HOW TO ORGANISE AND CLEAR-OUT YOUR CLOSET




As a new year begins, I can't help but thinking about my next closet clear-out. This is the time I usually take the chance to go over my closet and think about what I did wear the past year and think about who I am and if some of my pieces are still me. For the record this is not another minimalism article about how you only need 10 pieces with a pinterest picture of a tidy hanging rack against a white wall. This is about what feels right and what works for you. Personally, I love playing with different styles and silhouettes depending on my mood. I like having a good selection in my closet, but I also dislike owning too much and loosing track of my pieces.
When I first started my journey a few years ago, I had a lot and I mean really a lot of stuff. And of course I had... because I never sorted anything out before. So there were my teenage clothes and all kinds of things that I collected the past 10 years which I never use. Getting rid of my old things felt really good, it was like cleansing the soul and freeing yourself from a burden. A new ritual was born: the wardrobe clear-out! For me the story of the wardrobe is a never ending one, even today I am constantly editing down my wardrobe, but also the ones of family and friends! Here are my personal experiences about wardrobe clear-outs and my guidelines towards a more organised closet:

1. SHOPPING MISTAKES DURING SALE SEASON

The whole process of clearing-out usually starts long before the clothes even enter your closet: Shopping Mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process and I have certainly learned from mine. Many mistakes are often made during sale season, we have all been there... Loosing all logical thinking and getting sucked into the wonderland of the red SALE signs, thinking: uuh it is so cheap, I am going to save so much money! But sometimes you end up buying clothes that don't really fit, don't look good, is not for your current lifestyle or you simply buy too much things you don't really need. These are the pieces that will disappear into the black hole of your closet and will never be seen again on your body. You should buy pieces thoughtfully and always ask yourself: Is it my size? Do I feel fabulous in it? What is the quality? Do I really need it? Is it for my current lifestyle? If you find your beloved item you have been pining for all the time on sale and you get to save money, then perfect! But if you buy something on sale and you end up never wearing it, it is just waste of your money, energy and time in the future.


2. SHOPPING FOR YOUR CURRENT LIFESTYLE

With Award season, we get to see all the beautiful red carpet gowns and who wouldn't love to wear Chanel or Christian Dior Haute Couture. Even as a little girl I loved those glamouros gowns and elegant high heels. As I grew older the shopping trips of the "things I'll never wear, because I am not going to the oscars" began. Buy for your current lifestyle and not for the one you wish you had... This was a hard lesson learned for me and of course I am still a sucker for beautiful gowns and high heel sandals, but I have sorted out many of mine. Because no normal beeing needs ten oscar worthy evening gowns and hundreds of sandals (unless you lead a Sex and the City kind of life). Living in Germany winter can be very long and cold and having tons of summer sandals are not really practical, because you just don't get to wear them so often. Now, I invest in good winter jackets and stylish boots instead, which I wear frequently. So don't repeat my mistakes! Be practical. If you buy the majority of your pieces for a fantasy version of your life instead of the reality, you'll end up wondering why you have nothing to wear. Think about what your regular day or week looks like and what the seasons are like in your city. Invest in stylish and classic pieces that you will wear a lot. Make it work for your current lifestyle.


3. THE SOMEDAY CLOTHES AND LEARNING TO LET GO

For some people letting go is very hard and they make all kinds of excuses to keep their someday clothes. I bet some of the "Someday Clothes" still have their price tags on them. So pour yourself a glass of wine and be ruthless when you edit! We all know the little lies we tell ourselves: 

- Someday I will fit into them
- Someday I will find an ocassion to wear it
- Someday it will be trendy again
- Someday I might find something to combine it with

Maybe you bought a super beautiful piece on sale, but it never was your size. Maybe you have lost or gained some weight and some pieces don't fit anymore. Maybe the piece doesn't really flatter your body type. Maybe you are still waiting for that right moment to wear it. Throw out what you don't wear!!! If you haven't been wearing a piece in a long time for whatever reason, what makes you think you will wear it in the future? So ask yourself: When was the last time I wore that piece? Did I ever wear it? Is it my size? Does it look good on me? Also do not keep pieces for sentimentel reasons. Clothes you onced loved and have many great memories with (your jeans from highschool) or that piece you paid a fortune for (that trendy jacket you've never worn). Just let go of the pieces you don't wear, I promise you won't miss them.


