We all have those rogue items that remain in our wardrobe because they aren’t easily spotted, yet are taking up space and clutter up your style. Today I am sharing my top 5 decluttering tips

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I thought returning from a four week holiday would have me feeling somber and a little distracted, but, I am surprisingly feeling fresh and feeling inspired. At the moment I am typing this from my parents cottage in the Blue Mountains, Australia, so I still feel somewhat on holidays even though my inbox is overflowing and I have a bunch of work to now catch up on.

It’s a stinking hot day today, which directly contrasts the New York weather I was experiencing a little over a week ago – so I am living in the clothes I packed for LA.

I fully embraced our nomadic lifestyle and somehow managed to only live out of a suitcase in that time. In a way it was an unofficial challenge to myself – I had to live with less because I didn’t have any other option. What I learned from this is A) Only having a handful of my possessions allowed me to focus on those items I valued most. I now realise I can live with minimal items. That said, it brings be to point B) I am so ready to burn all my clothes I took with me. I am all for recycling outfits, but I have repeated them to the point I absolutely despise them.

Before we left for the states we boxed up our house and put everything in storage. I have really learned that material possessions do not equate to my happiness. Only having a handful of outfits didn’t affect my time while overseas, if anything it simplified my days because my choices were limited it made it quicker and easier. Everything I packed worked together, so I did have endless options…until I needed to do washing. I lost count at how many times I washed my underwear in the shower on that trip!! #TMI ?

I haven’t always been the cleanest of people. In fact when I was younger I am fairly certain I was heading in the direction of becoming a fully fledged hoarder. I collected everything from stickers to movie tickets. I kept all the boxes my shoes and appliances came in. I now think of these things as unnecessary clutter – they don’t serve any real purpose and they just fill space. Of course I hold on to certain items that are special or will serve a nostalgic purpose years down the track, but I am a lot more selective. I am now a big believer in: a less cluttered home results in a less cluttered mind. I notice if my house is becoming cluttered it really affects my mental state, so I try and keep it as clean as I can. Working from home can really affect this at times!

We all have our areas of clutter, whether that be too many clothes, too many appliances. Today I am sharing the things I am implementing now that I am moving back into a house. My category is definitely clothing and now that I know we will have less space than we did before we left so I am trying to declutter and downsize.

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Where the hell do I begin?

Cue imminent hyperventilation? I now have it down pat – so don’t even fret.

The thought of my storage unit is making me feel incredibly anxious (knees weak, palms are sweaty). 90% of what is being stored in there, I haven’t even used in three months. In that time the season have changed not once, but nearly twice!! Winter has finished and now, spring is also coming to an end so I have a lllllloooot of unworn clothing to get rid of. We all have those rogue items that remain in our wardrobe because they aren’t easily spotted, yet are taking up space and clutter up your style. I really want to try and sort through items as soon as the removalist brings them into my house, otherwise I won’t get rid of them.

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1. Love it or lose it

Here’s my method I will be using next week and some thing to ask yourself while you’re reading this:

  1. Does this fit? (Probably not because: burgers)
  2. Have I worn this in the last 6 months? (It’s a different season now)
  3. Is it likely I will ever wear this again? (Some things: OH HELL NO)
  4. Is this currently in style, and/or does this still accurately represent my style?
  5. If this is damaged in any way (e.g.rips, stains, missing buttons, broken zippers, fading, etc.), will I actually make the effort to get this repaired in the near future? (One day coffee stains will be on trend)
  6. If I was shopping right now, would I buy this? (C’mon be honest)

Figure out what you LOVE and then lose the rest.

2. But, then what?

Okay I have made these decisions, now what?

After I have finished that looooong internal monologue with myself, I’ll then take every single item out into one pile and then go on to separate into piles 1) keep 2) toss 3) donate and 4) sell.

Remember: Maybe doesn’t mean yes. If something is a maybe, that it’s time to say goodbye

Things you can sell:
Duplicates
Items you haven’t worn for six months
Items that aren’t your style
Items that just don’t fit you

Things you can donate:
Items you tend to only wear around the house
Duplicates you don’t want to sell
Items you loved when you bought them, but want to replace

When paring down your wardrobe, sometimes fear creeps in. To prevent this I suggest throwing all the donating pile into plastic bags and straight into your car so you can’t go back through it. Don’t be that person! Then, begin to take photos of the items you want to sell, so you hold yourself accountable!

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3. Sell your items

This is the fun part!

I think the hardest thing about getting rid of clothing is feeling like you won’t recoup the cost. AMIRITE? I totally get it. I feel the exact same way. I find selling my items makes it easier to part with them. I don’t feel as guilty.

I have done a couple of markets in the past but feel like they always take so long to prepare for / take a lot of work and usually don’t result in recouping the money of the items I’ve bought – especially designer items.

Prior to leaving for the USA I was using SHEDD to sell some bits and pieces and I can not wait to list some new items, so keep your eyes peeled from about Sunday this week (4th Dec). You can find me by downloading the app here. The reason I like using SHEDD over Ebay or similar is usability. You can easily sell preloved clothes, shoes and accessories, just by snapping *one* picture. There’s no fiddling with multiple photos or html code. The other thing I love is, you still get to be personable and chat to people like the markets, only it’s more efficient. If you need additional images, you can upload them in the chat section.

4. Ask yourself “do I really need to buy this sh*t?”

Like, really ask yourself.

We purchase many items on a whim, with little consideration of need or desire. When you have your huge pile of clothes you are donating or selling it puts into perspective how wasteful it is to buy items you don’t necessarily like or need. A thorough decluttering session teaches you to be more mindful of a purchase.

My favourite part of decluttering. NB: It’s not actually cleaning at all

After making those darn piles, I like to then compile a list of wardrobe upgrades so I know which pieces to focus on replacing first. This helps to heal any wounds and dry the tears. It’s basically like a huge reward to yourself for finally adulting. My theory is you

I am on the hunt for some Summer items at the moment and I am keeping an eye on SHEDD for some cute pieces. I love being able to find vintage and designer in the one place.

I was actually really good in the USA. I only bought things I really, really liked and could see myself wearing for a few seasons. I namely bought vintage because the markets and vintage stores in NYC are so good!

If you need help with resetting your style, don’t forget to check out my blog post on organising and resetting your style.

5. Constantly edit your things

It is almost inevitable that we accumulate more stuff – we’re all human. Throughout the year, try to evaluate areas as you use them; ask yourself if you need the items you see. You can always sell items that are valuable, but you don’t need anymore.

Still finding it hard to downsize / declutter? Remember: items you’re ready to throw away, can be treasure to someone. It’s coming up to Christmas, so now is the perfect timing!

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*advertorial piece. All opinions are my own. Here at Substance, we only work with brands we genuinely use, love and share the same ethics with.

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Author: Ally Hayward

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayHayward

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