1. The holy trinity of closet purgatory: Keep, Toss and Donate
Take a deep breath, and start sorting out your possessions. Get three huge boxes and label them Keep, Toss and Donate.
Our advice? Keep those that are closet staples (i.e. white t-shirt, black blazer), toss those that are worn out and donate those that are still in good wearable condition — you might not need it, but someone else might, and you get to play a part in the sustainable movement as well.
H&M has an on-going programme where you can exchange your old clothes, which will be sold as secondhand goods or recycled into other products.
In exchange, you get a small gift voucher. Sounds like a win-win situation to us.
2. Abide by the six-month rule
Basically, this rule is simple. If you have not worn a particular piece at least once in the last six months (and it’s in a dubious state), toss it. If it’s still in a good condition, donate it. You’re allowed to keep an unworn piece only if it fulfills the following criteria:
- It is a basic and you intend to keep it as part of a capsule wardrobe.
- It is both appropriate for work and play.
- You’ll wear it out within the next week.
There are no excuses for timed or trendy pieces. In the “Toss” or “Donate” box they go, if they did not meet the six-month rule. Also, make sure you really do put it on if you say you will. It’s all about integrity, yes?
3. Cut down on your hangers
Trim some closet fat by limiting the number of hangers in your closet. For starters, give yourself 15 hangers to play with per garment category (such as tops, outerwear and bottoms). Slowly cut this number down to 10. This approach may seem aggressive and drastic, but it works. You can’t fall back on the excuse that you have extra hangers (“So keeping that little piece won’t matter!”) and you are forced to keep clothes that are really important. Once you run out of hangers, it’s time for you to clear out your closet again.
4. Categorise the rest
Once the cleansing has been completed, it’s time to get cracking on beautifying your wardrobe by neatly and carefully arranging what’s left. One way is to organise pieces by colour, and then within each colour category, you group apparels together by category. Not only will it help you easily locate a particular item, it’s also Pinterest-worthy and oh-so-pleasing to the eye.
5. One in, one out
Once you’re done with the spring cleaning (hurray!), it doesn’t mean you’ve completed your task (oh no!). To ensure your efforts have not gone to waste, make sure you heed the “one comes in, one goes out” rule. If you really want to get a new dress, pick one that you feel you’d be least likely to wear in the foreseeable future, and donate that. This way, it helps prevent an overstuffed closet, making the decluttering process much easier for the next year.