When space is tight and life is busy, creating a well-organised and tidy wardrobe is the one essential makeover that keeps the home humming and its inhabitants sane. By Carly Flynn.
It’s no secret I like to renovate. To increase space, update rooms, improve functionality or simply add a bit of colour to an otherwise grey or off-white palette. It’s true I go to sleep at night dreaming of wallpaper and wake up thinking about a better storage solution for my cluttered garage. My husband will roll his eyes if you ask him how many times I’ve made him lift heavy furniture upstairs only to beg him to bring it down again in a few months’ time. And then repeat!
I’ve always liked the Benjamin Franklin saying, “A Place for everything and everything in its place”, but around my place with a 3 and 1.5 year old on the loose, it’s more like a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. And there’s no place more cluttered than my own wardrobe.
It’s packed with classics I wear weekly, and shoes that make my eyes water just looking at the height of the heel. Full of the baby proof clothes that I can (and can’t) go out in, and the television approved jackets that my post baby body will never fit again no matter how many soup or juice diets I try. So, some days, a simple clean out of the ole wardrobe is about all the renovation I need or have time for.
I used to have two closets – one in our bedroom for the everyday items, and one in the spare room for the vast amount of ‘on air ‘ and cocktail clothes I’d amassed over the years. Now with an expanding family and no more spare bedrooms, it’s all crammed into one, save a couple of large plastic boxes stuffed to the brim and squashed under the bed. My silks, my satins and my designer wares all buried away until such time I can a) fit them again b) guarantee they’re safe from sticky toddler hands and c) fit them back in the wardrobe where they belong. I go through this culling and tidying process a couple of times a year. Pieces that for the previous season I’d thrashed and simply couldn’t ever imagine parting with, now find themselves in the ‘to go’ pile. (Which inevitably I regret a season or two later.)
A clever friend of mine has started a clothes swap auction night she runs annually, where we all get to flog our gear and come home with something ‘new’, all for the price of a carefully played poker chip. It really is the ultimate way to shop. You don’t have to part with a dime and there are 20 other women in the room to tell you if the particular item suits you!
I usually start the culling and tidying process when the kiddies are out, carefully thinking about each item, trying to recall the last time I wore it, deciding whether it’s a classic and a keeper, or a fad and soon to be forgotten trend. I rehang everything on skinny wooden hangers to save even more space, and take another quick look at the cast offs before they get stashed into a bag for a chance at another life, in another wardrobe. When I line everything back in the wardrobe, neatly hung and in some form of order, I make myself a promise. The first five items I’ve placed on each rack, I must wear within the month, or they too, will end up in the heap.
Over the years I’ve learnt the merits of a good wardrobe system. These days you can get a hook for your belts and ties, a drawer divider for your bras, or a rectangular piece of plastic to help you fold everything just like in the shops. Some of the best money I’ve spent has been on the sliding trouser rack and sliding shoe rack – both accessories we’ve added in from Boston Wardrobes. They’ve proven essential for space saving and keeping things in order. It might not be a new kitchen or bathroom, but a well-organised and tidy wardrobe gives me an immense amount of satisfaction. It’s inspiring too, for a month or so at least.
This column by Carly Flynn featured on page 22 of Issue 009 of Renovate magazine . Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.
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