When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Really cleaned it out? Thought so. Before you go shopping for the new season here’s how to perform a stocktake on the clothes you already own.

HOW TO DETOX YOUR CLOSET

When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Really cleaned it out? Thought so. Before you go shopping for the new season here’s how to perform a stocktake on the clothes you already own.

KEEP. THROW. STORE.

When it comes to wardrobe cleanouts you need a total ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. Create three separate piles – Keep, Throw, Store – and then sort every item in your closet into one of these categories. Repeat after me: There is no such thing as a ‘Maybe’ pile.

KEEP – Pieces that fit well, make you feel great and that you wear all the time. This does not include items that you love but are stained, pulled and ripped from over-wear.

STORE – All the items that you won’t be needing/wearing for the next six months. Winter coats, gloves, beanies, ugg boots, scarves, ski gear – this will create the space you need for the new season. Also store pieces that are timeless but off trend because they’ll come back in a year or two. Also carefully pack away evening dresses that you wear every couple of years. Write a list of what’s in your archive so you can access it easily when you need to pull things out.

THROW – Anything and everything that you haven’t worn in the last two years (classics aside), anything and everything that doesn’t fit you. Anything and everything that’s covered in Christmas embroidery or has “Frankie Says Relax” printed on it. Box up the clothes that are in good condition and donate to The Salvation Army, St Vincent’s De Paul or The Smith Family.  The rest goes in the bin.

BE HONEST (BRUTAL IF NECESSARY)

The above process is useless if you cannot be honest with yourself. Does something actually suit you? Or do you just love it because it reminds you of good times, a boyfriend, your youth? Clothes should suit on you four levels – colour, style, fit and condition – if the item you can’t bear to part with doesn’t check every box on that list it’s time to move on

MAKE A LIST

Write a list of the items you’ve thrown out. Often these will be pieces that you wear all the time but are stained, ripped etc. Making a list will help you when it comes to replenishing your classics like t-shirts, jeans and underwear. Another good list to make is on for the pieces you think your wardrobe needs. This is often only apparent once you’ve pulled your closet apart.

PHONE A FRIEND

Do you really still wear your Year 10 formal dress? Really? If your KEEP pile is bigger than all the others then you’re most likely a fashion hoarder and you’re going to need back-up. Bribe your most honest friend to help you with the clean out. Remember the scene in Sex And The City when Carrie cleaned out the wardrobe in her old apartment? You need to do that. Make them a martini, give them some corny cardboard signs and then listen to their advice.

FLIP THE PSYCHOLOGY

Don’t knock this until you’ve tried it. If you’re genuinely stuck and can’t decide what to keep and what to throw, twist the thought process around in your head and ask yourself: “What would I choose if I wanted to feel really depressed, unattractive and overweight?” I guarantee you’ll find some stuff in your closet to fit the brief. These pieces have only one home and that’s the bin.

CLEAN vs ORGANISED

There are two stages to a proper wardrobe purge and they shouldn’t be confused. You need to do a clean out before you organise what you own. Don’t try and do them together. They’re both huge jobs that should be tackled one at a time. Clean first. Organise later.

HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR WARDROBE

Last week we showed you how to Detox Your Closet, this week it’s all about organisation. Here’s ten steps for whipping your wardrobe into show-off shape.

STEP 1

Dump everything in your closet onto your bedroom floor. All of it. Every bra, every sock, the t-shirts, all the dresses – everything needs to come out before anything can go back in. You want your bedroom to look like you’ve been burgled.

STEP 2

Clean it out. I like to wash my wardrobe out with a mix of vanilla and cold water. Use a paper towel to sweep away the dust and then wash over the vanilla mix with a clean, soft rag. Let it air dry and your room will smell amazing.

STEP 3

Check your hardware. Do you have wire hangers? Honestly do you? Ok they need to do straight o your local St Vincents De Paul. It’s time to invest in wooden hangers that will protect your clothes. You can buy good, inexpensive wooden hangers at Kmart, Target, Big W. If you wear a lot of skirts and pants then you’ll need hangers with metal clamps as well.

STEP 4

Assess your space. Do you need more room? Hangers? Boxes? Hooks? Before you put your closet back together you need to be realistic about amount of clothes versus available space. Plastic cartons or Space Bags are great for storing season to season. I pack away my winter clothes at the end of October and vice versa at the end of May. This helps free up the room I need.

STEP 5

First you need to sort your clothes into manegable sections. I like: Office/Work, Weekend/Casual and Occasion/Evening. If this doesn’t suit the your lifestyle then choose a system that does– the objective is breaking your clothes into at least two distinctive groups.

STEP 6

Now you can sort your clothes into colour piles and item piles within the categories you established in Step 5. This means you will group white t-shirts, black blazers, pink tutus (just checking you were still with me?) etc. This second tier of coding will help so much when it comes to putting everything back on shelves.

STEP 7

Start putting your clothes back into your wardrobe. As a rule of thumb you should hang coats, blazers, jackets, dresses, skirts and dress pants. Plus any items that are silk or delicate. Fold cottons, woolens and denim. Stack them neatly in colour and lifestyle groups.

STEP 8

Earmark a couple of ‘dumping drawers” for categories that are too little or fiddly to go elsewhere in your closet – for me it’s swimwear, work out gear, scarves and sleepwear.

STEP 9

Shoes. Before you organise them you need to check the soles and the heels for wear and tear. Do they need fixing? If so take a trip to the cobbler before you pack them away. Invest in clear boxes – great ones at petitepeds.com.au – they’ll protect your shoes and see clearly and easily what you own (and where they are in your closet). If boxes aren’t your thing then the best way to stack your shoes is in pairs – with the right toe and left heel facing forward.