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Clothes on hangers Artem Beliaikin/Unsplash

Clearing out the wardrobe – how to do it properly

The wardrobe is bursting at the seams and at the same time we feel as if we have nothing smart to wear. There’s only one thing for it – a proper clear-out. If only it weren’t for this tendency to procrastinate, which regularly prevents us from getting to grips with the task – where do I even start?

Getting started and hanging on in there

Some say take everything out first and then make a complete inventory. Of course, this immediately brings garments to light that you may even have forgotten about. And a bedroom can be turned into a huge battlefield in next to no time. This may well deter some people, especially when no significant progress has been made after two hours of rummaging around and rediscovering stuff. In order to stay motivated, it can help to break down tasks into several smaller ones. You could just sort out the sock drawer on one day, for example, and all the T-shirts on another. You will see results much quicker if you divide the jobs in this way. It also serves as a motivation to keep going on other days.

Clear spaces provide an overview

This goes for the space inside the wardrobe as well as the sorting area. Let’s take the sock drawer, for example – once you have completely emptied it, place the socks on your previously made bed or spread them out on the floor. Here you can lay out the socks individually, reunite pairs and get rid of odd socks and those with holes. Before refilling the drawer, this is the perfect opportunity to dust it out.

SocksLes Triconautes/Unsplash

Time for the clear-out – these questions will help you

The following questions can help you to defeat your worst enemy – the pain of parting with things:

Do I have two or even more of something?Socks and underwear are of course excluded from this question. But do you really need ten pairs of black jeans? Or three grey scarves?

Has it seen better days?If so, can you or someone else repair it? And is the effort or even the money involved proportional to your desire to keep the item of clothing?

Where was it kept – always in sight or tucked away in the far corner?A clear-out brings to light many an almost forgotten item of clothing. If it has already been out of sight for a long period of time, you also won’t have worn it for a long time and, above all else, you won’t have missed it.

When did I last wear it?Is it more than a year ago? If so, how likely is it that you will wear it again anytime soon?

Does it still fit?If you have not worn the item of clothing recently anyway, you should definitely try it on. If it no longer fits, it begs the question how likely it is that you will fit into it again anytime soon. It could be a number of years, but then would you really want to wear something that was several years old?

Do you still like it?That is the benchmark of clear-out expert Marie Kondo – when you hold a garment in your hand, take a good look at it. Do you still feel a sense of pleasure that you own it?

Woman with T-shirtChristian Bold/Unsplash

Is it just a memento?The school-leaver’s T-shirt, the band T-shirt, the very first tie you wore – many an item of clothing holds special memories, perhaps even a milestone in your life. If the memory is no longer that special, it is undoubtedly easier to get rid of the garment. If the emotional connection to the item of clothing is still particularly strong, another question is of course important – will you wear it again? If not, then at the very least it no longer belongs in the wardrobe. Only garments that you really still wear should be placed or hung in here. You could, for example, buy yourself a nice box to hold special mementos of all kinds – your very own treasure chest.The most important question of all: would you buy it again?Let’s be honest now, if you didn’t already have this item of clothing, would you really buy it again? If the answer is a clear yes, then it makes sense to keep it. If not, then you can confidently part with it.

Use a plan to sort the clothes into piles

When sorting out the clothes, it helps to form piles. The following three are especially important:

  1. Yes, I want to keep it and it’s staying
  2. No, it can go
  3. I don’t know, I will have to think about it

While the first two piles are clear, the ‘don’t know’ pile is going to need more time. It doesn’t matter, you have accomplished quite a bit so far. This can motivate you for a new round, but you don’t have to do it on the same day. Another possibility is to store everything from the third pile in a box. If you have had no incentive to take a look inside again or take something out after 12 months, it will undoubtedly be much easier to get rid of it. Alternatively, before putting everything back, you can turn every garment in piles 1 and 3 inside out. After 12 months, if you find any garments that are still inside out, it is highly unlikely that you will wear them again in the future.

Folded laundrySarah Brown/Unsplash

Other tips to make it easier to part with stuff

Getting rid of things doesn’t necessarily mean throwing them away. Perhaps it will make it easier for you to part with clothes if you know that friends or family would like to wear them. You could invite your loved ones to a swap party, where everyone brings along well-kept items of clothing and has the chance to pick up something new for themselves. Online swap shops are also a popular format here, including for selling. Those who find car boot sales too stressful have numerous online options round the clock. And many a second-hand shop will gladly do the job for you for a fee. Donating can also be a pleasurable experience and motivate you to get rid of even more stuff. Why not simply type ‘clothing donation’ into the search engine and you can choose a charitable cause from the numerous search results that is especially close to your heart.

Put everything away tidily

In order to make sure that your things are readily to hand in the future, it is recommended that you sort your clothes by the current season on the one hand and then by type (e.g. jeans, pullovers, T-shirts), by length and by colour. Anything that is suitable for the season should be visible, along with items of clothing that you wear frequently.

An extra tip for putting away winter and summer clothes

Depending on how much space you have, it makes sense to store away out-of-season items of clothing, although please do not put them in simple plastic bags or other non-breathable packaging – these can trap moisture and lead to mould growth, mould stains and musty odours. You should ideally place your items of clothing inside a breathable material (such as an old duvet cover) and store them in a dry and warm place. Before storing them away, the clothes should definitely be washed, because pests such as moths are attracted to the flakes of dead skin and body odour. If you don’t feel like washing your laundry, then why not simply send it to Persil Service – we not only wash and dry-clean your wardrobe, but also your duvets and your skiwear, which we can also impregnate on request.

By the way, you can also create even more space in your wardrobe with ring pulls – we’re talking about upcycling.

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