5 Simple Steps to Detox your Wardrobe
Spring: A wonderful reminder of how beautiful change can be
The weather is changing and I’m welcoming sunshine, cherry blossom and bank holidays with open (ready to be tanned) arms!
I’m also ready to detox my wardrobe! Because when we feel confident, relaxed and true to ourselves and our style, nothing can stop us.
Go on – think about a time you felt this way and bathe in those emotions and memories. You were unstoppable, right?
So while you are bringing your spring/summer dresses to the forefront of your closet, this is a perfect opportunity to detox and focus!
Now, I’m not saying I’m the most perfectly dressed person in London (far from it, I’m sure!) and this blog won’t tell you what to wear and how to wear it. Instead, it’s a focus on clutter clearing our clothes to make sure what we DO own is bringing us joy and removing the frustration with dressing ourselves for success.
Follow my guide to detox your wardrobe and be ready for whatever the hotter weather brings our way. Just schedule a morning or afternoon – and it will give you a season of joy and less decisions!
STEP 1: Consider that your wardrobe is 80% stuck energy
Did you know that most of us have wardrobes brimmed to the full with clothes and accessories, but we only wear 20% of them?
Honestly, check your wardrobe and you will be shocked to discover that this also applies to you. You will see overcrowding, dullness, overwhelm and a general feeling of ‘meh’.
We seem to have an abundance of “stuff” around us; and this abundance creates choice fatigue.
Did you know that on average we make 35,000 decisions a day? No wonder, our minds feel cluttered and we are exhausted by bedtime (or lunchtime!).
So why not have fewer clothes options to make simpler choices on what to wear each day. See it as a way to declutter our minds and decision process each morning.
Our generation have accumulated “stuff” due to fast fashion trends (we seem to be stuck in after our poverty-ridden university days), sentimental clothes we think holds beautiful memories (but really it’s a tutu from a drunken fancy dress night out), and the ‘just-in-case’ I fit back into that in the future (which I doubt I will ever be that size and shape again, and if I was, would I be seen dead in that mini skirt?).
Or our circumstances change! I’ve had corporate jobs where pencil skirts and shirts were the “look” and then moved to more relaxed office jobs; but I still held on to my workwear items thinking they may come in useful…but they never do.
We find it hard to let go as we’ve spent so much time (shopping and browsing the internet) and money (happy to find that bargain £20 item, and repeatedly purchasing similar small cheap items!) that it doesn’t seem logical to donate or sell it for a fraction of the price if we haven’t yet used it for all it’s worth! Even though it just sits in the dark corner of our wardrobe or under the bed.
We are kidding ourselves.
The 80% of our clothes that are left hanging there, year in and year out, some with their tags still on, are an energy sucker! They are filling a space, a void, and they are likely worthless to us and our future.
So it’s time to reframe our thinking…
It’s time to let go.
Let go and make this item available to someone that will LOVE and USE the item. You are doing the world a disservice by keeping this to yourself and not enjoying it! Or if it’s used and damaged beyond all repair, dispose of it appropriately.
When you let go, you make space for something better
STEP 2: Understand your personal style
Okay, you are now ready for Step Two: ascertain your personal style and create style rules!
Whether we know it or not, you have a personal style. If you are not sure what your style is, take a look at the 20% of clothes that you wear and identify the trends. It could be a colour palette, type of material, fit and shape of clothes, patterns, brands, ethos of clothes.
For example – my 20% of worn and loved clothes fell into these categories:
Light and pastel colours
Plain or simple designs
I’m petite and a pear shape – so I love clothes to accentuate my waist
I prefer easy to wear and comfortable dresses – less thought and decision in what to wear
I’m not good in heels – so prefer flats/sandals, comfortable block heels or wedges, or comfy trainers/tennis shoes
I prefer not to dry clean or iron – so I prefer clothes that can be washed at home and dry without creases
I work flexibly, like to walk and workout – so I love to have lots of leisure wear that also looks and feels awesome
And these become my style rules.
So, before you start detoxing, ask yourself these questions…
Think about an outfit you wore recently where you felt really confident and authentic – what was it about this that you loved?
What were the colours, style and fit? What was the event? What emotions did you have?
Out of the 20% that you wear, what colours, style, patterns and fit show up?
What activities do you complete most frequently?
Think about work/employment environment, social events, home events, exercise/workouts, children/pets, hobbies, travelling, holidays. Put a % of time against each activity so you can see where your time is spent and how much clothes you need for each aspect of your life.
