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5 easy tips to sort out your nightmare wardrobe once and for all


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If every time you open your wardrobe it's a battle not to end up swamped by a mountain of clothes keen on escaping, then chances are you're LONG overdue a clear-out.

In a recent survey, children’s charity Barnardo’s found that modern women have adopted a "wear it once culture" when it comes to their wardrobes and only wear items a handful of times before considering them ‘old’.

Which is why the charity is encouraging women to clear out their wardrobes as part of its #MyBarnardosCampaign. 

The charity is asking people to put aside half an hour to sort through their wardrobe and put those items they no longer wear to good use by donating them to their local charity store.

But clearing out your wardrobe is no easy task. So, to help, we enlisted the help of Laura Grant, assistant director in Barnardo’s retail, and asked for her top tips to help tackle a bugling wardrobe...

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1. Divide and conquer

A tidy-up is a big job, but not one which should daunt you – you’ll feel so much better for having an organised, wardrobe at the end of it.

First things first, remove every item from your wardrobe and sort into piles: skirts, blouses, trousers, dresses etc. Not only will this help you to create organisation amidst the chaos, but it will also highlight how many of each item you have – do you really need three pairs of identical jeans, of which you only wear one? Do you have four gypsy skirts that you keep hold of in the hope that you’ll one day wear them again?

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2. Honesty is the best policy

Next, be brutally honest with yourself. Pick up each item and ask yourself the following questions:

* When was the last time I wore this?

* Will I wear it again?

* Will I wear it again in the near future?

* Why am I really holding onto it?

It’s amazing what you find out when you’re honest with yourself, and you’ll probably find that you’re keeping hold of certain items because it feels wrong to ditch them. This can particularly be the case when you’ve worn an item once, or when it was an expensive purchase perhaps – but it’s doing no good languishing in your wardrobe, never to see the light of day. A much better idea is to pass it on or donate to a charity like Barnardo’s, where it can make a huge difference.

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3. Follow the golden rules

There are some golden rules that you should abide by when sorting through clothes. Every item should fit you, suit you, make you feel great, be in good condition, and, most importantly of all, be worn regularly. If any of these golden rules are broken, chances are you’re hoarding.

When considering each item, sort into ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’ piles – don’t be alarmed by the number of piles now scattered across your room, as it will be so therapeutic in the long run! ‘No’ items can be put into a bag and put aside to be donated. ‘Yes’ items can be returned to the wardrobe. ‘Maybe’ items should be considered again until they become ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ – or at a push, a sentimental box can be collated to be stored away from your wardrobe.

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4. Continue to edit over the coming months

You should now be left with your ‘greatest hits’ – those items that you wear on a regular basis, or love and will wear again. This forms your core wardrobe and there are two ways to organise this effectively: by item and by colour.

Take your time with this step, and get to know your clothes again – you’ll probably plan new ways to wear each item as you go through. Put all of your skirts together in colour order, then all your trousers, and so on until you have a complete wardrobe.

One tip for this step is to ensure you turn all the hangers the same way. Then, whenever you wear an item in the future, turn the hanger the other way round when you put it back in. After three months, take a look at the hangers that haven’t been turned around, and repeat the clearing out process – is there a reason you haven’t worn these items? Honesty is key!

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5. Reflect on your progress

Once your three months are up, you should have a better sense of what you prefer to wear, and where the holes in your wardrobe are.

Your wardrobe should now be a true reflection of your style, so now is the time to reflect. Do you spot any patterns in colour or silhouette? You will also have a greater sense of which colours work best for you, so when you go shopping again, you can make mindful purchases to supplement your wardrobe, and hone in on what works for you without getting distracted.

Finally, upkeep is the key to maintaining an ordered wardrobe – try to keep your sections streamlined, and be sure to have another clear out once you feel it is getting out of control again.

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