“Do you want to purge your closet?” That might be one of the most daunting sentences to many of us. Weirdly, however, it is one of my favourites!
I believe it stems from my years working in the retail industry as a Visual Merchandising Manager. When I started that career, I didn’t even know there was a job that paid me to style AND organize an entire store.
Purging your closet should not cast an overwhelming feeling upon you, but a liberating one. Our closet should be a place of tranquility and peace. Nobody should dread getting dressed in the mornings, or ever have to say, “Ugh, I have nothing to wear” when you are staring into a room stuffed with clothes.
it is probably because your closet is just packed full of shirts, pants, shoes, belts and jackets that have gone out of style or, as some like to call an “organized chaos”. Or certain pieces have been buried deep in the back that you’ve forgotten about. Maybe you have just run out of space and your closet is just too cluttered and you are procrastinating on the task of reorganizing.
Fret no more! Here are a few solutions that can get you feeling great about your closet space.
Give it time
Set aside time on a weekend, where you do not have prior engagements or appointments. You do not want to feel rushed, but you also do not want to spend 12 hours going through your closet. Find a bulk of time, say two hours, to tackle it. Section out your closet and pencil it into your agenda. Having it written down somewhere allows you to hold yourself accountable. Do not feel like you have to do your entire closet in one sitting - purging can be spread out.
Pile it up
Prior to starting, have boxes or bins with labels: keep, donate, toss. A new category I started using this year is “alter”. Having these distinct piles allows for clearer choices as you rummage through your closet.
Keep = staple pieces (great fitting jeans, little black dress, structured blazer)
Donate = items that you may have outgrown or a style/item that does not spark joy
Toss = items that are not salvageable (does not fit you or anyone you know; was a super trendy piece that nobody else would wear; super worn out)
Alter = items that are in great condition, but just need a small adjustment (may have a tiny hole or rip which can be easily sewn; jeans that fit amazingly, but just need a bit of tailoring at the hem)
To hang or not to hang?
As it is, hanging everything just seems like the easier method when organizing clothes. Though, there are certain items that should never be on a hanger. Knitwear is delicate and should always be folded. If you do not have a dresser, you can hang them but in a very specific manner. This method of hanging ensures it does not stretch out the fabric or cause the shoulders to have “hanger hoops”. (Basically, indentations of where the hanger lived on the sweater.)
Save it by shaving it!
Since we live in a country where our winters last at least half the year, our closets are full of sweaters. We live in attires that are cozy and warm. Do you ever notice, though, that with each wear of a sweater, it starts to form these tiny balls of fabric? The term for that is pilling. I despise it when that happens to my knitwear, but it is inevitable for some fabrics, even on your most beloved cashmere knits! Pilling tends to make the sweater look super old and worn out. Instead of constantly buying new sweaters, purchase a fabric shaver. It is inexpensive, lasts for a very long while and its end result? It makes your knitwear look brand new!
Just like Kondo
Many of you have probably heard of Marie Kondo - she has become an international household name for all things which spark joy. When I purge my closet, I use her method of asking, “Does it spark joy”? Essentially, as you pick up each item, does it spark joy in you within the first few seconds. If it does not - toss!
A great rule of thumb I adhere to is if I have not worn it within the past year, it goes into the ‘donation’ pile. It goes into the ‘toss’ pile if I really cannot salvage it anymore.
Marie Kondo has a super easy technique in folding every article of clothing, down to socks and underwear. Her folding technique allows for a very clear and organized manner in sorting your closet and dresser. Learn the technique on her YouTube channel.
Purging your closet also allows you to put on your own fashion show, even if it is just for yourself! Having fresh eyes on all the items you own helps create new outfits without actually spending money. Often, my train of thought while I purge my closet is “Ohh I DO have a (insert article of clothing here)!” That right there, saved me $60! If you have siblings, they can be your audience, as well as your fashion consultant. They could also benefit from the clothes you decided not to keep.
One last quick tip! Try the “reverse hanger trick”. Whenever you pull something off a hanger from your closet, put it back but reverse the hanger. As the weeks and months go by, you’ll notice which items you wear often and ones you do not. So the next time you purge, it will be a lot easier to declutter!