Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

A Brummie Home and Abroad's Occasional Guide to Adulting: Wardrobe Decluttering

Part One in A Brummie Home and Abroad’s occasional guide to adulting…
It’s that time of year when you start to think about spring cleaning and decluttering. In my case, wearing nothing but pyjamas for the last two weeks means that my wardrobe is currently bursting with clothes which are normally evenly distributed between washing basket, airer and ironing pile. Some wonderful person posted a tip last year on Facebook (if I find the post I’ll credit them!) which I’ll be using again throughout 2017 to create room for more purchases throughout the year 😎
Turn around all your clothes hangers in your wardrobe. (If you don’t use a wardrobe, stop reading now. I have nothing for you.) Yep, so they’re facing you. Like so.
Now, when you wear clothes and replace them in your wardrobe, put the hanger the right way around. I.e. facing the back of the wardrobe, or wall, in the case of my backless wardrobe.
Now, after a certain period of time, you can see what you’ve worn and what you haven’t. Every three months or six months, pull all the clothes out which are on forward facing hangers. Now you have a decision to make. For each item of clothing, ask the following questions (to yourself, to the cat, to a stuffed toy…):
1. Have I not worn this because it’s the wrong season? In which case, give it a bye and reassess after the right season.
2. Have I not worn this because I haven’t had occasion to wear it? Give it a bye but consider whether that occasion will ever arise. A notable exception is a wedding dress; that should be boxed up and taking up space in your loft, not in your wardrobe.
Now to get brutal. If you could have worn the item, but haven’t, try it on. Stand in front of the mirror and ask THESE questions:
1. Does it fit? Honestly? Does the zip do up all the way? Is there a touch of camel toe in those trousers? If no, and still in good condition, then donate. If no, and you’ve forced that zip a little too far, and it can’t be fixed, then throw away (unless you’re a handy seamstress who can turn it into a cushion or tablecloth our something). Or, hurrah, still fits, and in good condition? Then…
2. Do you like it? If it’s an item you suddenly remember you love, then give it a bye…but pop a sticker on the hanger to remind you it’s already had its final warning and reassess at your next declutter. Or if you pop it on but decide you must have been in a very odd phase of your life when you thought that cropped dungarees and a leather waistcoat would be your next fashion statement, then donate. Someone somewhere may decide that this look is for them.
And that, dear readers, is it. And if anyone has any ideas on how to similarly assess my sock drawer, or my pyjama drawer, or my “gymwear” drawer (occasional wear only!) then please let me know!
Disclaimer: A Brummie Home and Abroad is by no means an expert on any sort of adulting, and cannot ever be relied on as an expert on the subject.


11 responses to “A Brummie Home and Abroad's Occasional Guide to Adulting: Wardrobe Decluttering”

  1. Nordie says:

    I have a different technique, but to achieve pretty much the same thing. Once something is word and washed *it doesnt go back into the wardrobe*. I then only get to choose to wear stuff that’s in the wardrobe. I am now on week 4 of “dont wear what you wore last week”, and it just shows how many clothes I have that I dont wear on a regular basis.
    Worn stuff is either still in the ironing basket, or ironed but hung up elsewhere.
    Items that I have decided to get rid off (3 bags and counting) have been donated to Marks and Spencer’s “Schowpping”. unless I think I can upcycle it at home. So shirts that still have some life in them, socks that dont (haha) etc…..
    I still have to look at the stuff that’s still in the wardrobe and I will be doing pretty much what you detail above

    • emfletche says:

      Ha ha, I have a similar approach…clean and ironed stuff goes to the right of my wardrobe, and I choose my daily clothes from the left…in theory it should stop me going for the old favourites every day. Maybe I’m a touch OCD…

  2. I found that I was in need of lots of adulting help when we made our move abroad. My closet had clothing in it that was more than 20 years old! And no, none of the clothing were “classical pieces” that would not go out of style. It was stuff that was probably out of style back when I was able to wear it! I finally just stuffed all of in into bags and brought it in for donation.

  3. gemmaorton says:

    Great tips. I really need to get on this! As for pyjamas I tent to wear my faves until the elastic has gone or holes appear and the grudgingly throw them out.

  4. I am always surprised at how little clothing we do need. As you know, we live out of a suitcase. When in a house I tended to spend the extra money on plants 🙂

  5. Snuffy says:

    Working on this very thing right now! I’m totally going to use the backwards .hanger trick…

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