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How to ‘Stay on Top’ of Your Closet

I am hoping that you have all been able to make the most of the summer, and a chance to take it easy, relax and slow down. As we are now in autumn, with some already mentioning winter, it is a good time to improve your relationship with your clothes.

‘Why now?’, you might ask. I take this opportunity to go through our summer clothes and pack away any we won’t be needing for the darker months. Likewise, I unpack our warm winter clothes and footwear.

I’ve asked people recently if they do this too; the vast majority of the feedback was that they left them all unpacked and in their respective places, as space allows.

There are a few reasons why I would recommend putting either summer or winter clothes away for the months when they’re unused.

Protect and Care

First, protect your clothes from any time wear and tear. If you have all clothes together during the year, sweaters in summer get dusty, you might keep moving them from one drawer to another, the colour might fade, and its also possible to accidentally damage and pull yarn out. I would suggest to pack them away and keep them safe and protected in summer. If it is 100% wool, cashemere – make sure it’s protected from moths. It is recommented to use cedar wood to protect against moth larvae, or  lavender.

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Tempted to Buy New Again?

Second, if you see your sweaters in summer, and summer dresses in winter, in most cases, when the new season comes, you might be cohearsed into wanting something new! If you pack your sweaters away for summer, there will be less temptation to buy more new stuff when autumn/winter season comes. When I unpack my sweaters every year in September, or my summer dresses and tops in April –  I feel like its something different and fresh, and more importantly, something I will enjoy wearing. It saves me a small fortune too as I don’t have an urge to buy something new. I still keep a couple of warmer jumpers for summer, just in case, and an outfit for a special occasion.  

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Whenever you are putting your clothes away, make sure all are clean and not damaged. It is also a good time to see if anything needs mending. Sew a missing button on, fix broken seams; that way everything is nice and ready once you unpack it next time.

It is worth trying this approach and see what works best for you.  

Quality, not Quantity!

Prioritise quality over quantity.

Whenever you decide to buy a garment, quality should come first, not quantity. The garment will last longer, and it will be your investment.

Check the garment fabric and seams. Seams in cheap clothes usually start to unravel quickly and easily. In case you will need to do some alterations, there should be some seam allowance to let you do that with minimum hassle. If the garment has a button closure, it is good to make sure there is a spare button.

Good quality fabric (not knitwear) will not be letting light through and will be tightly woven or knitted.  

Lounge wear, casual everyday stuff – buy good quality fabrics and natural so its cosy, and will stay with you for longer. It will not be worn out so fast and will look good on you! Because you know, clothes that are more expensive – they have this ‘quality look’.  

Laundry - To be or Not to be?

Laundry cycle – ‘to be or not to be’. Honestly, I don’t wash my clothes after each wear. This would have been harsh. The more often you put your clothes to the washing machine, the faster it is getting worn out. There are a few ways around it. Try spot cleaning. If your clothing caught some smells, try to put it outside on a washing line – windy day will sort it out in most cases. It was also mentioned to try and use somy misty spray (vodka/water mix 50:50 should help or add more water if the smell is not so bad). 

Handwash or rinse can help as well to freshen up a garment if you would like to avoid a loundry cycle but need it to look great for a special occasion.

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I am not supporting dry cleaning. I took my risks and put my ‘dry cleaning only’ italian designer dresses and silk blouses in a tub full of water for quick hand wash. Nothing bad happened to them and, most important, I avoided putting my favourite clothes through that toxic chemical treatment.

Whenever you have your clothes machine washed, do it in a proper way. Delicate garments with a lot of details, embellishments or embroidery should be washed in a fabric laundry bag.

30°C laundry cycle is not always the best solution. It is good to run your towels, tea towels and bedlinen in 60°C cycle from time to time. In addition, I never put socks, running gear and jeans together with underwear and bedlinen.     

 

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Is it Organized?

Organising makes is easier and helps you to see everything you own. A research, that was done with 1000 women pointed out that around 40% of them couldn’t find some items in their wardrobes when they needed them. In addition, an average woman says that she has never worn around 10% of her clothes.

You can sort it by colour, or any other way, all items should be easily found and accessible. Protect expensive items by putting them in a cotton bag or use a suit/coat cover. Most of my lounge and casual wear is in the drawers, my dresses, skirts and trousers are usually on hangers.

Make, Do and Mend!

 

A few mends might be needed before you pack it away.

Broken seams can be easily fixed with a running stitch or back stitch, but make sure you start stitching around 1 cm befoore the point where the seam broke, to avoid a hole appearing again. A stain that cannot be removed – can always be hidden with a few stitches of embroidery, or an embellishment or a button. Holes can be fixed in most of the times and if you would like to hide them, same as with stains. Nice and simple.

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If you haven’t done already, join my FB group – Slow Fashion Bus – Upcycle and Mend.

A lot of ideas and info for you. And I have a lot of different tutorials and an online course, where you can learn to Upcycle Your Clothes A-Z. Check it out!