Spring is just around the corner – time to tidy your clothing collection.
1. Time & Tempo
Chances are you’ve amassed dozens if not hundreds of items of clothing. Sorting them out can be confronting and overwhelming. So you need to set aside enough time to do it right and do it carefully. The prospect of deciding whether clothes have to stay or go can also be a bit emotionally draining. So it’s best to keep your energy levels high with an up-tempo musical playlist. A sunny Saturday morning, with plenty of coffee and loud tunes pumping, is just about perfect. Remember that this spring clean-out is your gateway to a great summer – and the opportunity to buy exciting new threads. You have to let go to move on and up.
2. Spread It Out
Clear some space – either a clean floor or your bed and empty out your wardrobe. We don’t mean pull out the shirts and sort them and then move onto the jackets. We mean yank every single item of clothing you own out of the cupboard and pile them all by type somewhere so you can see the entire collection at once. This visual will give you an idea of how much you’ve got and how much should go. At a minimum, aim to shed one third of what you own.
3. Prioritise Honestly
One third? Are you serious? Yes, we can hear your cries of outrage! If that seems like a lot, then start going through those piles one piece of clothing at a time and ask yourself when was the last time you wore each item. With the exception of expensive formal wear and truly seasonal outerwear, if it’s more than 12 months you should consider it a serious contender for the “To Go” pile. Ditto with anything that doesn’t fit or that is stained, torn or otherwise damaged. You also need to avoid the “sunk cost” fallacy here, which is where you hold onto a piece of clothing you don’t wear just because it cost you a pretty penny back in the day. What you’re doing is wasting wardrobe space, denying yourself the chance to realise a return and the chance to buy something you’ll actually love wearing.
4. Sort It Out
With your “To Go” pile decided, you now need to decide the fate of your clothes. If seriously damaged, they’re best suited to under-the-sink or in-the-bonnet rags. Do not donate them to an op shop—charities spend millions annually disposing of such garbage bequeathed to them by unthinking people. But if your clothes are in good nick, consider giving them to an op shop—you’ll be paying it forward, gaining karma points, raising money for a good cause and giving someone else the chance to score nice pieces cheaply. If you’ve got more seriously valuable items of clothing, take them to a second-hand store or advertise on eBay or Gumtree. But you’ll need to be patient and realistic with your prices. Boutiques also usually sell on consignment and take a cut.
5. Reorganise and Plan Your Spring Shopping
With your wardrobe purged of non-essential wear, it’s a golden opportunity to organise your wardrobe. Give it a clean – it’s amazing how much dust and lint can accumulate. Invest in quality hangers, dividers, shoe trees and suit bags. Take whatever needs cleaning to the dry cleaners. Then step back and admire your collection of freshly sorted and cleaned old and new favourite pieces. Savour also those gaps in the wardrobe – time to go shopping.