How to declutter your wardrobe effectively

Francesca Hornak of The Fashion Fix
Fashion Season Shopping
2 July 2012

Most of us only wear about two thirds of our clothes — if that. The rest just take up space in the wardrobe, looking at you accusingly from their hangers. And now that the seasons are switching, it's a good time to get organised.

Start by setting aside a whole Saturday for a clear out. Take out all your clothes, and lay them all on the bed. This makes it much easier to how much you have (too much, probably) and where the gaps are for future shopping.

Before going any further, Hoover and clean your wardrobe and drawers. This isn't just neat-freakery — dust attracts moths.

Divide clothes into five piles: 'keep', 'store', 'chuck', 'not sure', 'alter' and 'eBay'. Be ruthless. If you haven't worn it in over a year and it isn't occasion-wear, it probably isn't working.

Do not be tempted to keep clothes for 'thinspiration.' If you lose weight, you'll want to buy fresh clothes, not something you fitted in 2003.

Now add the 'alter' pile, and the ' eBay' pile, to the 'chuck' pile. Because really, when are you going to get round to changing the buttons on that coat? Ditto eBay. Anything you'd have sold can go to the charity shop instead.

Bin any bobbly tights and t-shirts you're saving for a hypothetical day of DIY, and take the rest of the 'chuck' pile to a charity shop.

On your way home, treat yourself to a new set of slim-line hangers. Many storage-obsessed bloggers are besotted with these, and they know about this stuff. Also highly recommended are padded hangers for delicate fabrics, and hanging storage wallets.

Next address the 'store' pile. Clothes going into storage should be clean, as stains attract moths, and ideally wrapped in tissue. If that's too much effort, zip clothes up in laundry bags instead (Amazon sells these).

Put away your 'keep' pile, allowing space between garments to prevent creasing. Heavy clothes and jackets go on padded hangers, trousers are best hung folded at the knee and knitwear should be stored flat in drawers, so it doesn't stretch.

If possible install a light in your wardrobe, or have an angled lamp nearby. It sounds minor, but really helps when you're in a hurry.

Now take the 'not sure' pile, and hang it all up on a 'last chance' rail. Over the next fortnight, try to wear all the clothes on this rail. After two weeks, anything you haven't worn must go. This is much more effective than trying everything on in front of the mirror on a Sunday afternoon.

Hang necklaces, scarves and belts on pegs, or nails. The inside of the wardrobe door is a good place.

If you're flagging, have a cuppa and a browse any of these blogs, imagining a world where you always have exactly what you want to wear at your fingertips...

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