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I thought I would share some tips from a great friend of mine Ann Lightfoot (we met when I launched my first collection 30 years ago and she was a young American corporate wife, new to London, trying to navigate the vagaries of British style and our crazy Summer social season …we have remained close despite having The Atlantic separating us ☹) but she and her daughter have created a brilliant home organising business and this is what she says about de-cluttering your wardrobe and it’s SO true… “The biggest mistake people make is not allocating enough time for the task at hand. It can be stressful to sort through all your clothes because whether or not an item currently works for you has nothing to do with what you paid for it. Each item should be tried on, which also takes time, which means coming to terms with the current fit and style. Many women's closets are difficult to navigate because they are full of sentimental holds. If we all had only what we actually wear, getting dressed each day or for any event would be a breeze”…oh, if only, I can hear you all saying … she has a great, easy to follow system…
Key points for decluttering your wardrobe:
1. Allot enough time for each section you intend to tackle - be realistic. Trying on, thinking and then rehanging or refolding all take time. An hour may be enough to do a few drawers but it is not enough time to your wardrobe.
2. Cover your bed with a sheet and empty everything from the area you are going to sort through
3. Section everything "like with like" and then make subcategories. This means all sweaters on the bed at the same time and the subcategories can be cardigans, turtle necks, and further subcategories can be merino, cashmere and colours. NYC women tend to have large stacks of black sweaters and not much else!
4. Take a first pass and take away everything that's a definite no. It could be going to donation or going to a friend or your sister but it's leaving your wardrobe.
5. Next, try on what you believe to be the absolute keeps - you might be surprised.
6. Return the items that make the cut back to the closet.
7. Now go through the remaining items - these are the most time consuming because you didn't have a definite feeling about them. Often our clients get to this point and talk themselves into keeping things because they feel guilty letting them go even if they don't fit perfectly or even if they don't feel wonderful wearing them. Guess what? Women always choose items to wear that make them feel confident and beautiful. The items that aren't usually chosen can almost always go.
There will be things that are infrequently worn or never worn but aren't in the donation pile. Sentimental clothing happens - think wedding dresses - but they don't belong in your everyday wardrobe. If they must stay there it's best to put them up above and out of the way so the clothing you see every day is the clothing you are currently wearing.
To learn more about decluttering and organizing your home be sure to take a look at Done & Done Home's online organizing course, Love Your Home Again. It is currently $98 - 60% Off for a #StayHomeSpecial.