Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Savvy Girl's Guide to Spring Cleaning

It's that time of year again - a dreaded thought for some of us and a seasonal cleansing ritual for others. Spring signifies the start of something new, a time for planting new seeds of style, for cleaning out old habits...and wardrobes. This is my guide to surviving the closet crusade they call 'Spring Cleaning'. I share with you some of the ideas that have worked for me in the past and a few clever ones I sourced from magazines around the web.

1. Start Sorting

* You will probably need to set an entire day or weekend aside to sort out your closet. The easiest way to begin is to clear out everything. Remove all your clothes off their hangers, sweaters off their shelves and accessories from their drawers.

* Divide your clothes into three piles :

  The 'Things I Treasure' Pile

  The 'Things to Toss Out' Pile, and

  The Undecided Pile

* The 'Things I Treasure' Pile will usually consist of your much-loved closet pieces and everyday essentials. Hold on to items of clothing that you get great wear out of and that always look graceful on you... with the odd party dress or gravity-defying pair of heels thrown in, which you will insist is far too pretty to give away.

* The 'Things to Toss Out' Pile should include items of clothing that don't fit well nor flatter you, that are ripped or faded, & things that you haven't worn in over a year. Also consider adding ultra trendy pieces you know will only make a comeback when Lindsay Lohan does. Donate these pieces to charity, content knowing your clothes are going to a better cause.

* Now, the tricky part...How to decide on the 'Undecided Pile'. 

- The best trick in the book is to hang or fold these undetermined pieces of clothing inside out. As the months go by, you will have an idea of what you haven't worn & probably never will.

- Be reasonable with your decisions. If you can't think of any place or occasion that you could wear the garment or shoes, it probably means you should bid it farewell.

- Another good idea is to have a clothes swap party with your friends, bargaining with only the undecided pieces of clothing. That way, if you ever decide you want the clothes returned to your closet...all you have to do is swap it back.

2. Re-Packing

* Now that you have made some space in your closet for the new season's trends, it's time to store away your winter wear and repack.

* Before re-packing your wardrobe, line the shelves with scented drawer liners or organza bags filled with cinnamon sticks and dried flower petals.

* Separate clothing pieces by type - long pants, cropped pants, shorts, skirts, blazers, work shirts, weekend t-shirts, work & party dresses. Arrange them accordingly in your wardrobe.

* An easy way to identify your clothes is to arrange and hang them by colour. Not to mention it looks quite appealing too.

3. De-Cluttering Ideas

1.  If your wardrobe space has ran out, why not purchase cute stand-alone drawer sets to store any extras. Not only do they jazz up your room, but they are ideal for storing socks, tights, shoes, hats or undergarments.

2. The shoe wheel is a great space-saving way to pack your heels and keep them in shape. 

3. When storing your winter knits and thicker sweaters, have them vacuum-packed in plastic bags so they take up less space. Deposit the bags on your top-most shelves or under the bed for next winter.

4. Try to keep your hangers identical and toss out bulky wooden ones for a sleeker set like these Huggable Hangers, which have a velvet covering that prevent clothes from falling off.

A functional and visually delightful way of storing those winter coats and boots are by packing them away in vintage suitcases. They look charming as part of your room decor and they serve a valuable storage purpose too. 

4. Organizing Accessories

1. Keep your precious pieces of jewellery in pretty little teacups and saucers or fancy bowls.

2. Buy or make shelf dividers to redistribute your space. Storing handbags this way will make them easy to find and keep them neat and upright.

3. Etsy and Amazon have a world of attractive jewellery organizers to choose from that also assist in keeping necklaces and bracelets from tangling.

4. Store your scarves and belts on silver towel hangers that you will be able to find at a low cost in any hardware store.

5. Another brilliant idea is to cut and use old PVC pipes to line your drawers and roll scarves, ties or tights into them for easy access.

5. Tips & Tricks

* If you like keeping your shoes in their original boxes, take a Polaroid of each pair and stick it to the front of the box for easy recognition.

* If you have an open shelf for your shoes, a smart idea is to place them one foot facing forwards and one backwards, this way you will be able to see the height of the heel.

* Store a few of your favourite colourful scarves in a glass vase or bowl on your dresser, it will look fantastic and be simpler to grab as you pop out the door.

* I store my earrings in clear plastic tackle boxes so the pairs don't get lost.

* The beginning of Spring is the ideal time to have the soles of your stilettos and summer sandals repaired and have the heels replaced if need be.

* If you have a miniature sized closet, purchase extra railings and shelving and have them set up alongside an empty wall in your room. Then hang up a curtain to drape and hide them away, while also adding some decorative drama to your boudoir. (As seen above).

For me the creative inspiration behind cleaning out and organizing my closet is to arrange my clothes and accessories as though they were displayed in a boutique. That way, wouldn't it be more fun to 'shop' your own closet everyday?

I hope some of these ideas will help you as you clean out your closet this Spring. 

I would love to hear some of your own Spring Cleaning tips.


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