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Tuesday 3 April 2012

How To... Tidy an Untidy Wardrobe

(I must warn you this will be a long post, apologies if you aren't in a reading mood tonight..)

Twice a year, i take on the mahoosive task that is tidying my wardrobe. Warmer weather is (hopefully) coming around the corner and i took this as a chance to 'swap' my wardrobe around and breathe some life back into a rather wintery looking mess; get rid of some old stuff, put away the heavy knitted jumpers and replace them with my summery dresses. I thought i would document my little tidying sesh - and share a few tips with you if any of you decide to have a spring clean yourselves. 

I shall admit i am one of those annoying people in life who actually enjoys tidying and organising my stuff - i find it quite theraputic and rewarding and i make sure i set aside a day to get it done. 

 The Wardrobes:
I have 2 built-in wardrobes in my room (trust me, it's not that fantastic it's just an excuse to buy more stuff to fill them both), so wardrobe tidying sessions for me are a nightmare. For about a year now i've split the two into different 'categories' - one being my daytime clothing, and the second being bottoms (skirts, shorts and jeans) combined with my 'going out' clothes (this second wardrobe is a bit jam-packed to say the least - i've come to realise i own waay to many dresses!)

The results of my 'daytime' wardrobe


 [To be fair it's not a huge difference but it feels lighter and brighter and altogether more colourful and organised to me.]

I shall start by saying - don't expect to get this done in an hour. Or even two or three hours. It might seem do-able but once you start you will realise how much stuff you've actually been collecting and sorting it all out takes a lot longer than planned. Today's tidy took me from 11:00 in the morning 5.30 this evening (with a 20 minute break for a Pot Noodle - of course).

Things are going to get very messy very quickly and if your room is untidy to start with then you aren't giving yourself the best of chances. I cleared the floor, made sure my bed was all nice and tidy, and de-cluttered everywhere (you will need all of this space to put piles of stuff).

Make a pile of hangers!

I know, a hefty pile of clothes hangers! Throw any spare ones onto the floor or your bed and begin to make a pile of them. I just took all of the clothes in the wardrobe off their hangers and threw them both in a pile on the floor ready to sort.

Categorise - Which items deserve a space back in the wardrobe?:

The pile of clothes you have just made needs to be sorted! I first went through and decided which items deserved a place back in the closet - if i hadn't worn it in the past 6 months i folded it up ready to put into boxes. The stuff i did wear often was sorted into 'dresses', 'tops' and 'cardigans/jumpers' ready to hang back up again.

The first thing i suggest doing if you're going to tackle the wardrobes is to invest in some good quality boxes to store stuff in (no cardboard excuses or flimsy plastics as they just look messy). I took a trip to IKEA and bought a load of storage boxes (IKEA are fabulous for storage boxes of all shapes and sizes) - i must have spent about £50 purely on storage and my boyfriend thought i was a nutter - but they've been put to good use and contain so much stuff without collapsing!

I placed all of my winter jumpers and random bits i don't wear much anymore in the boxes (but can't bear to get rid of  (yes im a hoarder and the thought of parting with things fills me with dread), and i took out the summer bits i'd packed away from last year ready to hang back up again!

Be RUTHLESS - Charity shop time!:
Now, i know i've just said i'm a hoarder - and i am - however, when you're having a spring clean you do need to throw stuff away and part with things (i'm very silly with this and spend ages pondering over whether to throw stuff away i'd forgotten i even had!). 
The best thing to do is make 3 piles - 
1. Keep
2. Charity shop (anything in good condition that you don't like or use anymore)
3. Bin

It's very useful to have some bin bags/boxes handy for this categorising madness!
If, like me, you find it tough to part with things, then keep the binbags of stuff in the garage or some other space for the next 3 months or so. If you don't return to fetch stuff out of them in a mad panic over this time then it's obvious you aren't going to wear them again - after a few months it's time to take them to the charity shop/the bin!

Make use of your hangers!: 

You may remember these three Primark dresses from a previous post - if you have things in the same colour, then hang them on the same hanger. It saves on space and you can still easily see the items in your wardrobe.

Everything has a place:
I organised my wardrobe in categories (again with the categories - I'm obsessed!). I have jumpers and jackets at the far end, day dresses in the middle and tops and sleeveless tops at the opposite end. Moving from heavier to more lightweight items. This way, if the weather is nice then it's much easier to find what i'm after, rather than rummaging through a random mess!

I also made a row of bags on the top shelf :):

KEEP YOUR SHOE BOXES!! (if they come with one when you buy them), as it prevents damage and makes your shoes easier to store. If not, i get decorative shoe boxes from TkMaxx (for pretty boxes they're a great option). I'm very lucky that i work in a shoe shop and can steal empty boxes as i please *teehee*.

Have your favourite pair on display if you wish - it makes a wardrobe look a bit prettier (and they're too pretty to store away!) It also means your favourite pair are easier to grab in a 'shoe emergency'.

