess how you store your clothes. Do you have enough hanging space for the things that definitely need to be hung? Do you need all of your clothes in one place, or could you store out-of-season pieces elsewhere?
It might be time to invest in some new storage solutions – either big (an additional dresser or free-standing closet) or small (some vacuum seal bags for out-of-season clothes). If you have more shelf or drawer space and have never been able to master Marie Kondo’s magic folding trick – no matter how much love and affection you communicate to your white t-shirt – these file holders from Kmart are an affordable hack.
What will I do with my unwanted pieces?
Your closet is looking smick, but your bedroom floor? Not so much. Now is the time to decide what you’re going to do with the clothes you’re parting ways with.
If there are a few ‘maybe’ pieces you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to, store them somewhere safe and reevaluate them next season. Be ruthless, though. The point is to get rid of unworn pieces, not move them around your house season after season, so limit the number of ‘maybe’ clothes you hold onto.
If there are some more expensive or sentimental items you don’t want to donate, sell them on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay or Gumtree, or give them to your friends and family. The rest can be taken to your local Lifeline bin, or into H&M or Zara to be upcycled or used sustainably for building materials. H&M will even give you 15% off a future item for your donation.
If this exercise teaches you anything, let it be this: when it comes to your wardrobe, quality always beats quantity at the end of the day. Unless every item is genuinely a favourite or highly-functional piece, you’ll only rotate through a small portion of your wardrobe, get fed up in a few months’ time and have to cull it all over again.
Move forward making more considered purchases, investing in pieces that will last you for years (both in terms of quality and style) wherever possible and following a ‘one in, one out’ rule. Soon enough, your complete closet culls will turn into small tidies, and you’ll feel nothing but happiness every time you throw open your wardrobe doors.