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

Inside Out (Australia) - - Editor’s Letter - WORDS PETER WALSH

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.

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