 Hanging shelves:
If you still find you haven't got enough space to hang everything then it's an idea to grab yourself some hanging shelves. They reduce hanging space but by doing this you get bags more shelf space and can cram more stuff in to your wardrobe. I got mine from IKEA and they're suprisingly strong - i've had these for about a year now and they still haven't collapsed.

Anything i reach for on an everyday basis goes in these shelves (because i can never be bothered to hang stuff up at the end of the day - lets be realistic! And it's much easier to just fold up and place back on the shelf). 
Bodycon skirts have a whole shelf to themselves, as do my more flimsy skater-styled skirts and then i have my denim shorts and hotpants for summer. The bottom shelf is a little 'alcove' (not pictured) and i store all of my winter hats and belts in there. Anything that gets creased easily gets hung up.

 The results of my second wardrobe:
I didn't get a 'before' shot - but it basically looks the same (just a lot neater and less cluttered). This houses my going out clothes/jeans/skirts and is always going to be jam-packed no matter what i do to it..

Pick a day when you feel in an organising mood!
I hope this helped any of you wishing to tidy up your wardrobes any time soon!
I always do it regularly to keep on top of things (i hate mess), and i always end up having fun doing it. That said, you have to be in a tidying mood to do this, otherwise you will just end up stressed, tired and you'll be sat in the middle of your room surrounded by heaps of clothes and rubbish, hopelessy staring at the mess you've created in floods of tears and unable to get out of the door (yes, this has happened to me..)

I just thought it would be a good idea to do this - i hate seeing photo's of other people's neatly organised closets because mine will never look that tidy - they're crammed full of stuff and they will always look slightly on the messy side - but an organised mess at the least (and the decorative boxes make me feel better about hoarding stuff i probably don't need!)

 I'm off to town tomorrow to buy some wooden hangers and some more shoe boxes from TkMaxx just to spruce things up even more. 
Are any of you lovely lot having a Spring clean any time soon?  


  1. I love this post, it made me want to tidy mine but no way am I starting now haha, you do it very similar to me, although I only have 1 wardrobe and a chest of drawers :(

    1. i know what you mean - i have to be in the mood to do it! takes me forever :| xx

    2. Yeah same, I have to start in the morning before I get too distracted, with music on LOUD xx

  2. Ahh you're brave for doing this ;) It looks great, good tips too aha :D I also have two of those primark dresses thanks to the heads up in your post - so thanks for that, I loveeeee them! :D xxxxxxx

    1. haha i was hovering over the 'publish' button for quite some time :P i hate the thought people have seen my wardrobe :P but i thought it would be interesting :)
      i lovee those primark dresses :D xx

  3. This is such a good post :) Im so jealous of all the clothes you have!! xoxo

    1. thanks lovely :)
      itt looks more than it is! lol i promise :P xx

  4. Love this post! I did the same thing last week and spent far too much money in Ikea too! Never thought of using Tk Maxx shoe boxes even though I look at them every time I go in there! I definitely feel better after a good tidy, even if it still looks a mess to anyone else!x

  5. Great post! I love having a sort-out too and am planning to do one this weekend :) xx

  6. I recently bought that black and white floral box, Im tidying my wardrobe too and it made such a difference! I fit so many clothes into it and now I've so much space in my wardrobe. Great post :) X

  7. I loved this post! I'm also one to enjoy organising and sorting but I am most definitely a hoarder, I haven't worn some things in so long but cannot bring myself to put them in the charity bag, my mam often has to do it without me knowing haha. I find out most of the time and she'll realise that the items are back hanging in my wardrobe. The tk maxx shoe boxes are a great idea, makes everything look so much more pretty xx

  8. Great post, I recently did a major sort out, ended up with a charity shop bag full and an ebay pile with 50+ items! Feels so much fresher now and an excuse to pick up some more much needed items!

  9. Great post, very impressive tidying, I love organising things as afterwards you just feel so good :) xx

  10. I'm glad im not the only one that finds tidying therapeutic, i have a spring clean at least once a month, and my wardrobe is always organized although i do need to store my winter clothes. lovely idea with the boxes, some of them are really gorgeous. xx

  11. Great ideas here! I like to fold my clothes and arrange in colour that obsessive?! hehe

    Karys x

  12. I find that using very slim velvet hangers (usually found in Primark) make so much more space in your wardrobe. They are so cheap as well and you can find different colours which gives a bit of character to your wardrobe! But I do the same where I tidy it couple of times a year. Shame doesn't last for long :(
    Lots of LOVE AmenFashion17
    P.S Love your blog <3

  13. wow you are so awesome. i always had full mess wardrobes. i just dont know what to do. but after i found your blog and read this post, i'm in awe! thank for sharing...

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  14. This is such a brilliant post! It couldn't of come at a better time. My wardobe looks a mess! I'm definitely going to take your tips on board and buy some pretty shoe boxes! :)

  15. Great post. I'm going to try and sort my wardrobe out tomorrow it's been a long time coming.

    I'm now following :)


  16. You look so beautiful and a lot of clothes there, looks like my wardrobe ;) Come and follow me too? ;)

  17. Loads of great tips here ! I move almost every two years so I try to clean then and get rid of what I'm never going to be wearing again ! Loved your tips ! xx


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