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How To: Clear Out Your Wardrobe

Every year, my dad proudly tells friends and family how 13 years ago he made a New Year’s resolution and has since never broken it. The same sceptical but congratulatory mutterings begin (prior knowledge of his sense of humour allows all to predict there’s definitely some catch in this comment) and he’ll then explain this is because he chose never to make a resolution again.

In an attempt to find a suitable, and better, annual alternative to my father’s own witty resolution, I’ve tried various approaches: take up the gym (can’t afford the fees), take up running (can’t afford the emotional trauma), give up chocolate (managed it once but never again to ensure sanity), give up Instagram (that lasted all of 20 minutes).

As a result, I keep my sights in the area of my life I can happily spend multiple hours and excessive instalments of my student loan in developing: My wardrobe.

Everyone’s approach may vary, with the most significant difference between the clutter hoarders and the ruthless eBay sellers. I fall somewhere in the middle—too lazy to flog my clothes but too ashamed to stay in possession of that jumper, which then normally goes to my least favourite relative.

However a few methods prove effective in de-cluttering your wardrobe and realistically demonstrating it’s time to let go:

1.    Turn your clothes hangers backwards

This makes a lot more sense than it sounds. Many recent articles are providing the same brilliant advice: By turning your clothes hangers backwards, when you replace the item forwards it soon becomes obvious which of your clothes you do and don’t wear.

2.    Ignore the likes of Vogue, Elle and Grazia

I’m never normally an advocate of ignoring the Greats, but sometimes their content is best avoided. Instructing us to buy this, wear that, dress this way or follow that trend can confuse the withering fashion follower. Whilst an entertaining read, not only is it unfeasible but also impersonal. Stick to what you love wearing and what you know looks good.

3.    Co-ordinate

Whilst I personally disprove of advice to “pick a colour scheme” or categorically “synchronise all items” in your cupboard, it’s always worth shopping with your wardrobe in mind. When deliberating a new purchase, mentally skim through at least your basic items to see what you could wear it with. If nothing comes up, then ask yourself whether you’re willing to invest further in this one item.

4.    Haul in some extra help

Grab your nearest and dearest, a bottle of bubbly (or, you know, Sainsbury’s half price Pinot Grigio), some snacks and your self-confidence—this could get brutal. But that’s what your friends are for. Honesty is the best policy and if they won’t tell you, nobody will. Think Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha.

5.    Don’t be afraid to let go

If the stilettos from your nineteenth birthday are still sitting in the corner of your room, somehow caked in mud and half a size too small, take a minute, say your goodbyes and pluck up the courage to put them in the bin. Realistically, will you ever wear them again?

6.    Donate

What could be better than not only having a clear wardrobe, just waiting to be revamped, but also doing a small bit for charity? Having said that, if you have the patience for eBay or Depop, I applaud you and shall advise no further. However for those less patiently inclined, another could love the item much more and the proceeds would also go to a worthwhile cause.

So tidy wardrobe, tidy mind and the perfect resolution you can easily keep for years to come.

Tags: clothes, Elle, fashion, New years resolution, organisation, Vogue, wardrobe

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