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Closet Clearing 101

By Sara Delaney on Sep 26 2014

We're hurtling towards the end of September already, and I for one can feel that slight nip in the air. This time of year always has me turning to thoughts of closet clearing and switching out the end of my summer wardrobe to make way for the winter stuff.

Now I know I'm a stylist and all, so I should have that closet-clearing lark down pat. But sadly I'm also a bit of a shopaholic & hoarder. In the styling game this becomes the triple threat of all traumas. My days go a bit like this…style someone - spot lovely thing I've put them in & urgently yearn for it in my own closet - make mental note & sneak back to buy it later (confession - I've also been known to snap up same item via my Shopstyle app whilst client is doing checkout procedure). Then, smuggle item into wardrobe in hopes of hubs not catching me spending again - then completely forget I bought item as next day have spotted something else I must have whilst shopping with another client - DOH!

So this season, rather than head to rehab to sort out my behavioral patterns, I've decided to take some of my own advice and revert back to basics with my closet clearing 101 - play along with me...

  1. First up - block out a good half-day or more in your diary - once you get started you will want to complete the whole task. If you bail out half way you start getting second thoughts about certain items and they inevitably finagle their way back in to your overstuffed wardrobe.

  2. Be prepared - bin liners, pen & paper to make notes & phone or camera to snap any outfit ideas you can pair up along the way, as you discover hidden gems way back in the depths of your drawers. Water and a pack of biccies to keep you hydrated and keep your metabolism on track.

  3. Start with one particular garment type & work your way through - I normally start with dresses & 1 pieces, then bottoms, tops, outerwear, shoes & bags and finally accessories.

Consider each item with these questions

Have you worn it/used it in the last 2 years?

Does it fit?

Is it a bit shabby or needs mending or altering?

Start making 3 piles


Of course when you get to the sell pile you are immediately compelled to call the lovely BuyMyWardrobe gals and make an appointment at their convenient London store.

Once you've powered your way through the actual clear out, consider the oncoming winter & the moth population, who would just love to snuggle on down for a chomp on your cashmere for the season. Invest in mothballs or natural anti moth products - I love Total Wardrobe Care products.

If you've found some fun new variants on outfit choices by going through this process, then now is the time to lay them out flat on your floor & start snapping a few ideas. Sign up here for my seasonal trend newsletters to keep you posted on how to work what was on the runway to real life...

Once you’ve patted yourself on the back at getting this far down the line without cracking and sloping off to watch the latest MIC episode, or checking out what your new Grazia mag has to say about life, place your items back so all like pieces are in one spot. If you’re lucky enough to have the space, place tops on the top level and bottoms on the bottom, so you're halfway to putting a look together as soon as you open the wardrobe doors in the morning.

Fold your sweaters and place on a shelf or in a drawer. I place them belly out - you know like how they are folded super neatly in stores. But one neat trick to get in the habit of is, once you've worn that sweater place it back the other way round - that way at the end of this season you get a snapshot of any sweaters you didn't use.

Finally bag up your piles - take any alterations to your local seamstress. Discard anything broken or slightly sorry for itself - we're talking white tees with yellow sweat stains under the arms, moth attacked items or things really beyond repair.

Get your other pile off to BuyMyWardrobe or donate to your local charity shop - but remember they don't want your old tat; my mum works in one of those stores & always is aghast by the rubbish people leave.

Then sit back, relax, and wallow in the joy of having a load of new space in your closet to start filling up again…

Image source The Coveteur