Do you wish to spend time and energy on ironing/dry cleaning clothes?
Spend time thinking about your personal style. Once you feel confident what this is, you can start detoxing your wardrobe.
STEP 3: Detox Time!
Now you know your personal style and your bespoke style rules, you are ready to start removing clothes from your wardrobe and spring cleaning (with or without the dog)!
Before you do, make sure you have the following to hand…
7 boxes/bags with labels – off-season storage, trial separation, keepsakes, sell, donation, repairs, discard
Motivating music playlist – try our Spring Clean Spotify playlist to keep you feeling summery and focused
Motivating essential oils to keep your senses engaged
Tidy Home Tidy Mind Tip - Take an honest before picture! This may be embarrassing, but believe me, you will be so impressed to compare with your after picture!
Start by pulling out the 20% of your wardrobe that you wear with confidence and joy. That’s an easy pile! Then move on to the remaining 80% of clothes.
But as you do, start to check that these clothes align with your personal style and rules. Pull out the rest of your clothes and start to place into the following categories.
Any autumn/winter items can be placed straight into this storage. Of course, if there are any items that are suitable all year round, or bridge the gap for chilly nights, you can place these in your keep pile.
You may be torn by some items. When you feel them and see them, you feel pure joy and excitement – “I forgot I had this, I love it!” – but you haven’t worn it in many moons. Unless you plan to wear it straight away, this can be placed in the trial separation box. This box is placed out of sight and mind until autumn – if you think about the item and actively seek to find it to wear, it deserves a place in your closet. If you completely forget about it and it’s no big deal, I promise it will be easier to part with later in the year.
You may find many emotional and important items in your wardrobe – like your wedding shoes, or your nanny’s cashmere jumper that she passed down to you. These items have sentimental value and if they light you up, you should keep them. But they don’t necessarily belong in your wardrobe. Place them in a keepsake box to be placed somewhere safe.
Clothes that are of a high value and quality – which may even have the tags on (no judgement) – can be sold. You may wish to sell yourself if you have the time and energy, or you can outsource to companies to sell on your behalf. The key thing to consider here is that you don’t move the clutter from your wardrobe to a box in another room. Make sure you actually do sell the items, or if not, donate to a cause that is special to you!
So many charities rely on the donations from wonderful people like you. Also, if you have treated yourself to new hangers, many charity shops also accept your old hangers. Find a charity shop that aligns with your values and beliefs and donate donate donate!
You may discover items that you love and perfectly fit with your style, but they are damaged or need repairing. Place these items in a separate place and schedule time to action! Don’t leave these in a bag creating more clutter and stagnant energy if you will wear them.
If you have any items that are damaged beyond repair, or too worn, discard these items. Don’t forget some items can be repurposed or reused, so where possible try to limit adding to our landfills if you can.
STEP 4: Organise & Tidy
A big hardy well done to you!
You’ve detoxed and now have a closet full of clothes that you love, that suit your personal style and lifestyle, and therefore you have created space and calm!
This is the fun bit – place each item back into your wardrobe. You can organise by any of the following based on what you would prefer best
By colour – organise by the rainbow
By purpose – work / social / exercise / loungewear
By item – jackets / tops / dresses / trousers
Or a mix of them all – whatever makes sense to you and a system that you can maintain.
Tidy Home Tidy Mind Tip – treat yourself to matching slim-line hangers to add more sparkling spring clean to your wardrobe!
Take an after picture and compare with your before picture. You are then ready for important Step 5…
STEP 5: Celebrate & Reward Yourself!
Decluttering and organising is energetic work, I get it! You are most likely feeling lethargic and emotionally tired after all those decisions you’ve just made.
So treat yo’self…
Make sure you schedule a yummy meal, or a relaxing bath, or some time outside of the house to re-energise. Or pop on your yacht with a bunch of balloons. Whatever lights you up, reward yourself and do it. You have most definitely deserved it!
And the best bit… you will know exactly what to wear with confidence while you celebrate.
Now you have a clear vision of your personal style, you can shop more consciously by only purchasing items that align with this and that fit with your lifestyle and values.
I’m so excited to hear how you get on with your spring cleaning – send me your before/after pictures or use the hashtag #clutterclearclarity on social media so that I can celebrate with you.
Sending lots of love and happiness (and decluttering energy) your way!