October 7, 2022

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How To Declutter & Organise Your Closet | Maxine Brady

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet. And it’s really fun to do too – and you’ll feel brilliant after. In this post, I share my tips on how to declutter and organise your closet to help you start your year afresh!

Do you get frustrated with never having anything to wear? Do you struggle to find your clothes buried at the bottom of your wardrobe? Is your closet filled with clothes that make you feel frumpy or fed up? Time to give your wardrobe a sort out. But how to do this effectively? Well, Read on for my expert tips!

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
My new fitted wardrobes have revolutionised my bedroom

Why have a wardrobe detox?

Every season love to go through my wardrobe and have a really good clear out. It sorts out my head to have a neat and tidy closet space. and the joy it brings to have a wardrobe of clothes I actually wear is endless. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my clean-out sessions, is not to get rid of everything but to have to create piles into categories so you can have a considered clear out.

Decluttering your wardrobe helps you become more organised which will save you time getting ready on busy mornings. It can help you get rid of clothes clutter that no longer suits you or fit – so that you can walk into 2022 looking the most stylish you have ever been! A streamlined new wardrobe is the refresh you need to feel like a totally new person.

I recently had new wardrobes by My Fitted Bedroom fitted as part of my bedroom makeover – which you can see in these photos and read about here. This was a perfect opportunity to edit my wardrobe and only put in what I love, wear and treasure. I want you to do the same.

Before you about to embark on a full-on closet decluttering session, follow my step-by-step guide. It will help you get a better idea on what you actually want to keep and what you should get rid of.

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
Give yourself time to sort out your closet

STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO DECLUTTER & ORGANISE YOUR CLOSET

STEP ONE – Set Aside time

Clearing your wardrobe takes time! Book in time enough to tackle this task – at least an hour or so. It’s the perfect job for a raining Saturday afternoon. There is nothing worse than starting a closet clear out, only to run out of time and be left with piles of clothes scattered all over your bedroom. The temptation is to bundle it all back into the wardrobe before you’re done and not completing the job.

If time is short, concentrate on elements of your wardrobe – so shoes one day, jumpers the next, jewellery another….and so on. Breaking down the task will stop it feeling too overwhelmeing.

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
Don’t be tempted to keep your seasonal clothes in your wardrobe! Instead stash out of sight under your bed or attic

STEP TWO – SepArate winter & summer clothes

If your wardrobe is stuffed to the brim with seasonal clothes, it’s going to make it difficult to find weather appropriate outfits for the season you are in.

If you are planning a spring clean, then pack away your high summer dresses, shorts, tank tops and flip flops away. I store mine in suitcase under my bed. You could stash yours in your attic, or in vacuum pack bags at the bottom of your closet. Make sure you store away clean clothes, – and pop lavender sachets with your garments to prevent moths.

You’ll have great pleasure in unpacking your summer wardrobe in the warmer months. It’s like opening a box full of lovely fresh new outfits, which will resist the urge to shop for more items for that ‘new clothing fix’.

In the summer, it’s time to pack away your bulky winter clothes. Not only will you gain more space in your wardrobe, you’ll always have things ready to wear that weather appropriate for the time of year.

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
This wardrobe here is dedicated to my ‘going out’ clothes!

STEP THREE – Do your clothing makes you happy?

Now we need to go through your wardrobe to find out what makes you happy and fills you with confidence.

One way to find out is to ask yourself…

Does this fit me? We are all guilty of holding onto things that don’t fit us any more. Although we can dream that one day we might squeeze into them, holding onto them isn’t great for your mental health. Who wants a wardrobe filled with ill-fitting clothes? It will damage you self-esteem and confidence.

How can I style it new? Have a HUGE try on session (the best part of a wardrobe detox for me). While trying on each and every item, try styling with different items in your wardrobe. For an item to earn its place in your new wardrobe, try to create at least three outfits with it. And don’t forget to team with accessories and shoes that match. Not only is this so much fun to do – it will also create new outfits which you’ll enjoy wearing. Some of my best looks have come when trying on outfit combinations when detoxing my wardrobe!

Does this clothing make me feel guilty? Look at each piece and ask yourself, do I love this item or am I keeping it because I feel guilty. Just because you may have spent a lot of cash on the item, if you’re not going to wear it or the colour no long suits you, then it has to go.

Tip: Some clothing can be sentimental, like wedding dresses, gifts or bring back special memories. If you LOVE something but you no longer wear it, give it to someone who will treasure it. Or use the fabric to make something new. You could turn the jumper into a patchwork for a cushion, or alter a dress into a top that you will wear on the daily! How cool is that?

Does it match my lifestyle? There is little point keeping a top that is dry clean only for it only to live in the bottom of your laundry basket. Any items that don’t actually fit into your lifestyle and that you know you don’t have time to follow the care instructions for are not a good fit for you. For example, I had an amazing white jumpsuit which always got dirty the first time I wore it, so I stopped wearing it. You know what I did? I dyed it lilac! Not only is it now bang on trend colour-wise, it now can be worn a few times before washing.

TIP: Rate each item out of 10 and try to keep 7 or above. If you need a second opinion, send a snap to a good friend who can be honest with you!

Now you have worked your way through your clothes, this is the time to make a list of what you might be missing in your wardrobe to make it work harder. In my case it was thin, thermal layers to wear under some of my outfits to make them warm enough to wear in winter. Maybe you need more belts to clinch dresses in? Or more work-friendly clothing?

