29 April 2017

Tips on Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe!

In thoery it's spring. In theory. But I live in Britain and sometimes we get a weekend of summer and then it starts snowing by midweek, because this country is ridiculous, basically.

Last weekend whilst it was beautifully sunny and warm, Dia&Co gave me a bit of inspiration to take the risk and decided to spring clean my wardrobe, swapping out all the winter items for spring ones!

spring cleaning your wardrobe

If you're anything like me, you'll be exchanging your tartans for your ginghams, your dark colours for your lights and those cotton sun dresses are ready to go!
Every spring I do a little purge of items I either don't or can't wear whilst I'm switching, and I wanted to share with you a few things I do to clear up some items ready for selling, donating or throwing away.

First up - everything you own comes out of the wardrobe and storage. EV.RY.THING. Dump it on the floor or on your bed - and you've got the biggest mess of clothing you've ever seen. You're going to need a day and a bottle of wine, but I promise you it's worth the work!

spring cleaning your wardrobe
spring cleaning your wardrobe
Once you're facing your mess (and maybe already drinking to deal with it, I'm not judging you here) you're going to pick up every. single. item. in that pile and you're going to ask yourself a few honest questions.

1. Does it fit?
If it doesn't fit, it needs to go. Don't bullshit yourself that the size 16 dress you wore five years ago is going to fit you when you eventually slim down when you're a 22. Don't do that to yourself, no dress is worth you feeling bad about. Try it on if you're not sure, but if it makes you feel bad, it gets tossed aside.

2. Does it make you feel good?
This kinda fits in with the first one - if when you wear this item you feel like it doesn't fit right or it makes you uncomfortable in any way, get rid of it. Life is too short to wear things you hate.

spring cleaning your wardrobe
This dress split as soon as I bought it - but it WILL be fixed!

3. Is it broken? Are you actually going to fix it?
I'm a sewist, and a lot of you reading this probably sew as well. We've all got piles of UFOs and garments that need adjusting. If it's something you love, repair it. If it's something you can live without, you can get rid of it - we all know if it goes into that pile it'll never be worn again!
If you're not a sewist and it's an item you don't want to spend money to fix, it's time to say goodbye. But remember buttons are so easy to sew on, no matter how bad you are with a needle.

4. Do I actually wear it?
This is where I'm a big fan of the humble outfit photo. I can look at my own Instagram and see what I wore and when, and if I'm looking at a wardrobe of items that I've not worn at all, clearly I don't need it. I can list off at least five items in my winter wardrobe I never wore at all over winter. It takes up space, bye bye! 

spring cleaning your wardrobe
Wine may or may not have been consumed
Now whilst you're deciding what you are and aren't keeping (and if you're drinking wine, you've probably turned this into a drinking game and are currently wearing four dresses on your head...) is when I start putting things back in my wardrobe. Since we're going into spring, winter clothes go into vacuum bags, the real summery items have a small vacuum bag ready for when the hot weather comes in, and spring and interchangeable-season clothing goes back into that wardrobe.

So you're left with a pile of things with broken zips, stuff that hasn't fitted in a very, very long time, and that jumper you bought because it was cheap three years ago and it still has the tags on.
Since I'm in list mode, this is what you're going to organise your pile into;

If you've got some decent clothes in good condition which have a decent resell value - sell it and make a little bit of money. I sell a lot of my branded clothes and accessories on Facebook groups for ease, and this works well with vintage too. Don't bother sticking everything you own on eBay though, that takes far too long! 

spring cleaning your wardrobe
As cute as this skirt is, it's been worn a total of twice over the last three years; to Facebook sales with ye!
Did you know that charity shops are able to profit off 98% of donations? That's a good way of decluttering AND feeling good about yourself - every little bit helps! Whether you're deciding to just get rid of everything in one go, or you've got items that aren't either fit for sale or have no real resale value - fill a black bag full of your items and head down to the charity of your choice - Clutter Fairy has a great post about charity shops here. Alternatively - give to friends!

I'm calling this trash, but frankly - do not throw anything into landfill, guys! Most charity shops will accept unusable items in the form of 'ragging' - which the charity is paid for by the kilo, and is taken to be recycled and reused. Simply add it into your donation bag (I usually have a second bag of donations labelled 'ragging') and they'll go through it and pop it into their rag bags to be used all over the place.

This is where the clothes that have seen much better days go. You can't sell, give away or donate this stuff, but it has to go. I'm looking at you, overworn band t-shirt with holes and stains.

spring cleaning your wardrobe
It barely looks any different! 
So you're done. Congratulations, drink more wine!

It's a pretty good way to spend a day, right? Now you know exactly what is in your wardrobe, you know it fits and it makes you feel good. Anything you've taken out is either money in your pocket, a new item for a friend, or going to a charity, and all of those options are frankly great.

So now you have a streamlined wardrobe and a few extra pennies - time to drunk order some new clothes or patterns so you can work on what you now know is your style!

spring cleaning your wardrobe
I never want to do this again.
What are your tips and tricks for spring cleaning that wardrobe once you get to the new season? Let me know in the comments!


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