Professional Tips to Spring Clean your Wardrobe

Emma George helps busy people create calm from their chaos with simple time-saving methods to declutter, plan and organise their home and life. She often shares her tips to her large following on instagram @homeorganisewithemma, introducing them to new (and beautiful) ways to reset their home and life. Here she offers the b.kinda community some advice as we approach the first official day of spring and the season for a big clean.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Emma, I live in Hertfordshire and I’m a wife, mother of four and a Professional Home Organiser. I work with clients to declutter their belongings plan their spaces and create organisational systems within their homes to restore balance and support their everyday living!

What do you enjoy about organising and decluttering for other people?

Without doubt it has to be the transformation, of course within their home but more so the transformation that I see my clients feel when the project is completed, I see them at the beginning when they feel stressed or are unsure how to make the best use of space & then I get to see the joy at the end, the relief & excitement they feel, it’s just the best feeling.

Is your own house as organised as you make others?

Haha, this is a question I get asked a lot and the answer is yes! My home is organised and there are clear systems in place, but that’s not to say that things don’t get messy or that I don’t have laundry piles to put away, my home is not perfect, its a busy household with 6 of us under one roof sometimes (when kids are all back home) but having a place for everything and creating structure means that its easy to reset, everyone knows where things are and more importantly when they can’t be bothered to look, I know where things are! 

Having an organised home isn’t about having a perfect home, it’s about making the day to day living easier, calmer and of course, less cluttered. It also means I am happier to tidy, clean and the home feels less stressful.

Why is decluttering and organising so good for mental health?

It helps to decrease stress and lessen the anxiety or overwhelm that we can feel when within our homes, I think clutter can have such an effect on our well being, it can become incredibly distracting. Our homes have become places where so much happens, so many spaces need to be used to accommodate so many different things. Having an organised and decluttered space can really inject some positive energy, confidence and a sense of calm – which is what we should feel in our homes, but also to be able to feel in control of them. Studies have also shown that it benefits our sleep too and this is often part of the feedback I receive from clients, to hear they are sleeping better is music to my ears!

Today we are looking at spring cleaning our wardrobes, why is this time of year so popular for cleaning and overhauling?

I think it’s the time where we really feel that energy! A sense of renewal and refresh, clearing out the old and bringing in the new –  much like the season itself, winter always feels like the time to recharge, pause and hibernate for a while. I often think that really, the new year feels like it begins in Spring, its probably why we don’t feel too much energy in January! I think we are more in tune with the seasons than we know! 

Why do people find this a tricky area to keep “compact”?

Many different reasons can make this area tricky, as a professional organiser, one of the first things I look at is the space and how we can make it work better for what is being stored there, but along with that you have to tackle the editing side! 

People generally keep way more clothes than they wear, love or need, which then makes it very difficult to keep it organised, or to see what you have. You have to look at your lifestyle, what are you go to daily outfits, if that’s causal wear, let’s make that a feature, if its gym wear, let’s focus on that. With clients you are looking at so many different factors that could be causing wardrobe overwhelm, but they key and most important thing is to take out what you no longer wear or love or items that do not make you feel good!

Is there any way that we can make this fun?

Yes! Get your favourite playlist on – anything that makes you feel good and increases your energy! It will help to release any tension and get you in the right mood!

Where do we start? What do we purge?

Pull out a category at a time, start with the very basics like t-shirts, take them all out so that you can see exactly what you have and how many – this is always surprising as we often don’t realise how many we have! Start purging anything that you haven’t worn in the last year, items that do not make you feel good, are too small, too big, or that you simply do not like anymore, when in doubt, ask yourself “would I buy this again?”

What are the common mistakes people make when starting this process?

Trying to do it all at once, try to see it as a project rather than something that must get done within a couple of hours. Decision making is exhausting and can begin to feel overwhelming so you are better off spreading it out over a week or so. Small steady wins will keep you motivated to keep going! It’s also helpful to plan before you start, where are you items going to? Doing little research before hand will ensure you know what to do with them once you’ve purged, otherwise they can have a tendency to get stuck in bags in the house or boot of the car! 

Is there a formula we should be working to when spring cleaning our wardrobe?

Edit your clothes first, when all of that is complete then look at organisation as once you know what you are working with you can then plan what will be best placed where.

Should we use this as an evaluation of our wardrobe and buying habits?

Absolutely! It’s something that I go over with my clients during this process and is often the time habits really are uncovered which is a good thing as it helps us to see what change is needed. 

For example, you may have bought something in four different colours but in actually fact only wear the one, you may be buying items that you already have but couldn’t find see them as the wardrobe was too busy! You may also be able to identify what brands don’t work for you, or if you have any gap items you need to purchase that will enable you to put more outfits together, this could be something simple just as a black vest! It’s not always about purging its often about identifying what’s missing to tie outfits together.

How do we let go of that “I might fit into it one day” mentality?

I’m a huge believer in dressing for the person you are now, allowing items like this to stay in the wardrobe add a certain amount of pressure and don’t always make you feel good, I want you to open the wardrobe and feel happiness and joy with what awaits you! However, when I am working with new Mums, or with people who have goal in mind I suggest taking these items out of the wardrobe and storing them somewhere else with a plan to revisit in x amount of time to make a decision.

What do we donate and what do we throw away?

Anything that is in good condition can be donated, ask yourself if you would be happy to purchase it in a charity shop? Most recycling centres have a textile recycling section for anything that isn’t going to be donated. 

Now we are done, should we set some ground rules for the future?

Yes! Let’s think about new purchases, ask yourself what you already have in your wardrobe – shop there first! Do you have items that will go with this purchase? How much wear will you get out of it and do you have the space for it? 

Keep a basket or bag at the bottom of your wardrobe for decluttering on the go, much easier to make a decision if you have system set up, otherwise it will just stay there and waste space!

Maintain your space – spending just a few extra minutes a day to keep things tidy will help you to stay on top of it!

If people would like help with their own home, organising & decluttering, how can they contact you?

You can send me an email here 

Visit my Instagram here 

Or visit my website