How to Declutter and Clean Out your Wardrobe and Home

It’s time to stop putting this job aside and just do it! It’s time to clean out your wardrobe and home!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who goes through their wardrobe every now and then and gets rid of things they no longer wear or like. Going through many changes over the past few years means that I have acquired a fair amount of clothes along the way. I also used to work at a fabulous fashion boutique where I had the opportunity to dress up everyday for work. Now that I wear pinup and vintage every day, I find that a lot of my other clothes have been moved aside and are now taking up precious space in my wardrobe. I kept thinking, “I’ll clean it out properly one day” and this morning I decided that today is that day. But the simple task of decluttering my wardrobe posed many challenges.

We all grow and change as time goes on; our wardrobes do too. Although I dress and style myself differently to how I used to two years ago, I don’t think I’m too different from the person I used to be. Our wardrobes often reflect our likes, dislikes, phases and crazes that come in and out of fashion. As I was going through my drawers, it was really sad to realize that some things are just no longer my style even if I thought they were still really pretty. I used to wear a lot of button-up collared shirts which came in handy when I lived in Ireland and had to layer up more. I very rarely wear these types of shirts so it was sad to put them into a bag labeled ‘donations’. I always kept my clothes in the best condition I could so I know that when I donate the items, they will be ready for re-sale and hopefully bring someone just as much joy as they brought me.
Letting go of something that once was a crucial part of your style is never easy; you wonder who you are now, who you will be and if you can try to merge the styles together. I still like modern clothes and styles but it’s more of a personal preference to dress pinup and vintage. It was time to take a deep breath and get rid of a few items.

The main rule I used for cleaning out a closet is; if you haven’t worn it, needed it, remembered it or seen it in 18 months, ditch it. I had a pile of cute tops which seemed to have survived several cleanouts as I always think, “oh I’ll wear that soon once the weather changes” and a year or so later, they still haven’t seen the light of day. Today, they finally went into the donation bin. I tend to stick to my rule as much as I can and one of the biggest clean outs I’ve ever had was about two years after my store closed down and I didn’t really have a reason to get dressed up every day. A lot of items just never got worn and just slipped into the back of the wardrobe. I currently don’t have a large wardrobe so quashing heaps of clothes in is near impossible. Getting rid of things is becoming a necessity and I feel that today was one of the toughest clean outs yet.

When your not sure about an item, ask yourself, “does this item bring me joy?”. If it doesn’t, then it might be time to move on from it. This idea can be extended into any type of clean out. I’m hoping this year to really go through all my things (I’m aiming for one room per month) so by the end of the year, my life will be a little lighter. I want to spread out this task so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, I have time to properly sell, donate and decide what to do with items and also for me to really notice what items I use more than others. As I’m also planning on moving house quite soon, this will also prepare me for that great adventure. I’m really not looking forward to organising my sewing area.

Remember that it’s ok to let go, you’re not losing yourself along the way. One of the hardest parts of the declutter was realising that I used to be more comfortable with my body than I am currently. I loved layering crop tops over dresses, wearing shorts and mini skirts and going for the 90’s grunge look. Now, my wardrobe covers my knees and vintage styles are a lot more conservative. I have a lot of self-love and acceptance to figure out and I got a bit emotional trying to tell myself that it’s ok to be a different body shape or size. I couldn’t pinpoint when in my life I felt more comfortable being covered up but I had a goal for the new year; self-love and self-acceptance.

Whilst cleaning out, I realised how much stuff I actually have. It’s definitely time to get rid of a lot of things, sell a few items on and donate the rest. It was quite embarrassing to see how many cardigans I actually owned as well! I know people call me the cardigan queen but it was just getting ridiculous. By doing a huge closet clean out, you get a better idea of what items you have and what you are missing. I sometimes make a rule with myself that I need to get rid of two or three items before I buy replacements. I might have to implement this rule starting next year.

Tips:

-Do a section every day or over a couple of days. Don’t feel you need to clean out your entire house over a two day period as it gets overwhelming.

-Sell on some items to get a bit of extra money to put towards other things.

-Play music or have a movie on in the background to keep you going. Don’t feel alone in the cleaning progress

-See if you can get a friend to help you. Sometimes I need to ask someone what they think of items (if you’re not sure, get rid of it).

-Be as ruthless as you can. Being sentimental is fine but you can’t hold onto everything; try to take a photo of an item if you don’t want to keep it.

-If you do have a lot of things left over, try to figure out a way of storing it so it’s not as overwhelming. Storage boxes, shelves or drawers can really help you store a lot of items in a space conscious way.

-Reward yourself as you go, you’re doing the best you can!

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