Eight ways to detox your wardrobe

By Naomi Biltcliffe | 13/01/2015 | Posted in Household Cleaning

January is a time for new beginnings, resolutions and a desire to get straight again after all the chaos and excess of Christmas. Now is the time to take a look at what you’re doing, where you’re going and assess whether your wardrobe is up to the task. 


Elika Gibbs, stylist and founder of wardrobe organization site Practical Princess, has detoxed the wardrobes of everyone from Kate Moss to Lily Allen. ‘It’s important to do things in small, bitesized chunks so it’s less overwhelming,’ says Elika. ‘Make a plan and do a couple of hours over a few weekends. Here are my top tips to make your wardrobe work for you.’

1. Clean inside your wardrobe. Take all of your clothes out and use a clothes friendly detergent to get rid of dust, dirt and any fusty smells. Don’t forget the rail that your clothes hang from.

2. Hang your clothes in sections – skirts, dresses, trousers, blouses, jackets, coats etc. 

3. For each item ask the following questions: Do you wear it? Why not? Is it dated? Does it fit? Does it need altering? Does it need dry cleaning? Be brutal. If it’s in your wardrobe it has to work. 

4. Using these questions, sort your clothes into six piles: spring/ summer clothes; autumn/ winter clothes; all year round items; alterations and dry cleaning; archive (things you want to keep for sentimental reasons or for your children); charity and resale (consider sites like eBay as well as car boot sales and charity shops).

5. Give yourself space. You don’t need flimsy summer dresses and beach sandals in winter, or snow boots and thermals in summer. Pack away seasonal clothes including holiday items (skiwear, beachwear etc). 

6. Store things cleverly. Put clothes away clean and carefully folded with moth deterrents and acid free tissue paper as needed. Create handbag fillers from newspaper stuffed plastic bags to help them keep shape. Hang necklaces off door hooks. This will save you time and money. Check stored items regularly for moths and damp. 

7. You wouldn’t eat a wonderful meal off a paper plate. Hang your clothes on proper hangers to help keep their shape. 

8. From a glance, you should now be able to see what you’re missing and what you have more than enough of – black trousers, stripy tops, anyone? The money you earned from reselling your unwanted items can help fund your next shopping trip!

You can find more advice from Elika in her book Practical Princess Perfect Wardrobe by Elika Gibbs; practicalprincess.com 

Do you have any tips to share? 

Images taken from Practical princess Perfect Wardrode by Elika Gibbs, with photography by Polly Wreford, is published by Ryland Peters & Small 

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