Spring into action to sort your clothes out

Clothes in wardrobe
As the days are getting warmer at last, this is the perfect time to have a wardrobe sort-out ready for the new season.

Start by emptying out every item in your whole wardrobe, right from top-shelf or on-top-of-cupboard boxes to shoes at the bottom. As you take things out of your wardrobe, sort your items into the following piles:

Sort these into the following sub-categories:

  • To keep (in season)
  • To keep (out of season)
  • To keep (special occasion)
  • To keep (needs cleaning or fixing)

Put any items that need special cleaning or mending into a basket and put a date in the diary 30 days from now and promise yourself that any item you haven’t dealt with it by then can be thrown out or recycled.

Should your wardrobe be bursting at the seams you probably have too much stuff. But how do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of? Here are some guidelines. Get rid of it if:

  • it’s damaged or soiled beyond help
  • it doesn’t fit
  • it’s no longer your style

Decide on a charity you would like to bless with your unwanted clothes. Pass them on to friends or family if you feel comfortable to do so. Do this only with the clothes that no longer fit or are not your style anymore. Find a rag recycling place for damaged and soiled clothing.

As soon as you have filled and labelled the bags, take them to your car and put them in your boot. This way you can take them to the right places next time you are in town.

Once everything is emptied out, wipe down and the surfaces including the hanging rail. This way your whole wardrobe will be freshened up as well as organised.

Once you have sorted out what you don’t need can work out how to store what you are keeping. For the purposes of reorganising your wardrobe, separate out between different items of clothing, such as skirts, trousers, shirts, jackets, dresses, etc. This will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier.

Maintenance is key to keeping your clothes looking their best. Do not store furs, suede or leather in plastic. These items need to “breathe” and should be placed in cloth coverings or cloth zippered clothing bags.

Don’t use wire hangers – your clothes deserve better. Consider investing in velvet-coated slim hangers as they seriously increase your available space. Suppliers include Costco and Amazon.

Use clip hangers for trousers and skirts, as they eliminate creasing. Do not jam-pack your wardrobe as crushed clothes will have more wrinkles.

Store accessories in boxes. Decorative hat-boxes are attractive but it is sometimes easier to find items if you keep them in see-through plastic boxes. Belt and tie racks are good too. Just keep them simple and easily accessible.

If space allows keep your special occasion wear, such as party clothes, wedding outfits, fancy dress, etc. away from your main wardrobe. Out of season items should also be stored away from your daily clothes storage if possible. This gives you more space for regular use and will reduce stress with less creased clothes and a better overview of what you own.

So, once you’ve weeded and reorganised your wardrobe, how can you keep your clothes in good order?
Use the ‘one in – one out’ rule, so whenever you buy a new item, get rid of an existing one. And resist the urge to splurge on sale items. Remember, a bargain is only really worth it if you would have bought the item at full price.

Use the change of seasons to have a proper purge. If there’s something you haven’t worn all season, there’s a good chance you will never wear it again, so why let it take up valuable storage space?

If you have trouble deciding what to keep, ask a friend to help you decide, ideally someone who is up to date and will not allow you to keep something that is out of style just because you paid a lot of money for it!

And if you would like some professional help to set up a well-organised wardrobe, APDO members are experts in clothes organisation and storage – click here to find who’s in your area.

Now go and see what’s lurking in your wardrobe!

Isi Dixon 

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