You've decluttered and organised your wardrobe, it's looking fabulous, and you want to ensure that you keep it that way. After all, you don't want your wardrobe to get out of control again.
I'm going to share with you a new technique that I have implemented, that you can use to help maintain an organised wardrobe.
Here it is.
Declutter and organise your wardrobe while you pack for a trip.
But here's the catch.
My wardrobe was not overflowing with clothes, and I had previously decluttered and organised it.
This was a maintenance task. If your closet is busting at the seams and you need to do a major declutter, I wouldn't recommend doing so before a trip - you will need more time. But if you need some wardrobe maintenance then read on.
Last month, I needed to pack for a trip to the USA as I was attending the Institute of Challenging (ICD) conference in Orlando and also travelling to the Big Apple (my favourite city). When I started to think about packing, I got the idea to declutter my wardrobe as I packed.
You might be wondering?
Why would I declutter my wardrobe while packing for a trip? Didn't I have enough on my plate? Yes, I did have a pre-holiday to-do list to get through but decluttering clothes before the trip made a lot of sense as I needed to go through my clothes to pack. So why not add a pinch of decluttering as well.
Ultimately, when I was packing and decluttering, I was going to need to make three decisions regarding my clothes: pack it, keep it or get rid of it.
1. Pack It - Packing: How to Get It Right
In a nutshell, packing involves taking a percentage of your clothes and placing them in a suitcase. However, you do need to choose the right clothes. If you don't know where to start or not sure what to pack, below is what I considered when packing.
1a. Where Am I Going?
The clothes that I packed was ultimately determined by the destination.
I was going to Orlando and New York City. Two big cities in the US. The clothes I needed would be the same clothes I would wear here in Melbourne, so no need to buy anything new. It would have been a different story if I was going to Mount Everest.
But wait there's more.
While it's important to understand where you are going, it's also essential to know how easy it is to get something if you forget to pack. I was visiting two major cities in the US, so in the event, I needed something I knew I could quickly get it. Which meant that I didn't need to stress too much if I forgot something. As it turns out, I did need a polo shirt while in Orlando, and I was able to quickly get one from the outlet store opposite my hotel, at a reasonable price!
If I were going to Mount Everest I would probably need to check, double-check and triple-check I had everything I needed as I don't think there would be many shops on the mountain.
1b. What I'm Doing?
I also needed to think about what I would be doing while away.
In the US, I would be attending a conference in Orlando and doing some personal travel in NYC. When in NYC, I would be spending time wandering the city, reading a book in a cafe and visiting some galleries. It would be very similar to the things I do in Melbourne. Through understanding the types of activities, I would be doing helped me to pack the right clothes.
1c. What's the Weather Like?
Before packing, I needed to understand what was happening with the weather.
I needed to know...
the season (winter, spring, summer or fall (sorry autumn)).
if the seasons will be changing while I was away.
if the days were warm and the nights cool.
I was travelling to the US while it was making that transition from summer to autumn. The weather was still mild, with nights starting to be a little cooler, but there were no signs of extreme cold while I was away. This meant that I could get away with shorts and pants as well as short and long sleeve shirts/ tops. I didn't need to pack bulky jumpers and coats.
4. How Long Was I Going For?
I needed to understand how long I was going away for.
Was I going away...
for a few days?
for a few weeks?
for a month?
for several months?
The longer the trip, the more I would need.
There was something else I needed to consider, my willingness and ability to wash clothes while I was away.
I have to confess.
I rarely wash clothes while I travel. I'm going on a trip, and the last thing I want to do is wait around for a washing cycle to finish. I was only travelling for about 10 days which meant I packed enough clothes to last those days without washing (yes I took 10 pairs of underwear) And yes I may have worn things more than once. Had I been travelling for longer than 10 days, I would have needed to bite the bullet and wash clothes.
So these are the core things I considered when packing.
Keep It or Get Rid of It - the Declutter Process
If I didn't pack it, the next question was, did I still want it? Did I still want to see the clothes I didn't pack when I got back from my trip?
My core criteria for making this decision were.
Was it faded?
Was it torn/ damaged?
Did I still feel good in it?
These questions helped me to decide if it was time to move the items on. After I did this process, I ended up donating one garbage bag of clothes. To be fair, half the bag was taken up with a bulky winter coat. Items I kept and didn't pack stayed in the wardrobe using my existing organising methods.
Decluttering my wardrobe while packing for my trip was a great way to do some wardrobe maintenance. And it felt good knowing I was coming back to an organised closet. So next time you are packing for your next adventure, scan your clothes and see if there are any items that you can say goodbye to.
Let me know if you try this method? Or what other ways you use to keep your wardrobe organised.