They say your home is an extension of who you are — it’s an expression of yourself, so getting your stuff in order is key. But where to start? Clearing unwanted mess can be an overwhelming task, which is why we’ve turned to The Declutter Darling, Rachel Burditt. A ‘personal trainer for your home’, her job involves going into clients’ houses to help them tidy up their storage spaces. It can be a cathartic and cleansing process. No, really. Here, Rachel reveals her hacks for getting started…
1 Make a Mess
If you want to organise your wardrobe, you have to start with one big clearout. ‘Take everything out of your wardrobe, put it into a big pile, then organise by type,’ says Rachel. ‘So, you’ll have a pile for jeans, trousers, skirts, jumpsuits, dresses… and so on.
‘Now go through the piles, re-familiarise yourself with each item and realistically ask yourself: have I worn this in the last six months? Does it serve a purpose in my life? Do I really need it? It’s important to question yourself throughout the process and be as honest as possible.’
2 Fold and Stack
Once you’ve narrowed down the piles, it’s time to figure out where each one lives. ‘There are only a few items that need to be hung,’ Rachel explains. ‘These are dresses, jumpsuits, shirts and jackets. Everything else can be folded.’
Follow the Marie Kondo method of folding to ensure you can stack them, so they stand in a neat line. ‘I also recommend colour coordinating to make items even easier to find.’ And (bonus) it looks very Instagrammable. ‘When it comes to getting dressed, you’ll instantly know where everything is instead of frantically rummaging through your entire wardrobe. You just pick the item from the pile and leave the rest folded and stacked. It’s amazing how much joy it brings.’
3 Box it Up
Forget piles of clothes along your bedroom floor; Rachel recommends putting as much as possible behind closed doors. Don’t have endless wardrobe space and a limitless budget? Don’t worry. ‘Just use any box you can find. A shoebox is great for storing small items in, like pants and socks,’ explains Rachel. ‘Slot the boxes into drawers so they’re tucked away out of sight.’
‘Hanging shelves, hooks and wicker baskets are also brilliant for making the most of small spaces, and I love an IKEA zip box — I have one for jeans that lives under the bed. For shoes, look to a handy shoe rack that can slot into the bottom of your wardrobe.’ See? Who needs a Kardashian bank balance to get organised?
4 Get Hanging
‘Once your clothes are folded, stacked and stored, it’s time to hang those items I mentioned earlier; the dresses, jumpsuits, shirts and jackets,’ advises Rachel. ‘For starters, get rid of those nasty wire clothes hangers and use velvet versions instead. They’re non-slip and very thin, which means you can get a lot more in your wardrobe.’ Plus, matching hangers is just so aesthetically pleasing, amirite?
5 Take Care
Now that you’re feeling organised, it’s important to take care of the clothes you love – no more leaving your favourite dress crumpled under a heap on the bedroom chair.
‘Looking after your clothes means you can wear them again and again instead of buying endless new items, which will only clutter up your wardrobe,’ says Rachel. ‘It’s key for getting out of that vicious cycle.’
Try washing your clothes with Comfort to ensure your favourite pieces look fresh and last longer. Not only will it save you money, this simple step will help to cut your consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.
There’s an emotional impact, too. Well-loved clothes become an extension of yourself, helping to develop a signature style, and will ultimately come to represent personal memories you’ll want to cherish.
6 Do Donate
So what to do with the clothes you’re ready to bid farewell to? Instead of chucking them in the bin, there are plenty of more sustainable options. ‘Take a batch to your local charity shop or sell some items on eBay to make a bit of money while you’re at it,’ suggests Rachel. ‘A lot of my clients hold clothes swapping parties — it’s a great way to share your items and have a fun night with friends while you’re at it.’
Hopefully by now you’re feeling inspired to get decluttering, not least because it can bring a whole host of surprising benefits. ‘The process will make you more aware of what’s in your wardrobe and whether you really need to buy another swimsuit, clutch bag or stripy top,’ Rachel assures us. ‘It has the power to make you feel more positive about the clothes you already own, to change your shopping habits for the better and bring a sense of calm to your home. Ultimately, you’ll be hugely relieved.’
Feature image @Ellabyworth
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com