In case you haven’t heard, Marie Kondo is taking the world by storm.  Her unique KonMari approach to decluttering your life is built on one question, “Does this spark joy?”  At first, it may seem like a ridiculous proposition but, in fact, it relates to a problem that so many men and women feel they have when they open their wardrobe each morning, “I have so many clothes, yet nothing to wear.” What this problem essentially boils down to is having too many clothes that don’t suit you well, for whatever reason; perhaps the sleeves are an awkward length, maybe you bought it when you were a size or two larger than you are now, or it’s made from a fabric that itches your skin.  Whatever the reason, there is something about that piece that does not “spark joy”.  The KonMari method is, in many cases, life changing.  It declutters and simplifies your life, making getting dressed each morning a joyful opportunity.  And so, inspired by Marie Kondo herself, here are some ways you can declutter your wardrobe (and your life) this 2019.

 

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Own Less,  Buy Better

At Milk Shirts, we believe in owning less and buying better; investing in well-made pieces tailored to fit your body perfectly.  Shopping in this way typically does mean that you end up with items that you find joy in wearing, as they fit comfortably on your body and are made from fabrics that you personally picked out.  Although there can be a time and a place to buy off the rack, we believe in buying custom as much as possible and altering anything that you do purchase from a store.  It may sound drastic, but we’d suggest donating anything in your wardrobe which has not been custom made for you or altered.  You can keep things that you feel you’d wear if you had it altered, but you must complete the alteration within a month, or else it goes in the donation pile.

 

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Make Some Room

An overstuffed wardrobe is not a friendly space.  Is going through your wardrobe every morning to find the right shirt for your look like a mini workout, involving shoving hangers and hangers of clothing from side to side just to get to what you need?  Or moving piles of trousers and knitwear from one end of your wardrobe to the other, just to find the pants you were thinking of?  This is not the way to get dressed happily each morning.  Make room.  If you only have enough space in your flat for one small wardrobe, declutter your belongings so that everything fits in one wardrobe.  Don’t stuff three wardrobes worth of clothing into one.  You should be able to see all the clothes that you own as soon as you open up your wardrobe doors, without having to move things around or shove things to one side.  That way, you have a clear idea of what’s available to you each time you get dressed in the morning.

 

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A Place for Everything

Clutter is a huge problem for so many people and a common cause of anxiety in the home.  Think about every time you go to open your wardrobe and find everything in a mess; you can’t find the shirt you wanted to wear with that suit today, your socks are all singles and not in pairs, your pocket squares are strewn all over the floor of your closet.  It’s not a tranquil, organised, joyful place for you to come to each morning to get dressed.  Designate a place for everything.  All of your shirts should go together, all of your suits should hang side by side, all of your trousers should be folded next to each other, all of your pocket squares rolled up and placed in the same drawer.  The part that people find difficult in keeping everything organised is when they come home after a long day and don’t want to “deal” with organisation.  It literally will take two minutes for you to put everything away properly.  Two minutes a day to make your daily dressing routine much more enjoyable; we think it’s worth it.

 

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Keep it Clean

Another thing that people find stressful is finding themselves wanting to wear a specific piece that turns out to be dirty; yet it’s still hanging nicely in their wardrobe for some baffling reason.  If it’s dirty, clean it.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not next time you want to wear it.  Maintaining a good cleaning schedule and ironing routine guarantees that you’ll never face the stressful situation of not having a white shirt to wear wear with your checkered blue suit, which you know looks much better paired with white than with blue.  It also means your wardrobe is kept smelling fresh and clean, instead of musty or of old body odour.  Yuck.  If you don’t have time to do your own laundry, invest in a weekly cleaning service that can do it all for you.

 

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“Spark Joy”

Finally, we’re taking a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and encouraging you to reflect on your life every month or so and ask yourself, “Does getting dressed each morning spark joy in me?”  If the answer is no, review your cleanliness and organisational situation.  Or change something up.  Maybe you find that you prefer hanging your trousers on clip hangers instead of folding them; maybe you prefer folding your pocket squares instead of rolling them.  There is no “right” or “wrong” way to keep the items your wardrobe, so long as it is clutter free, organised and clean.  Self-reflection and analysis is crucial to an ongoing joyful experience in getting dressed each day.