Packing - it's the most stressful part of preparing for your move. But this shouldn't be a time-consuming or troubling affair; you should just be looking forward to settling into your new home. To help you avoid a complete meltdown, I’m doing that laborious part for you. Here are my 4 steps to a seamless and stylish re-location.
1. It’s all in the preparation
Most of my clients come to me because they feel overwhelmed by having to edit and make decisions about their wardrobes but although it seems tiresome, for a stress-free move you just have to do it. Even though your wardrobe is one of the last things to be packed, you need to start thinking about editing your wardrobe 3 months beforehand. I know this seems excessive but as you get closer to your move date you are going to overwhelmed with other priorities and decisions about your wardrobe need to be removed from this equation. Also it allows you plenty of time to take unwanted items to charity or ebay/sell items for cash that can then be reinvested back into your wardrobe.
Moving house provides the perfect opportunity to start a fresh with your wardrobe in your new home. You don’t want to get close to your move date to find you are packing unwanted items that will then clutter your new wardrobe and take up valuable space. Purchase a portable rail – it is not only an indispensable tool for regularly editing your wardrobe but also when you arrive in your new home if the storage solutions are inadequate, you have somewhere to hang the clothes. Start by removing all the items that you love/wear regularly (this is also important for Step 2).
Now, review the rest and remove any items that are damaged, outdated or no longer resonate with your style. Anything that needs repairing or professionally cleaned can also be removed. If you are moving to the UK from an alternative climate to what you are used to you, you need to consider what will be appropriate. Don’t take anything with you that you won’t use, conversely you may need to add some items to a shopping wish list that need to be purchased before you move.
Think about your new living arrangement and the space you have available. If you are moving to a home with limited space you will need to consider this when editing. Alternatively if you need the assistance of a joiner to design built-in wardrobes, you can give them a very good idea of how many clothes and shoes you have so they can advise on wardrobe solutions to make the most of every centimetre of space.
Before you put everything back in your wardrobe, move onto step 2
2. Create a capsule
From the items that you love and wear regularly, create a capsule wardrobe for the move. What I mean by that is a selection of say, 15 items that you can easily mix and match and dress up and down. Look at your dairy for the next 4 weeks or however long you think you are going to be interrupted by the move and make sure you have an appropriate outfit available. You can’t anticipate how long it is going to take you to get settled (especially if you have young children) and the last thing you need is to be scrambling around trying to find a matching pair of shoes or a pressed blouse. Having a selection of go to outfits that are packed into a cardboard wardrobe box takes the time and stress out of getting dressed when you move. Which brings me seamlessly to step 3.
3. Packing Solutions
Cardboard wardrobe boxes are easiest way of hanging your pressed garments safely while having relocate your clothes. They also make great makeshift wardrobes while you are sorting out your storage solutions in your new home. Put your capsule wardrobe into one box and group styles together in the other boxes so all tops together, bottoms, jackets, coats etc and labelling them clearly will help you to locate items easily.
4. Storage solutions in the new home
Swap out your metal hangers for thin velvet covered ones; rearrange your wardrobe by category. As you go remove those items that you may have reconsidered post move. Once you have hung all your clothes into the new space take a step back and consider the space. Do the rails need to be moved or new ones added? Do you need clear Perspex storage boxes for keep shelves organised? Make a list of wardrobe accessories and organisational tools taking into account your new living arrangements and what space you have.
It feels great to open your wardrobe and see the clothes you love to wear arranged neatly on matching hangers. Having control of our wardrobes helps us gain control in what is one of life’s most stressful events. Moving is all about good preparation and seamless organisation.
Yes, this takes time. So if you feel overwhelmed by your wardrobe and you want a professional who understands what will work and can give you pragmatic and honest advice, then please get in touch.
Penny Bennett is a Personal Stylist and Personal Shopper and Image Consultant who works with successful men and women from London and the south east who feel their wardrobe is letting them down and they need a fresh pair of eyes to fine tune their style.