Hopefully, before you begin, you will know which colours suit you – that is the major part that you must understand before you begin throwing things out right, left and centre.
I strongly recommend locking yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of your favourite tipple, planning to go nowhere for the next couple of hours. And be careful before planning to do this with a friend. We talked about this in the last issue – can your friend really be objective about you? Will she/he be a help or a hindrance? If in doubt, trust your own judgement or call in expert help. If necessary, put a big sign on the door that you are not be disturbed under any circumstances – not even if George Clooney arrives at the door with flowers and champagne…… Well, you get my drift, I’m sure.
Your mission is to sort out the wheat from the chaff and the first step is to make three piles of clothes:
• Clothes you only wear once a year (taffeta ball gown, bikini, etc.)
• Clothes you haven’t worn for more than a year
• Everything else
Don’t worry about whether the colours or styles are right at this point. Just make your decision based solely on the criteria above. We’ll cover specifics in Part 2.
At this point, you will probably be exhausted and need a refill. Do not be distracted by the television, the cat who has been sick on the carpet, or the pile of ironing which beckons. Be strong and return to the task in hand. It WILL be worth it.
Start with those items that you only wear once a year and decide if you will definitely need them again this year. If not, add them to the pile that you haven’t worn for more than a year. If you reckon they are still useful items to keep, put them back in the wardrobe and give yourself a pat on the back.
Items for removal
The second pile of clothes that you haven’t worn for more than a year should be considered as being destined for removal. You’ve already spent time on these items so let’s move on. We’ll come back to them later but now it’s time to concentrate on the clothes that you actually wear.
Items to keep
Put them back into your wardrobe, checking each one for stains, missing buttons, loose threads, etc. Any of these should be put aside into a fourth pile for cleaning or mending. Do NOT put these back into the wardrobe until they are mended or clean.
Hang all your jackets next to each other, separating them from the matching skirt and/or trousers. Hang all your skirts next to each other and repeat this with trousers, blouses, jumpers, etc.
Oh, and please – respect the clothes you have left – please use decent wooden or shaped, heavy plastic hangers. Wire hangers are cheap and nasty and will mark your clothes eventually. Add wire hangers to the pile for removal.
It is amazing how many people only ever wear suit items that match. If you have the right mix of colours in your wardrobe, many of your skirts and/or trousers will go with a variety of your jackets. In a nutshell, if everything in your wardrobe matches YOU, then each piece will match each other! You have more outfits in your wardrobe than you can imagine.
Take a break
Before launching into part 2 of this exercise, I would recommend a recess. You will probably have been in there for longer than you anticipated and be in urgent need of a lie-down in a darkened room.
If you still have any energy:
• Bundle the clothes for removal into bin liners or carrier bags, ready for disposal and hide them in a cupboard – don’t get rid just yet
• Sort out the remaining pile, separating out those that need repair and putting those with stains into the wash basket
• Close the wardrobe doors
• Congratulate yourself on a job well done
Part II/a> of this mission will require more liquid intake, more time to yourself, and more energy. We’ll look at what to do with the pile for removal, how to decide what to finally keep and how to make the most of what’s left!