CATHARTIC CLEANING: WARDROBE WONDERS Peter Walsh shares his tricks for organising an unruly wardrobe
The chaotic wardrobe is one of the most recurrent decluttering problems Peter tackles. Regain control with his expert advice
Q Hi Peter, “HELP! I am in an ongoing battle with my wardrobe – and it’s not looking good. I have no idea where to start. Any advice you can give me would be hugely appreciated!” Bernadette, Williamstown, Vic
A Hi Bernadette. Without doubt, when it comes to clutter problems, the most common complaint I hear is ‘my wardrobe is getting out of control’. There are so many reasons why having an organised wardrobe is a benefit (saves you time, saves you money, brings you inner peace just by gazing at it), but I’m not going to go into those now. Instead, I want to help with a plan that will kick-start your wardrobe organising!
First, make your bed. This may seem totally unrelated to your wardrobe but making your bed gives you a small victory and provides a clear, flat surface for your sorting. Second, understand that the 80/20 rule totally applies to clothes. We wear 20 per cent of our clothes 80 per cent of the time. Go through your wardrobe and pull out only the clothes that you wear regularly. Be brutally honest here – the only clothes for this first pass are those that you wear regularly, not the ones that you ‘love’ but have only worn once in the last year. Place these on the bed in one pile. Next, we’re going to start looking for clothes that can be gotten rid of. The first pass for this category is any clothes that no longer fit you. Look, you’re better than this. Get rid of them today! You don’t need that negativity. And, OK, if you’re in the middle of a ‘getting healthy’ routine and know that you’re moments away from fitting back into a size smaller than you currently are, then I’m a proponent of rewarding yourself at that time by buying a couple of new pieces for your collection. Pile these rude bits of clothing into a second pile, ready to donate to the op shop. The next category of clothes to hunt for is the ones that are no longer in style, are stained or just don’t look good on you. The bottom line is that you should only have three types of clothes in your wardrobe: 1) those that fit you today; 2) those that you feel good wearing; 3) those that get you compliments when you wear them. For the rest of the clothes in your wardrobe, group the remaining like items together in the wardrobe and take a bit of an inventory. If your wardrobe is still quite full, then make a deal that you’ll reduce your wardrobe by a certain percentage. So, when you look at, for example, the number of pairs of black pants you own, arrange them in order from most liked to least liked. The question then is will you ever really wear the ones that are at the end of that line. If not, why are you still holding onto them? If your excuse is that they’re perfectly good and that you spent good money on them, you need another excuse. An overcrowded wardrobe is not your friend.
You did it! I know it may not have been easy but I do hope that it’s been a rewarding experience. Your clothes will thank you.
Peter Walsh, the ‘get your whole life organised guy’, is an Aussie currently based in Los Angeles.