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Closet cleanse: steps for rejuvenation in isolation

Who would’ve thought two weeks ago that this global pandemic would escalate so rapidly in such a short amount of time. Almost the entire world is currently on lockdown or practicing social distancing. I haven’t hugged another person for a while now and it’s starting to get to me – human connection and interaction was definitely something I took for granted. Now while most of us are confined to our homes during these unprecedented times, either WFH or in mandatory isolation after returning from overseas. It’s easy to get stuck in your own head, staring at the same blank walls or losing daily life structure.

In times like this, it’s best to keep busy and productive in any way you can (though enjoying some off time doing nothing is also very acceptable). While most people are cooking gourmet meals, baking many a treat, reading up on all the books, or going full steam ahead on home workouts – a closet cleansing is just what you might need to reset and refresh. We all have that problem of owning so many clothes but nothing to wear… This probably amounts to you not actually remembering or being able to see all the items in your wardrobe right now. It’s time to clear the clutter.

Step 1. Preparing yourself

First things first, you need to get into the right frame of mind to do this and be calm and centered so you can make informative and sometimes cut-throat decisions. Also leave an afternoon or evening free, a fair amount of time to do this. Or break it down over a couple of days if you wish. Be sure to also keep some boxes or large bags at the ready too.

Step 2. Removal stage

Best to work in sections if you’d like to spread this joy over a couple of days and take your time. Or if you’re really determined and fearless, then take everything out Marie Kondo style to sort through until the mess is over. Start with hanging items such as dresses to outerwear, then move onto folded items and draws, then finish with shoes and accessories. Getting overwhelmed can mean you lose track and give up. Be sure to not put pressure on yourself and just know you will come out the other side feeling freer, lighter and basically like you have your shit together.

Step 3. Sorting

When a section is removed and you begin to sort through the items, it’s best to separate your pieces into three categories. Keep, Donate or Maybe. The maybes are for those items we are so unsure of and just can’t decide on at the time. Leave these for the end once you’ve sorted through what you are actually keeping – it will make your final decision that much easier. *Cue the closet dress up montage from the Sex and the City movie*. This is also your time to try things on, relive old memories and be honest with yourself with what you haven’t worn or won’t wear for the years to come. Also place all the donation items directly in a box or bag (only if they are in great condition and undamaged). Another option is to resell some of your giveaway items online.

Step 4. Organising

Once the hard decision part is over and you’ve sorted through your items or sections, now is the time to put everything back in your wardrobe with order and purpose. You should have a lot more room now, but I recommend investing in slim non-slip hangers to keep things light and spacious for hanging. Dividers for draw items such as underwear, socks and swimwear. Fold all your knitwear, loungewear and tees the best you ever have. Jewellery trays, shoe racks, etc, whatever you need to get the space up to par and easily accessible for everyday life.

Step 5. Give yourself a wine

The most important? Yes. Be sure to reward yourself with a pat on the back too. This is no easy task, but once you’re done you’ll have realised that the anticipation of actually doing it was worse than the actual doing it. The release and satisfaction when you’ve finished is quite ecstasy inducing might I say. It’s also no secret that we live in a very wasteful society so cleaning out and cleansing your closet should show you what you really need / really wear. Let this be a lesson in future investments and try to shop as consciously as possible for the long haul and remember, vintage is always a good idea.

Step 6. Yes there’s more

This is more of a where are they now category. Once the cleansing is over with and it’s a few weeks or maybe months down the track – the real challenge here is maintaining your efforts and keeping your wardrobe neat, organised and put together. You didn’t do all this hard work for nothing so I don’t want to see you mess it up in a heartbeat. If you’re not OCD like me and struggle to keep things neat and tidy then try set yourself some fortnightly goals of putting things back the way you found it. This shouldn’t take you long and it’ll keep everything fresh and ready on the regular. Another suggestion might be a one- in one-out strategy. If you buy something new, then try donating one of your existing items. This way you won’t go overboard and avoid accumulating unnecessary wardrobe excess. No one likes a hoarder, you heard it here first.

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