The article was written by Riaan Saayman – founder of Walle Declutter
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
As mentioned in my previous article, Help! My Gift Wrap-Station is a mess I am excited about Spring and it’s finally here. As per Hemingway’s quote, try to limit your engagements with toxic people to continue to feel the joy of Spring. You can start by doing so by tackling your wardrobe and getting it organised. You don’t need others for this decluttering process, right? A perfect way to get in there, have some deserving me time and start this season fresh. Only you and your loved clothes! What more can a woman for a liking of fashion ask for?
This year has been exceptionally difficult for most people I know. My family and friends have been through the grief of losing someone that has passed, contracting the Corona Virus themselves and recovering. Whilst all of this we still had to continue to make ends meet, go to work, raise our children and be the “best” us for our life partners and friends. Kudos to you. Kudos to all of us for surviving this hectic year.
The great part about Spring is that life is going to get a lot more exciting, positive and happy here from out. During spring, when the pineal gland receives information from the eyes that there are longer periods of sunlight, the gland produces less melatonin and more serotonin, the neurotransmitter that some people call the body’s “feel-good drug.”
“As the pineal gland produces less melatonin and more serotonin, we are not as depressed and are happier.” Pegg said. “Instead of feeling depressed and subdued, people are more energetic and motivated to do things. That’s what you see in people in the spring.” Paul Swiech. Isn’t this exciting? Even our brains are converted into a hyped ball of neurons that are filled with positive energy and thoughts as soon as spring arrives.
Considering that nature is helping our brains along to be more active and energetic I felt it is a good opportunity to help you get your wardrobe ready for summer by doing a decluttering session.
Here are 6 ways to declutter your clothing wardrobe and get the perfect space ready when choosing your outfit this season.
1. Don’t spoil yourself with retail therapy yet
We tend to add more without reducing the clutter. As a result we buy more stuff as we feel better during the shopping spree commonly known as retail therapy and although it helps us to feel better it is short-lived. Acting less on the urge of instant gratification will come a far way. I urge you to get into your wardrobe first before getting into a changing room at your favourite boutique or clothing retailer and start with going through all the clothes you have worn this winter.
2. Decluttering Methods to apply to your wardrobe.
Take the time to go through all the clothes that you have frequently worn this last winter by applying the Marie Kondo decluttering method and while you are at it get all your clothes for both winter and summer in the mix.
The method is a bit time consuming as it requires you to go through each item after making a big pile of all your clothes. It may feel overwhelming at first if you have a lot of clothes and your whole room are filled with them. The method is world-renowned, as it works. The idea of the method is to visually make you aware of all the clothes or possessions you own and tidying up to make less of everything. If you have experience of decluttering I can surely recommend this method as it will allow you to ask if each item sparks joy to you and if yes you keep the clothing piece, if not, you can choose to donate or discard the items with dignity.
The other approach as per The Minimalist is to pretend that you are moving and to pack in all the clothes in one bag that you think you’ll need for the summer season and the rest can be donated or packed away. This decluttering process is a bit of a delayed approach as it allows you to pack away all the unwanted or unused clothes for several weeks or months to realise that you can live without them and eventually by realising so donate them to people in need.
Notably, there are various decluttering methods you can apply when getting your wardrobe organised this spring and my intention is not to get you confused with too many methods but simply to put it out there that you might find an approach that is best suited for you without becoming a victim of The Paradox of Choice. A final approach that I would like to share with you is to downsize your clothes by applying reverse decluttering. This method is similar to the idea that if your house should burn down, which items it is that you value the most to save? I think there is some value to this approach as it is a fairly quick approach to identifying the clothes you value most and that brings you joy and only keeping those outfits for the summer. The rest of the clothes you did not save from the proverbial “fire” is obviously not that important to you and you can part from them by either donating or discarding them.
3. Shifting your wardrobe versus donating.
Decluttering in itself is so rewarding and so too are donating unused items to people that are in need. I can’t express the immense feeling of relief when allowing yourself to surrender the things that add to clutter in your life and making a difference in your immediate community by donating them. But if you aren’t ready to depart from your clothes for sentimental reasons yet, that is also okay. To circumvent the process of donating you can shift your wardrobe into categories of seasons. This method requires you to select the clothing you know you’ll wear frequently and hanging or placing them to be the most accessible whereas winter clothes can be packed away for the next season in vacuum-sealed bags neatly packed away in the most top area of your wardrobe. Remember to keep a few light sweaters available as part of your accessible clothes as spring tends to have cold days too.
4. A Pinterest-worthy wardrobe ready to be featured on The Home Edit.
Once you have managed to downsize the number of clothes and have made space for your summer selection, you can now get fully organised. Organising is the most rewarding part after the decluttering sessions as it allows you to style your wardrobe and clothes to your liking and make it look fashionably beautiful. The great part is that you can style it in any way that works for you but with a few things to consider though. Keep in mind that if you are heading for a celebrity wardrobe look, that you might need to spend some money on some wardrobe articles such as clothing hangers of one colour, handbag dividers and shoe supporters. The secret is maintaining the consistency in the look that you would like to maintain. If you have multiple colour hangers in your wardrobe, your clothes, irrespective of their colour or beauty, won’t stand out but the multiple colour clothing hangers on eye-level will.
As professional organisers, we usually go for white or wooden clothing hangers as it blends in with the canvas of your wardrobe that is usually white. Once you have the equipment in place and have planned the different categories of clothes in your wardrobe you can now neatly organise your hanging dresses by colour coding them. Start with the most vibrant colours first, like red, yellow or orange and continue with darker colours such blues, greys and blacks.
5. Put your deepest values out there and stick to them.
We get so easily distracted in a world of consumerism and pursuing happiness based on the idea that we need to conform to fashion trends that are depicted by supermodels on Instagram and other social media platforms. This is the biggest marketing trap we often fall victim to and it’s all nonsense. By setting values for yourself you’ll know that you are truly unique. Your body, your laugh, your look and that is what truly matters. Don’t be fooled to think that most women look like the girls you compare yourself with on Instagram because they don’t. Find the look and style of clothes in which you feel most comfortable and keep to that. Celebrate who you are and care less about the opinions and validation of others because they aren’t you.
6. Decluttering means space and with space, you can add.
If you have managed to declutter your wardrobe and have space available you can finally allow yourself to add to your collection or change your whole wardrobe completely. The important part here is to make sure that you have the space available after decluttering your wardrobe and to not add more items to an already saturated area. If you haven’t noticed, you don’t need a thousand shoes or all the latest fashion to feel good about yourself. Learn to value the little you have or acknowledge that to be surrounded by only the items you love is more rewarding than having multiple clothes in an overcrowded clothing cupboard. The best part about starting over and finding or establishing yourself through the process of decluttering is that you get to make the new rules and decide what works for you. This means that if your values allow you to be surrounded by only the best range of clothes available you may get them.
7. Say goodbye to the mental clutter as you declutter your wardrobe.
In part of the process of decluttering your wardrobe, you’ll discover that the process spills over to the rest of your life and that you’ll derive meaning from the exercise not only in your physical environment but mentally as well. The decluttering process is therapeutical and has been proven to affect you positively in several aspects of your life. Considering that our brains are actively producing more serotonin to prepare us for the spring means we are in a position to take double the advantage by starting the decluttering session at the start of this season. Not only will you have the support of your brain but you’ll feel empowered and self-motivated once you have successfully turned your cluttered wardrobe into a neat and organised space.