How to clear your wardrobe and organise your clothes

P1320081.JPG

Hi! Just thought I’d write a post to help you clear out your wardrobe, using the Konmari method (plus some of my useful organising tips).

January is always a great time to have a clear out with the festivities done and dusted! The New Year always inspires me to take stock and address all aspects of my life, especially the home! In this post I am focusing on clothing as a first port of call, as I can’t fit in to a few of them at the moment; can you relate?!

I’m a pretty organised person, I can’t concentrate when I’m surrounded by mess and hate trying to look for things. Recently, I found myself watching ‘Tidying up by Marie Kondo’ after seeing a lot of people talking about it on Instagram. I thought I had my tidying/organising methods down to a tee but after watching this I realised there is much more to home organisation than meets the eye.

P1320087.jpg

Marie Kondo talks about only having items in your home that “spark joy”. I had never heard of this expression before so I was excited to put it into practice with my own belongings.

First stop, my wardrobe… So let me set the scene…

…at the moment I am trying to save for a house with my partner and we no longer want to buy from un-sustainable brands. As I am entering my late 20’s my style is transitioning and I’m feeling more grown up! Throw in the some additional weight gain since I stopped cycling to work and that’s more than enough to think about.

I’m currently feeling a bit lost with my style, which is strange as I work as a Photographic Stylist by day. I can see what looks good on other people but I seem to have gone a bit off the rails (excuse the pun!). Anyway back on point… Marie Kondo asks that you place all of your clothes in a pile on the bed (don’t include knickers/socks or any accessories at this point). Look at what you have… Pick items that standout or “spark joy” if you wear these items regularly and feel good wearing them then put them in a ‘keep’ pile. If not, then she asks you to politely and quite literally say “thank you” to your items then put in the to go pile.

All my clothes piled up looks pretty crazy!

All my clothes piled up looks pretty crazy!

I quickly realised I had opened this can of worms and spilt them over the majority of our bedroom! It soon became clear that I have certain items that I love and wear without fail… stripey tops! Now who doesn’t love a classic striped top?! But when your main day-to-day wardrobe consists of them it makes you think you may have an issue! I also live in my vintage denim skirt (as it’s one of the only bottom-friendly pieces that that fits). I found items that I haven’t worn for a while, tried them on and realised they either, fit better, don’t fit and might fit soon with more exercise; finger’s crossed! I was ruthless(ish) but I’ll admit barely any of my everyday clothes “sparked joy” and I didn’t know why.

My drawer full of vintage clothing I’ve collected over the years folded in the Konmari method.

My drawer full of vintage clothing I’ve collected over the years folded in the Konmari method.

Then I began to sort through the giant vacuum bag which is around 99.99% summery vintage clothing. Even though the weather in Manchester is a hit and miss (more hit than miss), I long to wear my 1950’s dresses more than my everyday clothing. This realisation was the moment that sparked joy for me!

Once I began folding the clothes into drawers, the array of bright fabrics made me realise that the identity I had thought I had lost, was actually the loss of colour and vibrancy brought about by not wearing my vintage clothes! My loves had returned. Yaaaaaaaassss!

After an eternity had passed, (approximately 2-3 hours), one big vacuum bag of vintage clothes, 3/4 of a rail, 4 drawers of clothes/shoes/knickers had been organised! I can now fit all the items I own in just one IKEA wardrobe. There is always more that could be done but that’s for when I’ve figured out whether I will lose that weight in a few months, but for now I have made a lot of progress

P1320161.jpg

At the end of this process I ended up with:

  • x2 large bags full of clothes for the charity shop

  • 1x small bag of textile recycling,

  • 1x pile of clothes that I will hopefully fit into (including my jeans) and some odd socks that I’m hoping the washing machine hasn’t eaten!

Following this, I set a personal goal that if I don’t fit into any of these if/no/maybe clothes by summer, then I will also take them to charity or I hold a clothes swap with my friends!

What I have learned is that we all need to be more conscious with our initial buying decisions! If the item does not spark joy or meet an everyday need then why do we need it? My second aspiration for 2019 is to only buy from ethical brands or second-hand shops. If you need an incentive to buy ethically and eco friendly then I highly recommend you watch ‘Fashions dirty secrets’ by Stacey Dooley. This documentary is about the fashion industry, it shows us all the impact of our clothing on the environment and the real costs, before we have even made a purchase.

This whole experience has lifted my mood, de-stressed my morning routine and re-ignited my passion for vintage clothing once again. The best part of all, is that I don’t feel like I need to replace the items I have said goodbye too. I have said thank you and they can now move on for someone else to enjoy. On top of this, the method of folding Marie Kondo teaches you to store everything upright which saves space; she’s a genius!

I hope this post and the tips help you to create a happier more organised space and a happier more organised you. :)

Neatly organised drawers using small boxes = no trying to find your lucky socks in a rush!

Neatly organised drawers using small boxes = no trying to find your lucky socks in a rush!

Here are some tips to organise your space:

Yes I still own about 20 pairs of shoes but I wear them all; so no need to get rid of any just yet!

Yes I still own about 20 pairs of shoes but I wear them all; so no need to get rid of any just yet!

  1. STORAGE - Use containers or boxes for small items like knickers/bras/boxers etc so they are easily accessible.

  2. ORGANISE - your clothes into sections for instance pjs/work clothes/gym etc.

  3. USE - the Konmari method of folding (saves you loads of space and makes things easy to find).

    Video coming soon…

4. BE RUTHLESS AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUT - But if you’re unsure then wait and come back to sort certain items out another day

5.. DON’T KEEP THINGS JUST INCASE - If something doesn’t fit at all give to a charity, sell it or give to a friend. If you think it might fit in 3 months keep it, but review this down the line!

6. BE CREATIVE - Try to re-work and repair where possible! For example: is there a way a top can be worn differently or a pair of jeans that can be turned into shorts?

Organise scarves and belts so they’re easy to find!

Organise scarves and belts so they’re easy to find!

7. DON’T RUSH - to get rid of items just so you can have a more “minimal wardrobe”. If your wardrobe becomes more paired down then great; if not and you wear everything, that’s also great! This process is all about appropriate use of what you have and what you really need.

8. THINK - about future purchases. Write a list of things you NEED next time you go shopping and consider buying second-hand, vintage or from sustainable brands!