1. Set all guilt aside before embarking on this task. Those ASOS dresses with the label still on? Essential "end of a tough week in the office purchases". That floor length sequin dress you've never worn? Well, how were you to know that Prince Charming wasn't going to turn up and invite you to a ball that week. Those Primark shoes that were so uncomfortable that the taxi ride home cost twice as much as the actual shoes? Well, we all make mistakes. Yes, the contents of your wardrobe probably amount to the price of a small car and you probably only wear 10% of it on a regular basis but that's why a sort out is needed.
2. Ok, let's get organised. Start with the items on the shelves. Take them all down, shake everything out and divide into piles:
- summer clothes: unless you're going on a beach holiday in January then these shouldn't be in your wardrobe. Fold neatly and pack in vacuum sealed bags under your bed to be unpacked in April.
- eBay / Debop: items that are new or worn only once that you just don't love or won't realistically ever wear. Cut your losses and make some money back.
- charity: items that aren't worth selling but which could be re-loved by someone else.
- clothing bank: items that you wouldn't bestow on your worst enemy (actually...) and that are of no use to anyone can still be recycled.
Now you should be left with neat stacks of jumpers, tshirts and gym kit on the shelves that are easily accessible.
3. Now get to work on the rail - these should be your bread and butter pieces, ones that you're reaching for regularly and deserve pride of place. For me, the rail is 80% workwear which is equivalent to the amount of time I spend at work (probably). Divide into sections - skirts, dresses, tops so that getting dressed in the morning is a little easier. Coats / blazers at one end and party dresses at the other so that they are not distracting when trying to pick an outfit at 7am.
Top tip: turn hangers hooks to face you. Once you have work something turn the hanger hook the right way. Once the year is over, anything with the hanger look still facing you goings in the eBay / charity / clothing bank pile.
4. "But I wore this to...blah blah blah and can't throw it out!" Let yourself keep some "sentimental items" even if you'll never wear them again. I have my sixth form leaver's hoodie still despite it only serving as a reminder of how old I am now but otherwise, be strict - it's just taking up space that newer, nicer clothes that you'll actually want to wear could be occupying. Same goes for anything purchased with a plan to "slim into" if that realistically isn't going to happen.
5. Finally, the bottom of the wardrobe - shoes. Ditch anything that isn't comfortable, as Papa Lipstick once said "don't wear uncomfortable shoes, it shows on your face". I have no idea if that is a real saying or not but its definitely true. Put summer sandals into storage and any shoes with worn out heels need to be sent to the cobblers for re-healing so that you can actually wear them.
Ta-da! Now back to Netflix you go...