START THE DAY RIGHT
Imagine waking from a night’s sleep in a calm room and opening a neat and organised wardrobe. Picture the ease of browsing, selecting and pulling out your favourite outfit and opening a neat draw full of underwear that fits well, taking your shoes from their ordered and dedicated space, and having your complementary handbag at arms length. You are not rushing around trying to find items that you thought were in your wardrobe but could be at the dry cleaners. You are fully dressed in three minutes. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
When you stand in front of a wardrobe that has been re-organised, the results are instant - your head feels clear and you will feel more energetic and motivated. This energy is then transferred into your day, setting you up for success. I had a client say she felt lighter and that the room felt lighter too once her wardrobe was edited.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
When I sort through a client’s wardrobe, the average amount to sell, donate or recycle is five large bin bags – this may seem drastic but I have never once had a client who has had a problem later on. In fact many find the process addictive and review their wardrobes on a regular basis re-evaluating items that they once considered essential, that now look totally out of place. It shows they feel empowered by the process of selecting what to discard and they feel proud because they know they have achieved it on their own. It’s a total change of their mindset. Once it becomes habit they regard their wardrobe and the items in it differently. They become more selective with their shopping choices only selecting items that reflect their style and deserve a coveted space in their wardrobes. And they take better care of their clothes, understanding their value and getting longevity out of their clothes.
ENJOY GETTING DRESSED
Reducing the amount of clothes we have in our wardrobes allows us to see what we have and importantly, we are more likely to wear what we have. Getting dressed stops being stressful and overwhelming and becomes a joy. When we detox our wardrobes it has a detoxing effect on our minds and bodies. I think this is because we realise we don’t need wardrobes full of clothes and our desire to constantly buy new things decreases. When before, over stuff wardrobes stopped my clients from seeing what they had, they were never satisfied and always wanted something new to wear - that illusive item that would magically solve all their wardrobe problems. They were buying on impulse in an attempt to alleviate the stress of their wardrobe. But the buzz of the purchase is short lived when you realise you are adding to the anxiety as you try and stuff the item into your wardrobe. When all you are really craving is space physical and mental. Once we have selected and properly stored all the items they love, they feel like they have everything they need. As my client put it, ‘Getting dressed in the morning is like shopping in my own wardrobe’. Your mind becomes clearer and you can focus their mental energy on the days tasks and enjoying life.
Although the benefits seem obvious, some of my clients find the process of discarding clothes really hard, they believe that having a wardrobe full to bursting affords them some security or saves them money. So I start the process by focussing on what they love to wear, what makes them feel confident and gives them happiness. By starting on a positive note and focusing on what they have and love stops them from feeling anxious about focusing solely on throwing things away. Empowering them with the ability to choose what they are keeping not what we want to get rid of.
DON'T TRANSFER THE GUILT
When discarding items becomes difficult, there is a tendency to want to pass unwanted items to relatives or friends. Be mindful of this unless you know they will love them or they reflect their true style. My client was not able to develop an instinct for what she loved because the majority of her clothes had been passed onto her by her mother. It stifled her ability to develop her own style but it also made her feel guilty about not wearing clothes she had been given. Although passing something on seems generous, it doesn’t help mindset or reduce clutter, it just transfers the guilt of not being able to throw something away onto a family member. Be considerate; they don't need the anxiety of owning more than they need.
CREATE ORDER IN YOUR WARDROBE AND YOUR MIND
After the editing process and the decisions made on what to keep it’s time to start putting the clothes away. How you store your clothes also impacts on mindset- creating order in your wardrobe is a great step in helping us gain control in our lives and sets you up for the day. It feels great to open your wardrobe and see the clothes you love to wear arranged neatly on matching hangers. You no longer have to take a deep breath before opening the doors to overstuffed rails of clothes slipping off wire hangers, impossible to find what you need. Wardrobes are not only messy because they are over stuffed but because the space isn’t being used efficiently and there is lack of understanding as to how to store clothes properly. One of my client’s wardrobes was so packed it took her 5 minutes to find the jacket that she wanted to show me and when she finally found it, all the clothes on either side slipped off the hangers or got tangled, catching on a mass of wire hangers. The wire hangers were the first things to go!
I’ve seen the amazing impact that streamlining your wardrobe can have but I have had many people question whether paying such attention to your clothes and the way they are organised can possibly have such a positive and lasting effect. So why not try it? It is more achievable and enjoyable than you can ever anticipate. As my clients say, it’s life changing. Swap out your metal hangers for thin velvet covered ones; rearrange your wardrobe by category. As you go remove those items that are out of date, damaged and ill fitting and reduce your wardrobe to those items you love. Creating space gives clarity and calm. When we regain control we can operate from a place of clarity and it gives us confidence and impacts on how we manage ourselves socially and professionally.
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.