When did you last have a sort-out?

If you are shopping for new clothes and accessories from this Autumn/Winter season’s collections, you may be wondering where to store your new purchases.  If you have a tendency to keep hold of things, and don’t empty the equivalent number of items from your wardrobe to those you are bringing home, you may find that your wardrobe is due a bit of a declutter.  It’s time for a sort-out!

Where do I start and what should I do?

You need to set aside an hour and pull out each item in turn.  This will be time well spent for how you will feel, and how your wardrobe will look, afterwards, and what you may find that you forgot you had!

Find a method that works for you.

My top tip for a quick way to determine how much you love something is to give it a score out of ten and then ask yourself why you have given it that score.  If you have lots of clothes to assess, you can be harsher with the score.  Why would you want to wear something that is a 5/10 if you have other items that are 7 or 8/10?  But, before you dismiss something, is there something you can do to it to make it have a higher score?

Another way to decide whether you need to hold onto something or let it go is to turn all the hangars the same way and when you wear something turn the hangar the opposite way, or you can “file” things in “descending order of wear” in the wardrobe.  You will see that you usually go to one end of the wardrobe and not the other.  Are those things at the non-used end where you can start with the declutter?

Or if you are a fan of spreadsheets, and have the time, you can log everything and check what it goes with.  For most people I suspect this will be too onerous.

Here are some considerations if you are decluttering by yourself:

1.  Is it still fashionable or is it dated, or is it a timeless piece that you can wear year after year?

2.  Does it still fit?  If not, how likely is it that by holding onto it you will ever get into it again?  Or, if it is too big, is it worth having it altered?

3.  Does it flatter you?  Do you know if it is your colour and style?

4.  Does it need attention in some way to make it work or look better?

5.  Do you get compliments when you wear it?  If so, why are you not wearing it?  Maybe you shouldn’t just “leave it for best” but wear it more!

6.  How does it co-ordinate with other things in your wardrobe?

7.  How practical and/or comfortable is it?

8.  Does it fit your current or projected lifestyle?

9.  How much did it cost you?  Have you had your value from it yet?

10.  If you aren’t wearing it, why are you keeping it?  (Sometimes this decision is to do with emotions or memories.  Maybe you want to keep it somewhere – but just not taking up valuable space in your wardrobe.)

Of course you can also use these considerations before buying something new.

“A problem shared is a problem halved”

They say “two heads are better than one” and my clients tell me the benefits of doing this with a non-judgmental, confidential, impartial person really helps objectivity in this process.  One of the other spin-offs when I am with a client discussing their wardrobe, is to build outfits from what we see.  My favourite response is “I never would have thought of doing that” or “I never would have put that together”.  You may suddenly see how an item can be loved and worn more now.

Then what?

So, however you decide to let something go, have you thought about what to do with it, or are you just now going to give it to charity where you get nothing for it except a nice feeling of being charitable?  There are quite a few other options and I love surprising my clients with new ideas in this regard (I can readily think of a dozen other options).

The more frequently you have a decluttering session, the smaller the decisions feel because you know you will be reviewing your wardrobe again soon.  If you are decluttering for the first time in ages, your decisions may feel major.  It helps to have someone who understands, holding your hand through that process, who will not pressurise you to decisions without undue care.

It may be worth deciding how much each item still serves by sitting in your wardrobe.  Bear in mind that no-one can see it there so it actually needs to be used for you to get your value-for-money from it!

I am a self-confessed hoarder (as someone who still has her wedding dress from 30 years ago and no daughter to pass it on to), so I understand why you may want to hang onto something, and it may become clear many months or years after you have seen the last use for something what else you can do with it.  So sometimes the answer is not to “get rid” immediately.  However, hopefully I can bring these ideas to you without you having to wait those years holding onto something before you get that idea.  Not only am I experienced at shopping and decluttering, I have also thought long and hard about my own investment in clothes and have made a few mistakes along the way to learn from, and I want to save you doing the same.

Several benefits of decluttering are…

When you have decluttered you feel so much better.  You have more space to see what you actually have, and you can feel magnanimous for moving your no-longer-needed items to someone else who will love and be able to use them.  Well done!  Now you have space to add your new pieces, which hopefully will serve you better because you are always learning about what suits you, and improving your look.  And, if you do this before shopping you may find something you forgot you had and that it could still be useful.  So, you may not need to go shopping just yet or you may be able to buy less or get better value from your spend (justifying my input).

The goal is to have an efficient, suitable wardrobe that you love.  The decision about what to wear is then quick and easy, but you have lots to choose from and wear everything you have more (not like most people who only wear a small proportion of their wardrobe most of the time).  So if you are fed up with the look of your wardrobe and never feel you have the time to sort it out yourself, perhaps it’s time to get in touch and have that review together!  With me, if you are not satisfied that I have given value for money, I will refund.  So where’s the risk?  Try this if you’ve never done it before and see how it works!

My service is personal, as each person’s wardrobe needs and circumstances are individual. If you would like to meet me first to see if I can help you, please get in touch.