Happy February everybody! And welcome to the FeBoost challenge. To kick off the 12 Days of decluttering, we’re going to be incredibly cliched and start in the wardrobe. Depending on your love of or aversion to fashion, this day could be a blessing or a curse, either way it’s a good jumping off point.
Thinking more specifically about clothing, I guess we need to address the topic of laundry. The general consensus across decluttering advice is that you do all your laundry so that all your clothing is in your wardrobe. However, I take a different approach, especially in these post-KonMari cleanouts. I chose to declutter while all my worn clothes are in the wash. My theory is that if it’s in the wash basket, it’s something I’ve worn recently and therefore will be kept. By automatically eliminating all those items from your declutter, not only will it speed up the process, but it will also appear that you’re getting rid of a higher percentage of items, making you feel more accomplished. Rather than wasting all your time on clothes you know you love, this will give you an opportunity to look more closely at the pieces with dust coating the hanger.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, first things first…
- Take all the clothing out of your wardrobe, dresser and any other storage unit, regardless of season or location, and pile them on your bed or floor.
- Pull out all the things you love. I think it’s important to mention that something you love should also be something you wear a lot. Personally, I loved my formal dress from my final year of school, and it made it through countless declutters on that basis. However, I finally decided to let it go when I realised that the love I was feeling was actually nostalgia for that event rather than a desire to ever wear that piece again. My memories of that night are kept in photographs and in my head, not in 2 layers of chiffon. The piece you love may be a blouse you wear to church that makes you feel like a million pounds, or a pair of heels that help you walk tall on a night out. Set these beloved pieces aside, or hang them back in the wardrobe now.
- Pull out all the things that are showing their age. I am terrible for keeping pilled tops and torn tights, simply because I don’t have anything else to replace them with yet. I never wear these items, but they hang around in my wardrobe for months before I invest in a new model. Take any items like this and put them in a bin bag now (you can decide whether their suitable for donation or discarding later) and write down the general type on a piece of paper. You might, for example write ‘grey, long sleeved top’ or ‘sports leggings’, these are items that you can be on the lookout for over the next few weeks, but they’ll no longer be taking up unnecessary space in your home.
- Now, let’s divide and conquer. Now that the feeling of love and the satisfaction of discarding are fresh on your mind, it’s time to divide out those clothes. Personally, I find the KonMari categories really easy to use, so I’ll be recommending those today. That means you should have a pile of:
- Outerwear and formal wear
- Socks and underwear
- Clothes for specific events (swimsuits, uniforms, etc.)
- Working through each category, lift and evaluate each piece. Personally, I think ‘spark joy’ is a little too simple. If I have 26 pairs of PJ’s that spark joy, that still doesn’t mean I’ll wear them all. Personally I find it helpful, when going through a category, to subdivide and judge accordingly. For example, even if you go to the gym everyday, you still don’t need 10 gym outfits, 7/8 should be more than enough. And unless you go to weekly dinner parties, 5 cocktail dresses is probably a little excessive. Your wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle, the activities that occupy the most of your time should be reflected the most in your wardrobe.
- If you’re feeling particularly inspired, why not try creating a capsule wardrobe? Select somewhere between 10-30 items to wear over the next month and stick to it. This is a great way of showing yourself that you can survive with less than you think, plus it’ll give you an extra time slot that used to be occupied choosing what to wear. For the pieces that don’t make it into this capsule, but them in a box out of sight, and reevaluate them at the end of the month – you’ll be surprised how much you feel you can now get shot of.
- Donate/Sell/Discard. This can be hard. Discarding should be relatively easy, chuck it in the bin right here and now. Donating is a little more tricky. If you prefer, why not create a box in a lesser used room and put all of your donation items in there, that box can go to the charity shop on the 12th at the end of this challenge. Selling is definitely the hardest, it’s easy to say that you’re going to sell everything, but if two months down the road you still have a spare room filled with stuff, this whole challenge was pointless. Set yourself a deadline in your calendar, I usually like 30 days myself. If you haven’t made an effort to sell an item within that time, it goes into a bag and goes to the charity shop. Getting rid of the stuff as quickly as possible will give you the most drastic change in your space, and will make the challenge seem so much more worthwhile.
- Create a wishlist. Part of the reason my wardrobe becomes so packed is impulse shopping. Take this opportunity to evaluate your wardrobe and make a list of 5/6 items that you think would really add value to your life. Maybe it’s a new statement necklace? Maybe it’s a trench coat? Next time you’re feeling the need to shop, pick up one of these items for yourself. It’s a lot better than aimlessly shopping, and it’ll get you a whole lot closer to the perfect wardrobe in the long run.
I’m so proud of you for beginning this challenge! Good luck today, hopefully it won’t be too hard a start. Let me know how you get on with the #FeBoost tag over on Instagram and Twitter, I’d love to see how you’re getting on! See you all tomorrow!