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How to spring clean your wardrobe

How to spring clean your wardrobe

Since Marie Kondo came on the scene, people everywhere have been picking up items and asking themselves whether they spark joy. So what if your sock drawer doesn’t spark joy? Or your underwear? We can’t expect every piece of clothing in our lives to make our hearts swell. Sometimes, a garment’s purpose is purely functional and, you know what, that’s OK.

So instead, we propose a less radical approach to clutter. Let’s start with the assumption that, as a society, we’ve all got too much crammed into our wardrobes and we’d like to do something about it. From that, let’s aim for improvement, not perfection. Start small. Decide how much time, and headspace, you can dedicate to decluttering today. Then spring clean at your own pace.

Only got a minute?

Grab a pair of shoes that need reheeling or a shirt that needs mending and put it by the front door. That way, you’ll remember to go to the tailor or cobbler for repairs. It’s also one less unwearable item taking up space in your wardrobe.

If you’ve got 10 minutes

Rotate your clothes so that when you open your wardrobe, you only see things that you can wear right now. That means packing away shorts and your heaviest coats (in vacuum storage bags, if you need to save space). Not only will you protect your woollens from moths, but you’ll have a much clearer idea of what’s seasonally appropriate too.

If you have 1 hour

Tackle the laundry. No, we don’t mean just the items that you chuck into the laundry basket on a weekly basis. This hour is the time to bring out any cashmere jumpers that need hand-washing, or items that need taking to the dry cleaners. You might find that you’ve actively avoided wearing any things that require special cleaning, in which case, consider if you really need to keep it.

If you have 1 day

This is the time to bring out everything from your wardrobe, your chest of drawers, and even that indiscriminate pile of clothes you keep beside your bed. Next, divide everything into four piles: keep, mend, bin, and get rid.

Be ruthless. Do you really need five blue t-shirts? Can that ratty vest be turned into cleaning rags instead? What about that shirt that’s too tight – will you really fit back into it, or is it time to let go?

Anything that’s in the 'keep' pile should be hung back up or folded neatly and put away. Anything you’ve earmarked to be mended needs to go in a bag so you can easily take it to the tailor. Add a reminder on your phone or wall calendar if you need to, just don’t let it linger around.

After that, it’s up to you whether you resell or donate the rest. Reselling on sites like eBay or Depop can be rewarding, but the time and effort involved in taking photographs and then going to the post office can put some people off. If there are some valuable, luxury items in there, you could try a service like Cudoni, which collects your items from you and sells on your behalf.

As for charities, if you don’t have a car to drive your things to the nearest drop-off box or charity shop, try Gone For Good, which will come and collect.

Words: Theresa Harold
Illustration: Haley Tippmann