Wardrobe Crisis… and Storage Solution

Fact:  I have too many clothes.  These are dotted all over the house as storage is tricky for the amount I have.

Fact:  I have too many shoes.  I could well give Imelda Marcos a run for her money.

Fact:  It felt so crowded in the bedroom with clothes, shoes etc that it was a pain to keep it organised.

Fact: A lot of my clothes are quite old, but very well made so I am loathe to chuck them as they do come in useful randomly from time to time.  Need a fab fitted Armani suit for a meeting; got one.  Feeling like chanelling Chanel at the races in a pink tweed suit; done.  Wedding on the horizon;  Dozens of outfits to chose from….  Dinner dance; loads to choose from.  But these were stored all over the place so I had to hunt for them.

Fact: I otherwise wear pretty much the same uniform of clothes most days.  I have trusty Uniglo trousers in one cut (but with lots of pairs in black or grey), a lot of Cos black dresses and huge swaddling roll-necked jumpers.  Add my Converse hi-tops or biker boots, and I am ready to go.

Fiction:  I really need all of these clothes.

So this week I decided to finally gather all items together from all over the house to see how much I actually could lose/keep/use more.  Pretty much most rooms had a cupboard or two groaning with clothes/shoes/out of season stored items.  When all together, and reader I am a bit ashamed when I admit this, they filled a whole room.  30 years worth of clothes and shoes stared back at me.

BE RUTHLESS

These can GO…

  • Out of shape t-shirts.
  • Things too small for you that have not fitted for years, and no you will never fit into them again, admit it…
  • Lingerie in the wrong, pre-child, size
  • Funky patterned tights, pass onto a teenager or you will look like a mad cat lady
  • Bootcut jeans and trousers; why did we ever think they were flattering?
  • Low rise combat trousers; muffin top alert and you are not, nor ever were, in the band All Saints.
  • Bobbly jumpers, I tried to shave one, it took hours, I ruined my husbands razor and the bobbles returned immediately.  Life is too short, bin them.
  • Shrunk knitwear; much as you plan to soak it and re-shape, again life is too short.
  • Body-con mini-dresses; my knees seem to have dropped a bit, plus my bum, with age.  Therefore the risk is droopy knee at front, and flashing the bum at the rear.  Not worth it.  Shorter skirts can be OK with opaque tights, but ditch the dresses that looked great in your 20’s, gravity gets us all in the end.
  • Old shoes that you loved as they felt like walking on air, but actually are trashed and make you look like a hobo.
  • Formal hats; in the 80’s and 90’s they were OK, but now they actually make you look like your granny and very dated.  Lose them, and if necessary replace with a stonking feather headpiece instead.
  • Designer sale items.  You know the ones… you see them reduced and can’t resist, but you actually maybe wore them once, they look bad on and you cannot bear to get rid of them as it just reminds you of your own folly.  Once they are gone, you will forget them quickly.  I have been haunted by an unwearable John Galliano skirt for years, time for the bin.
  • Leggings.  Unless you disguise them as thick tights under a dress and with boots, they are not flattering and give you hideous camel toe.  Plus most people don’t seem to compute that you can see their pants through them from behind… ewww…
  • Ruffles and frills on day wear.  Boho is over.

ACTIONS:

8 bin bags later, I had purged.  My teenage daughters nabbed some ‘cool vintage stuff’ from the pile to go out, (they think 1995 is vintage… hello?), and the rest was immediately taken to the charity shop so I did not retract any items.

I then decided, a bit foolishly by doing it on the same day, that I needed a dedicated area where everything was  kept so I could see what I had and get more use out of some clothes.  We have 2 guest rooms which are barely used at the same time, so I decided to steal one to use as a walk in dressing room.  This ended up being a nightmare of a day as my current bedroom has the largest wardrobes, but not enough to get everything into, so the following goes something like this…

  1. Move master bedroom into spare room 1.  This involved taking the kingsize bed apart and dragging out the dressing table, chairs etc.
  2. Spare room 1 then had its existing double bed taken apart, and the freestanding wardrobes in there were moved into the master bedroom. Under the bed were found more boxes of out of season clothes like skiing/snow/holiday clothes so a bit of a delay while they were sorted out.  Dustballs like small puppies were also found under the beds, spare coins and intriguingly a 1970’s TV I have never seen before (?).
  3.  Put up kingsize bed from the master in Spare room 1, so this now becomes the new Master bedroom.  No clothes at all to be in this room.
  4. I now have a spare double bed floating, which my daughter wants.  So her single bed is then dismantled in her bedroom, and the double bed put in its place.  I now have a spare single bed floating.  The stuff found under her bed when we took it down was foul; mouldy plates, food wrappers, general rubbish etc, so another delay while we cleaned.
  5. This single bed is then moved into spare bed 2, which has up until now a daybed that folds out into a double if needed.  This is taken apart and put in the original Master Bed to use as a sofa in what is now a dressing room, and a spare bed if ever needed.  The single bed from the daughters room now goes into spare bed 2.
  6. CONFUSED?  So was I… plus I had to clean as I went as I found loads of dust under beds and behind the furniture.

It ended up taking all day and night, with a lot of struggling with heavy mattresses and the cats getting over-excited and in the way… and I managed to drop bits of heavy beds all over myself so am a bit bruised.  But I finally have a room JUST for mine and my husbands clothes (well his are about 5% actually if we are going to be honest).  The daybed is also useful for guest overflow when needed.

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I added a low chest of drawers in the middle of the room, (stolen from the sitting room, a tale coming later on about that), which has lots of little drawers all the way around for scarves, accessories etc.  Heaven.

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Our new master bedroom is now calm, uncluttered, and no doubt I will just have to redecorate it as it was aimed at being suitable for my mother when she came to stay when it was a guest room. So a wee bit floral for my tastes… any excuse for a makeover!  It faces south so has great light, so I am feeling it can take something strong.  Watch this space… the dark paint may appear again….

In my new dressing room I can finally see everything I have, use clothes that were previously stashed away, and also now not wake the sleeping husband by crashing about in the mornings as I did before.  I think it will be my new place to hide from the teenagers too.

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