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
A well ordered closet will keep your bedroom clutter free

STEP FOUR – Sort unwanted clothes into piles

Now you have edited your wardrobe, I want you to sort your unwanted clothes into three piles:

REPAIR

If your clothing is too big, think about getting it tailored or altered to fit. If you don’t want to spend the money, doing that – then do you really need/want the item?

Create a pile of clothes that you are going to alter or repair and – this is key – get them fixed within a few weeks. These clothes can not sneak back into your wardrobe! Your local laundrette may offer a seamstress service – or even better pick up a needle and thread learn how to repair it yourself. There are loads of TikTok videos on how to transform outfits.

SELL

This pile is filled with good quality items that no longer fit or suit you but that are in good condition to sell. Have a look on selling sites & apps and see how much similar items are being listed for to see if it is worth your while. You’ll be surprised what holds its value.

In my experience TopShop does really well as does designer brands like Nike, Whistles and JigSaw. Cheaper brands (and shoes) don’t sell well online, so you might be better putting them on Facebook Market Place for cheap! I put any money I make into a special fund which I can use to shop for new items in my wardrobe that I actually will wear. I made £150 selling my pile of unworn clothes recently.

TIP: Only buy new clothes that you know will have a good future resell value. Avoid fast fashion and instead buy second hand or peloved clothes.

GIFT

These are clothes that you can’t sell or alter. There are so many things good things you can do with them. Try hosting a clothes swap party with family & friends. I host one once a year, and I love seeing my friends finding joy in my clothes, and I pick up a few items myself along the way.

Next step would be to charity shops. Make sure you only give items that are clean, in reasonable condition or good quality. And sign up for gift aid so that charity will get a bit more from selling your items.

And finally textile recycling centres. All around when I live In Brighton there are huge recycling bins for old clothes that are damaged, torn or past their best. These items will be recycled, and will help save the planet.

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
A plug inside this wardrobe makes this cupboard the ideal spot to hide my hairdryer

STEP FIVE – PUTTING IT ALL BACK

This is the satisfying part. Putting your streamline wardrobe back in place. These are two ways to organise your clothes that I reccomend.

BY COLOUR

If you have never done a wardrobe detox before then I would colour code all your clothing. This is where you group all your clothing by shade, turning your wardrobe into a rainbow! You’ll find this really helpful when you are next shopping for new clothes.

When I colour coded my wardrobe, I discovered that although I thought I loved wearing bold shades, I had actually 100s of black items. When shopping next, I remembered what colours I was missing in my closet so I avoided black and was drawn to brighter colours making my wardrobe work harder. Try this system for a month or two, until you have a better understanding of what colours are missing (or you have too much of) in your wardrobe. That way you can avoid buying 10 black vest tops like me!

BY TYPE

Once you have a better understanding of your wardrobe, then organise clothes into type. So cluster together jumpsuits, day dresses, casual tops, trousers & jeans, jumpers into sections. Then have a ‘going out’ section. This is my most loved section in my wardrobe filled with sequins and pattern. Why do this? Because when off on a night out, you can head straight to this special fancy section to pick out an outfit from your ‘curated’ clothing. It’s like having a wardrobe within a wardrobe. That way I never have that ‘I have nothing to wear’ moment when getting ready.

When I did this, I realised that I had too many sparkly items and going out clothing that I only wear occasionally. And not enough clothes to wear to shoots, dog walks or run around town. It stopped me wasting money on cocktail dresses (which I love but don’t wear) and I focused my attention on buying jeans and tops which I was short of.

There’s so many TV shows that give you tips and tricks on sorting out your home. My faves are Sort Your Life Out! on the BBC and Queer Eye on Netflix. Check them out for wardrobe inspiration.

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady
Shelving is key inside a wardrobe

STEP SIX – INVEST IN STORAGE To SAVE SPACE

Storage that will keep your wardrobe clean, tidy and organised is worth its weight in gold. And seeing everything you own in one place, will stop you shopping for more! Or making expensive clothing mistakes.

Hangers are key to maximising your wardrobe space. I buy thin, velvet coated hangers. They take up less space, and the velvet coating means that clothes don’t slip off them ending up in a crumbled heap in your wardrobe. I’m a huge advocate of having one item on each hanger that way I can see everything in my wardrobe when getting ready. These ones are affordable – and come in loads of bright colours.

Jumpers will need to be folded and stashed on shelves to stop them getting misshapen.

Drawers are best for socks, pants, bras and gym gear.

Baskets are great for filling with handbags. And hang shoppers on hooks in your wardrobe door – handy for when you go to the supermarket.

Hooks for hats – and you can try this hanger for belts & scarves

See-through boxes for your heals in to keep them in good shape and then stash trainer and boots on shelves, so you can grab them when dashing out the house.

TIP: Another nifty hack it to watch YouTube videos on how to fold or hang awkward clothes! It’s a game changer, I promise you.

It might be worth investing in getting some shelves placed inside your wardrobes. I had some fitted inside an alcove cupboard which is now my shoe cupboard. Then more inside my wardrobe for jumpers. I even have access to a plug inside my wardrobe, so I had stash my hairdryer in there so it is out of sight when not in use. Same for jewellery – store it so you can see it! I love a hanging rail for my necklaces.

Everything having a place, will take the stress out of the everyday.

Giving your wardrobe a detox is great for your home, mind and wallet says Interior Stylist Maxine Brady

Hope you have loved this post! Bet you are itching to give your wardrobe a good detox the next rainy day!!!

Love Maxine