My busman’s holiday
I decided it was time to do my own wardrobe review, which to be honest was long overdue. I had clothes in lots of wardrobes (yes, lucky me) but I was only wearing a small percentage of them, although, to be fair, not all of them fit right now!
Clear out and sort out
It was partly a clear out (although I didn’t manage to give much to charity this time) and partly a sort out. By sort out I mean sorting clothes into spring / summer and autumn / winter wear, and then into sizes. I have to say it was a really nice thing to do. I enjoyed looking at all my clothes again, including ones that I hadn’t worn for a while but would still be appropriate if I could fit into them. A big incentive and exciting prospect.
Shoes and storage
I realised that it wasn’t working for me anymore to store my shoes in their boxes within big plastic boxes. I had several which took up a lot of space but I couldn’t see all the shoes, or grab them easily and go. Queue handy hubby! He built me a shoe wardrobe inside one of my wardrobes (see main picture). Wow, it’s beyond brilliant. I can see all my shoes now! Yes, if you count them, I’ve managed to put 43 in there, and there are a few flip flops in the drawer below. I even found a pair that I had forgotten I had. Joy, especially as my 2023 New Year’s Resolution is to not buy any clothes or accessories this year. I also decided to send one pair off to be re-dyed. (They had been dyed about ten years ago but I hadn’t worn them for a few years because they had become a bit shabby. However, they are still comfortable shoes and have life left in them, so I thought it might be interesting to see how they come back.)
Big shock – and why?
In populating the new shoe wardrobe I uncovered a few sandals that I kept in a drawer in our bedroom. When I pulled them out I noticed something unpleasant… some of them were covered in a fungus (left picture)! Not Joy. As a couple were actually leather, they had to be binned. I binned five pairs in all but managed to salvage two pairs of Ipanema flipflops. Although they are not supposed to be washed in a machine, I tried it and they came out OK. Again, more joy as I discovered a brand new pair of Ipanema’s in a box that would replace some that had to be ditched.
So, the question was, how did they develop a fungus? Queue helpful hubby again. He found me some dehumidifier bags so we could see if there was any moisture in our room (bottom right of the picture). There has been some condensation on the windows, and we know that our bodies create a lot of moisture at night, but how was it getting in this part of the wardrobe?
The shock was how much water collected in this little bag when placed in that area of the wardrobe in just a couple of weeks. We were still none the wiser on how it was collecting there. So we bought a hygrometer and placed it in various places upstairs. The reading was a shock! It gave us the answer: the humidity upstairs was actually conducive to mould growth! No wonder the other dehumidifier bags placed in other wardrobes were also filling with water! It’s certainly a mystery why this seems to have “suddenly” started to happen, and I was so grateful to have discovered it when I did and that it hadn’t spread further. So, of course we could open windows, but seeing the size of the problem, we are contemplating buying a dehumidifier.
Lesson #1 is to regularly check your wardrobe contents. In my case it was humidity but it could easily be moths or other problems.
Lesson #2 is to not have too many clothes and accessories that you do not wear. They can get tucked away for a long time, sometimes so tightly packed into your rails that if there were a problem it would spread quickly to other clothes.
Finally, lesson #3 is that I have now vacuum packed the clothes that I cannot currently fit into, so they are safely stored for when I can.
If you’re thinking about doing your own wardrobe review, you might find these other articles of mine useful:
Wardrobe Lessons 1 – reflections on sorting it out
Wardrobe Lessons 2 – thoughts on washing, patterns and more
Wardrobe clearout – what to do with the rejects
If you would like help with your wardrobe, where I can advise on more than just what to keep, please get in touch.