I've been on a bit of a spring cleaning kick, and despite originally thinking I would leave my wardrobe until the weather got a bit better, and I could take unwanted items straight out of my wardrobe and off to a car boot fair, it was driving me so mad I ended up just going for it on Sunday morning.
Above is the before situation. James and I both have one Ikea Pax wardrobe each, which have been a really good buy. I like how customisable they are, so we both have slightly different set ups on the inside, but they look neat and matching from the outside. I have a rail across the top which is where the majority of my clothing is, two baskets down the bottom, which start out neatly ordered but as you can see quickly descend into chaos. There is also a shelf right at the top for handbags and hats, but it's a little bit too high for me to reach, so I don't have much up there. I also have a separate chest of drawers in the spare room, which still needs dealing with at some point. But that's a job for another day.
If I bought it again I think I would swap out the baskets for drawers or shelves, something I could add dividers to so my clothes wouldn't end up in quite such a mess. As it is they do fine though, they just need sorting every so often, and I can't really use the bottom one anyway as the cats have taken it over and created a nest down there which invariably ends up covered in cat hair.
The first thing I did was to take out the things I knew I definitely didn't want. Mainly clothes which were totally worn to pieces, were mistake purchases in the first place (but old enough my guilt has died down enough to see it was time for them to go!) and things that just aren't my style any more. For me this was really old tired workwear, Peter Pan collars and a few nicer pieces that for whatever reason just didn't work. A sleeveless black dress for example, which fits nicely, but I never have an occasion to wear.
I could have taken everything out and looked at it one by one and decided stay or go that way, but actually ridding my self of the easy items first meant I already felt like I had been successful, and it gave me a good boost to keep going.
At that point I did take everything else out of my wardrobe, and started putting things I knew were staying back. This again was relatively easy - my extensive collection of Breton tops, an excessive number of party dresses (lesson learnt - I do not need any more party dresses!). I ordered everything in groups - evening wear - weekend wear - work wear, which for me is the best way to organise my clothing because I have such a big divide between my workwear and my weekend wear. The only thing that really crosses over between the week and the weekend for me are cardigans. If I didn't have such a divide in my wardrobe I would probably order by clothing item (dresses, skirts, tops etc) but I find it so much easier to put an outfit together when I order it this way.
This left me with the most difficult task. Sorting through the maybe items left.
Interestingly the largest maybe category was clothes that are old and worn, but that I need, so I can't get rid of them until I buy replacements. Mainly some old worn out work clothes. In the end I had to make a note of these and put them back in my wardrobe. At least now I know what I need to replace, I'll get rid of them as and when I pick up replacements.
The hardest maybe category was the more recent purchases that I just haven't worn. Honestly a number of them were things I bought when out shopping with my mum - she is a terrible enabler and loves to shop! Again, lesson learnt - when shopping with my mum I need to go in with a list, or I will come home with a load of things I don't need!
The end result - ahhhh - much better! Everything has more space to breathe, is hung on nice hangers (not grotty metal ones from the dry cleaner!) and the baskets are limited to my work out wear and pjs in the top one, and my gardening/DIY clothes down the bottom for my cats to sleep on! Basically everything which doesn't matter if it gets crumpled.
I also know exactly what I need to put on my shopping list. Weekend and workwear skirts, cardigans, summer dresses and coats. No more stripey t-shirts and party dresses! Well, I'll try...