They say that home is where the heart is, but honestly, I would say that mine is in my wardrobe. As a life-long fashion lover and vintage collector, my wardrobe is very much a labour of love, meticulously pieced together over many years. I have been known to spend an evening just "playing with my clothes," as my husband puts it, rifling through my drawers and trying things on. Don't judge me.
It is, however, a jungle in there, which isn't helped by the fact that I hate to let go of things. (I might want them again in a years' time, okay?) This is where the spring clean comes in. It has become an annual ritual of pressing reset and giving my wardrobe a new lease of life, and as I've had so much time to spend at home over the last week, I took the opportunity to tackle the rails. After all, there is something very therapeutic about having a sort out, especially when you live in a small city flat like I do.
So if you're interested, I've detailed a few tips that I found particularly helpful to get me through the process. From the clever coat hanger hack to the 3-year rule, scroll down to see how I spring cleaned my wardrobe this season.
Try the Clothes Hanger Hack
One of my favourite ways to identify the most hardworking items is the coat hanger trick. All you need to do is turn all your coat hangers around so they face away from you, and over the course of a month, whenever you wear something turn the coat hanger the other way round. By the end of the four weeks, you'll have a very clear idea of what could be worth culling.
Only Keep Items That Make You Feel Good Now
Without getting all "spark joy" on you, when spring cleaning your wardrobe, it is worth prioritising those pieces that simply make you feel your best. And yes, that means you might need to move on from that pair of jeans you swear to fit into one day or the dress your mum strong-armed you into buying. What do you put on when you want to feel your best? Those are the keepers.
Apply the 3-Year Rule
Okay, I know the advice is usually let go of anything that you haven't worn in the last 12 months, but in my experience, there are some pieces that I'll revisit and fall back in love with after a brief (or not so brief) hiatus. Trends almost always come back around, after all. However, if there's anything which you haven't worn in three years, then it's probably a no-go.
Make the Most of Storage
With the above in mind, there may be a handful of items that don't feel right for the current season, but you don't want to give away just yet. I would recommend carefully packing away with tissue paper or vacuum packing to be rediscovered at a later date.
Avoid Throwing Away Unwanted Items
It probably goes without saying, but where possible, avoid throwing away unwanted clothing. There are so many platforms and initiatives around these days to help you deal with pre-loved pieces, whether it's clothing recycling, resale sites such as Depop, swishing events, rental sites like Hurr, or even simply doing a WhatsApp sale with your best mates. So there's no excuse, really.
Make a Note of Any Gaps
While you're in the process of spring cleaning, it can be helpful to keep a note of where the gaps are in your wardrobe. Sometimes, it takes laying everything you own out on the bed to realise that you have a disproportionate number of black dresses and one T-shirt, for example. Use this list to inform your next shopping trip to ensure you're only buying bits you really need.
Fold the Marie Kondo Way
One of the most useful wardrobe reorganising tips I've come across is the Marie Kondo fold. Even if you don't subscribe to her life philosophy, you can still use this practical hack to organise everything from your jeans to your T-shirts. Her technique allows you to see everything in your drawers rather than just layering which means you might forget about certain pieces.
Extend the Life of Pieces You Already Own
Last, and by no means least, is to extend the life of the pieces that are already hanging in your closet. Whether it's a £30 high-street top or a £300 designer bag, it's important to take care of your possessions to ensure that they stand the test of time. This can be as simple as replacing buttons and zips, tailoring jackets, sewing up loosening hems or not overwashing. Your clothes will thank you for it.