It took a particularly terrifying game of Hide and Seek for me to realise my wardrobe needed an overhaul. After thrashing my way past maxi dresses and slashing my way through 10 different variations of the same black cardigan I finally found my toddler. By that stage she had fallen asleep in a pile of striped T-shirts.
I knew it was time. I set aside an entire day, and really got stuck into it. Here are my 6 top tips for a successful spring clean. As for my daughter, it’ll take plenty of retail therapy but I’m confident she will learn to love Hide and Seek again.
1. Set aside at least half a day
Don’t approach your spring clean lightly. It’s not the sort of thing you can do while the baby is having a nap and you’ve got dinner on the stove. The more time you can dedicate to the task, the greater the outcome. Set aside at least 2-5 hours, and really get stuck into it.
Make a playlist filled with upbeat, boppy songs that will keep you pumped (even when you’re knee-deep in odd socks). Don’t be afraid to stage your own little fashion show so you can see how items look and feel. Let’s face it, some of those slinky dresses may not have seen the light of day in a while!
2. Empty your closet (yes, the whole thing)
Take every single item out of your wardrobe/closet/cupboard and dump it on the bed (this is good motivation to get cracking before bedtime!). It’s up to you whether you include shoes, accessories and jewellery. If you’ve got enough time, go for it. Otherwise save these for another weekend. The first thing you’ll notice is how much stuff you have. It’s ridiculous huh? But that’s the very reason we find ourselves here!
3. Spray and wipe
Once everything is on the bed, get in there and clean your cupboards, drawers and shelves. Don’t be alarmed at all the dust bunnies hiding in the corners. It happens to the best of us. Dust, wipe and remove any old tissues/receipts/drawer liners/sachets of pot potpourri that might be hiding out in there. Next, take a look at all those coat hangers on the floor. Ditch the ugly metal ones that come home from the dry cleaner. Pop down to Kmart and grab yourself a new set of hangers that actually match. You’ll thank me later.
4. Be brutal
As the sorting process begins, you’ll definitely have your share of “What was I thinking!” and “Awww, this reminds me of (insert event here)” moments. Try not to get bogged down in nostalgia. That’s what photos are for.
Start making piles of clothing in the following categories:
Be brutal Don’t hold onto those skinny jeans in the hope you’ll suddenly drop three dress sizes and fit into them again. Let’s face it, if you drop three dress sizes you deserve to splurge on new jeans!
5. Question yourself
It’s time to make the big decisions. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it fit?
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Will I ever wear it again?
- Does it represent the way I dress now (and not the way I dressed 5 years ago)?
- If it’s damaged, will I ever bother to actually fix it? Despite how much I love it.
- If I saw this in a shop, would I buy it?
- Do I feel confident when I wear this?
6. Be charitable
There are plenty of ways you can donate your pre-loved goodies. Take a load down to your local Salvos, Red Cross, Vinnies, Lifeline or other op-shop. Or perhaps consider something a bit different:
- Wear For Success and Dress For Success – These not-for-profit organisations providing professional clothing to people who are hoping to achieve their dreams. You can donate good quality, work-appropriate clothing for clients to wear to interviews, and help them get a fresh start in life.
- Uplift Project – Donate your unworn or gently used bras to women in disadvantaged communities around Australia and the rest of the world. The not-for-profit organisation is looking for all types of bras, nursing bras, mastectomy bras and breast forms, swimwear, underwear (new) and fabric nappies
- H&M Garmet Collecting – Take your “worn, torn or hopelessly out of style” garments to any H&M store and receive a 15% voucher to be used on your next purchase. They accept all clothing, not just H&M brand. By remarketings, reusing or recycling your textiles the company hopes to limit the amount of waste ending up in landfills.
- Host a clothing swap – Get together with a group of friends, and ask everyone to bring clothing they no longer want/need/wear. Pop the champers, bring out the chip ‘n’ dip and start swapping. You might need to put a few rules in place first! Take a look at some tips over here.
Feature image: Stylizimo