Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wardrobe Decluttering

The donation pile

In the journey around my house where I am decluttering and organizing little areas at a time, my wardrobe drawers came next.

I have three large drawers in my dresser where I keep my non-hanging clothes. Imagine my horror when I found a dead moth in the bottom of the drawer that holds my fine merino knit tops and jerseys. None of them were expensive, but still, I don’t want any holes in them!

In the winter I don’t wash my merino tops every time I wear them as I will always have something else on underneath and I think overwashing ages them quicker. But now it’s the end of the cold season here in New Zealand, I will do a dark wool wash and a light wool wash and have all my knits clean and ready for next year.

I also sprayed Yardley lavender liberally throughout my drawers and will sew up some lavender bags with dried lavender that I already have. Moths don’t like the smell and lucky for me I do. My drawers smell wonderful now.

Short-sleeve t-shirts and a few long-sleeve t-shirts with lots of lovely room to breathe!  Yardley Lavender spray stashed in the corner so I'll remember to use it.

In the process of sorting through my wool tops to wash, I tried a few on that I hadn’t worn much or at all and confirmed that they looked frumpy dumpy on me. That is not the look I am going for. I put them in a pile to donate. Since I won’t be donating for a week or so I don’t need to think too much about it. If I did I would probably put some back, but I know I’ve made the right decisions. If I’m dithering over getting rid of something, it probably means it needs to go.

I also sorted through my short sleeved t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, active wear and home loungewear. Around the house I like to wear light-weight palazzo style pants and a coordinating t-shirt or singlet (vest) top in the summer.

Casual skirts and denim shorts, long-sleeve tops and empty space for merino tops once they are washed

One of the characters in the movie Sideways which we had on the other night was wearing satin floral drawstring pants with a lacy sleeveless top and little scuffs at home. My husband commented that it would be a nice home outfit for me and noted that silky and fine fabrics are very feminine and attractive for women. That helps me clean out some of the utilitarian but not very feminine clothes I have been wearing at home!

In my bedroom I took all three drawers out and put them on the floor, then stacked all the piles on my bed, quickly sorting through and refolding items I like and know look good on me. The ones that I don’t like and that don’t look as nice on me I put in a donate pile. After spraying my drawers with Yardley lavender I stacked everything back neatly, in piles where like is with like. All my woolens were put in the laundry basket.

Home lounge-wear, walking clothes and sleepwear

I was so happy to see that my folded tops did not even come halfway up the sides of my drawers. Having too many clothes is worse than having not enough clothes to me. And I know that someone else will enjoy my donations more than I do and probably look better in them as well.

One white cotton Ralph Lauren t-shirt that I was given as a gift I never felt good in because the neckline was very high and the sleeves were quite tight. The high neckline did not flatter my biggish bust and the sleeves made my arms look more sausage-like than they are. No-one needs that. So I googled ‘how to change t-shirt neckline’ and followed one girl’s instructions. It came out well!

I then cut off the sleeve hems and rolled/folded loosely the raw edge, tiny under the arm and half an inch on three folds at the top centre and tacked them with a couple of stitches in those two areas. I have a few other t-shirts where this has been done (by the manufactuers, not me) so it must be the thing at the moment. The white RL still isn’t my favourite t-shirt but it’s a vast improvement on what it was so I will keep it for now and see if I wear it this summer.

Remodelled white cotton RL t-shirt

So I now have a decent stack of donations (maybe a dozen items), winter knits to launder, check for holes and de-pill with my lint shaver and lovely, airy, roomy drawers. It really is a thrill getting dressed the next day when you do something like this.

I’m glad I enjoy a simple life and that it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

And meanwhile, in the living room... sleepy afternoon cats, with one fancy sofa each. Do you think ordering a three-seater for each cat was too much? I don't like to have them cramped.

Nina, showing that a paw is a good shield from bright sun

Jessica, sleepy dozing


  1. Seeing your dresser cleaned out like that is very inspiring. Mine are getting cramped again and it's so much nicer when there is room and it's nicely organized and clean. I think your cats are so content because they live in such a nice calm and clean home. They are adorable!

  2. Fiona, I just did a declutter today and then I happened onto your post. What a coincidence!

    I am content with my small wardrobe but I do want to replace my bedroom slippers - they are clunky Dearforms and ruin the look of my sleepwear. It's a challenge trying to find house slippers that are both practical and good looking.

    I am so envious of your tailoring skills. I really need to stop thinking about taking a sewing class and just do it!

  3. Hi Fiona,
    I enjoy reading about your decluttering and simplifying your life, it is very inspirational. I also do decluttering, I do it in little steps one shelf or drawer at a time. I still feel that I have too many clothes.
    Your cats are lovely :)

  4. "Having too many clothes is worse than having not enough clothes to me." How I agree with that!

    Yardley lavender is my "take-home" from this post. I must find me some.

  5. On my project list is to go through all of my clothes, yet again, and purge. :)

  6. Sorry I meant "Dearfoams" not "Dearforms!" at Anonymous @ 6:48 PM. :)

  7. I love your blog...I too am de-cluttering my home. Thank you for sharing your journey!!

    Tammy M.

  8. Isn't it so nice to purge out the clothes that don't fit/look bad on you and know that everything you own looks good on you and feels great to wear? It saves so much time when getting ready in the morning! I could use another declutter.

    And thanks so much for your comment on my blog. I was so excited!!

  9. Hi Fiona,
    I find your blog so inspiring and love it that we have many of the same ideas, feelings and thoughts on life and how we go about living it.
    A big 'thank you' from Blighty.
    Hannah xxx

  10. Your drawers now look so orderly and your clothes can breathe. I am addressing excess in my wardrobe and your post has been an inspiration.

  11. You made the right decision to pile your unused clothes and donate them, Fiona. If you have not donated them, they would be forever inside your closet. And because you chose to donate your clothes, not only did you save them from getting stuck in your closet, you saved other people's lives as well.

    Alison Perris


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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