The Curated Wardrobe Challenge - Week 1
Updated: Oct 31, 2020
Hello lovely ladies,
It's time! Let's do this! If you missed the intro post, you can read it here.
Below is my method for Week 1, please feel free to apply as much or as little as you wish. If you have a different method, great, use it, the important thing is to make progress and join the community on this journey. I have (of course) created a work sheet that you can use, for those who need the extra structure - see below. I will attach the pdf. file in the FB group.
1) Define your goal: what is it that you want to achieve with this challenge. Please try not to overthink this.
Mine is to:
Bring out the autumn/winter collection, make it easy to see, access and maintain over the next 6 months or so.
Reduce the overall amount of stuff around the house that falls into the category of clothes, footwear and accessories. Aim to discard around a third of what we have today and be left with a collection of things we love to wear, is comfortable and versatile.
Yours could well be to just go through what you have and tidy up the space, donate a few items, create room for something new. You don't need to be on a journey to minimalism or want a capsule wardrobe to successfully complete this challenge. I have decided to say NO to stuff that clutters my space and my mind, hence the perhaps "brutal" goal. Remember, whatever works for you, just make sure that you are clear on what you want before you begin. Write your goals down if you need to.
2) Identify your focus area. Are you doing your own wardrobe only for now, or tackling the kids' and partner's collections too?
I will be doing it for the whole family as my husband and boys don't have overly complicated wardrobes, and I de-clutter regularly. However, if you are, for example, a mum of three girls and have a messy husband, you might feel it's too much to do it all at once. Take it easy, focus perhaps only on yours for now and once you learn how to do it, you can easily replicate it with other family members.
3) Review (audit) your space. Think about all the areas in your house or flat where clothes, footwear or accessories live. Go and see all those spaces, take notes and photos. Once you mapped it all out, really think about it. Are you happy with how everything is or are there changes to be made? It will come handy when we actually go through our wardrobe category by category in weeks 2-4.
We are very lucky to have a whole room transformed into a wardrobe (thanks to the previous tenants of the house we currently live in), and even though we store all of our clothes in there (including bed linen and towels) there are still over 5 additional wardrobes or chests of drawers around the house where we keep shoes, coats and accessories. I will take you on a little tour at some point in the next week to show you. I want stuff gone from these wardrobes. Not all gone, not from all wardrobes, but my point here is that whatever we have in there, I want less of.
4) Put away your summer collection, without de-cluttering. This may sound counter-intuitive but hear me out. It is important because we don't want to feel too overwhelmed right now. Let's focus on one thing at a time, we will tackle summer clothes in March next year ;) By then, we will be pros and it will be so much easier. You won't know now if you will want to wear that dress next summer... ;) Just put everything all in bags (e.g. vacuum ones to save space), or those great IKEA fabric boxes, and put it away. Do this with your summer footwear, any bags, scarves, accessories that are purely for summer or holiday.
A few points to consider:
If you keep your clothes all together in your wardrobe all year round and like to keep everything together (or don't have space to store it elsewhere), that's fine. Just do the whole lot. In this case I would ask you to still challenge yourself to at least create a little space in that wardrobe and separate those summer dresses or items you perhaps only wear when on holiday. You will feel so much better when you get them out next year.
If you are doing your kids wardrobes too, think if your child will have grown out of the particular item by next summer, then you can eliminate it right away or put in a separate box for the older sibling, a friend's child, etc. I have bags by age and any time an item is outgrown it goes in there.
How to go about this exercise:
Prepare boxes or bags and go through the house looking for those summer items you will not be needing. Clothes, footwear, accessories. You may choose to do it this weekend all at once, or over the next week. Either way, keep the boxes easily accessible all week and add whatever you may find (because let's be honest, you will keep finding stuff)
Don't forget to go through all those spaces you listed in the previous exercise, leave nothing behind.
Keep the boxes around, depending on the amount of stuff you have and how messy it is, you may be still finding summer stuff in the later stages. You will just put them all away nicely when you know we are done.
If you have previously put away your autumn/winter collection, now would be the time to bring those boxes out :) We will be dealing with them from week 2 onwards.
5) Do not buy any clothes, shoes, accessories (or storage solutions) in September!
I know, this sounds harsh, but please try it. At the end of the four weeks, you will either:
a) have a clear idea of items that need replacing and will know exactly what to buy or
b) realise you have so much that you actually don't need to buy anything (really, it could
The only exception would be if your child has suddenly gone through a growth spurt or ripped all their tracksuits on the playground in just 2 weeks (life of a mum of boys...).
Finally, please don't go on a storage box and hanger shopping spree to IKEA either. We will be using whatever boxes and hangers you already have and then at the very end, once you know what you are left with and how you want to store it, you can go and invest in a beautiful Instagram-worthy collection of storage solutions, if you choose to.
Optional task: If you suddenly realise that you don't even know what your style really is (I am still questioning mine) spend the week thinking about that and maybe make a few boards on Pinterest or save a few looks on Instagram. Think about your favourite colours for the season. Just please be realistic and in line with your current lifestyle. Don't pin styles that you would wear if you lost 20kg, or if you suddenly became the CEO of your company. This process will help you later in the challenge when we start going through everything you have.
A few ladies have already messaged me to say they are in (yay). If you are on Facebook, please join my group The Life Curator and ask any questions throughout the week or just keep us all posted on your progress :) photos are always welcome.
I will close this post with a quote by one of my favourite authors of organised living, Francine Jay: "Your home is living space, not storage space. It should reflect what you do, rather than what you own".