Get rid of these items to declutter your house

Monday March 30 2020

A woman sorting clothes in her wardrobe. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK


By now I know you are getting bored. You can’t meet up for drinks and a good let-it-all-out fest. You have all those nice clothes and shoes, but can’t wear them anywhere. And in week two of working from home, you have started to question your life choices.

You know as a middle-classer, you are considered to be scam by the thinkers, and you have heard more than enough threats between flash floods, plague and locusts.

You’re asking yourself if it could possibly get worse. I have no clue. What I do know is, in times of chaos, we try as much as we can to exert control over our lives. And the most accessible, manageable part of that is our image, rather more specifically, our wardrobes.


That we can manage. That we can handle. That we can squish into Big Black disposable polythene bags and sufficiently forget about them. Even go as far as thinking of who to give these clothes.

What you need to do is NOT get all gung-ho and set aside an entire day to do this work. Chunk it in bits and pieces so that it does not drive you mad.

Start with those small, itsy-bitsy things you rarely ever put much thought in such as the table, shelf or drawers around the bedside. Clean out that gunk. Flip it all onto the floor and go through it with the patience of a mother of eight boys.

Look for the treasure and the trash. Here, you will find things like forgotten chewing gum, odd socks you meant to find and old ones that you promised to darn, Underneath that pile, you will probably find books you haven’t read since you got to Chapter One six months ago. Clear out that small corner. It will encourage you to dive into your underwear drawer.

This is a particularly fraught one. There are bras you had long stopped wearing, and a bizarre mix of the old, the new and the inexplicable. You want it to make sense. For this, lock your doors by yourself in the bedroom and try on all of them.


If they leave you with muffin tops, butt cleavage or thigh boobage (it divides each butt check into two separate parts instead of lovingly glossing over and around them), set them, and your body, free.

Here, you are going to have to exert clinical precision. With underwear, there is no room for error. If you cannot fit into the bras because of weight changes, stop holding on to them and hoping your weight will change in either direction. It sounds expensive, and that is the unfortunate cost of buying the wrong underwear, but you are working with what you have and are right now. Not six months down the line.

From here on out, you have the emotional gumption to separate the goodies from the why-did-I-evers. You can now tackle the big wardrobe on day three.

The areas surrounding your bed are not in order, so you can afford to start by pulling every single item from your closet and laying it on the bed.

The reason this comes after underwear-sieving now becomes clear. You will spend an entire day sifting through this pile, trying on outfits, and laughing and crying.

You might want to get the help of a glass or a smoothie. Your underwear will be used to construct the foundation of this outfit. Does this colour and that strap go with this shirt?

Is a T-shirt bra the closest thing to a push-up bra that I own? In this pairing, you will realise the missing elements in your underwear collection. You will see what works for you and what you must never ever wear again. You will need a full-length mirror to go through this.


Aside from how your wardrobe looks is how it feels when you wear your clothes. A lot of that has to do with the outfit yes, but it also has to do with your undies, and the rest is all about the shoes.

Didn’t I mention it? You are trying on your wardrobe with shoes. Now is the time you take note, literally, of what you need buy next year. Now you are ready for the toughest part.

You have let go of the stuff you can no longer wear. On day four, sift again. This time, you are looking for wardrobe basics. What do you have in black?

What can you wear with anything and still look great? That usually constitutes a blazer, a pencil skirt or a pair of pants usually in neutral colours. Look at the kind of dresses you lean towards.

That will tell you how you see your body and body type. Once you have all these pieces sorted, turn to your accessories. That will be picked up next week.