4. CLONE CLOTHING
If you have to wear similiar pieces to work, because there is a certain style or uniform required. Fair enough. Also having found a piece that you are crazy about is great. Some maybe even buy the exact same piece twice, because they love it so much and also wear it until it falls apart. But what about the ones you maybe don't wear? Do you really need the same dress in all colours or the same 20 black t-shirts? Do you really wear them all? What was it that compelled you to buy these things when you already had nearly the same piece in your closet? Did you forget about the other pieces? Also keep in mind, that if you buy similiar pieces, it is a serious long term commitment in fashion. After all your personal style and taste will evolve and who knows where you will be in five years from now. So lay all your clone clothing out and pick out your favourites and the ones you actually wear and let go of the others you don't wear.


5. INVEST IN A SYSTEM

How do you want to create that fabulous outfit, if you can't see what you own? If you don't see it, you are not going to wear it. Spending some money on a sytem and beeing organised can also save you some time in the morning. Personally I would loooove to have a fancy walk into closet... who wouldn't? But I simply don't have that space or the budget for it. So I make the most of the space and budget I have. Most of my boxes and organising tools are from Ikea and Zara Home and I love them, they organise my clothes, accessories and Make-up. Create your own System and think about what works for you.







6. SELLING CLOTHES
After you have cleared out your closet, think about what to do next with your clothes. Maybe you can give some of it to your friends (so it stays in the family), some you can give to goodwill, but some you can resell and still make some money. Nowadays you have many options to resell your items, so you can think about which way suits you. The three ways that I sell my clothes are traditional fleamarkets, Consignment Shops and Online. Have in mind that reselling your clothes is time consuming and it might take some time until pieces are sold, therefore the process can also be annoying. This is why I recommended buying pieces thoughtfully in the beginning.

ONLINE
As you can see on the right I sell my clothes on the platform Mädchenflohmarkt, which is a german based second hand online shop for more valuable pieces. The good side about selling online is, that you can do it throughout the whole year and it is more likely to achieve a higher sales profit. The downside is, that it is very time consuming... Taking good pictures, writing descriptions and answering questions from potential buyers, taking the sold items to the post office. There are services that will do all the work for you, for a higher comission, of course. Another aspect is that it can take some time until your pieces are sold, which means your pieces still take up space somewhere.

In my experience the following sell well online:

- Designer and brand clothes
- Dresses and skirts
- Items with a price tag on


FLEAMARKETS
What I love about fleamarkets, your buyers come to you and the selling process is much faster, because you sell more things in a shorter time period. The downside here is, that it is seasonal and due to bargain mentality your profit is not as high as selling online. So if you are happy about a little profit and just want your things to be gone, this way is for you. Having a friend doing it with you is the best way. You can chat and drink coffee and it never actually feels like work.

What I would sell on the fleamarket:
- Vintage
- Pieces from retail stores
- Pieces that are not as valuable
Reselling t-shirts for a 1€ online, will take a lot of time and will therefore not be worth the effort for such a little profit. Also your buyers will not be so tempted due to shipping costs. You will have better chances on a fleamarket, you can offer deals like 3 for 2.

CONSIGNMENT AND SECOND HAND SHOPS
This is another possibility to sell some of your clothes. What I love about it, a store is selling it for you and you can take your clothes during winter time. The downside is, since other people are doing the work for you, your profit will not be as high. Which is fair enough, since the store has all kinds of costs.


IT WILL BE WORTH IT
These are my personal experiences with clearing-out a closet and ways to approach it that have worked for me. The entire process of clearing-out was very time consuming, but it was all worth it in the end. For me it was also intersting to see how much I had evolved and learned about myself. Over the past years I have sorted out many many many pieces. I have never looked back and I have never missed a single piece!







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