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Time to Refresh
& Declutter

I know there's a lot of talk and lots of voices discussing intentions, resolutions and goals for the New Year right now and my stance is still very much 'you do you'. I believe in doing whatever feels right for your mental health, your physical health and everything in-between. You can read the full version of my thoughts here if you'd like to explore my own simple goals for 2021.

A New Year always brings me a boost of motivation though, even if my goals for each year are unique to how I feel, what I want and what hopes I have for the future. One things that never seems to change though, is my need to have a declutter at the start of a year.

It may not be spring but I'm most definitely spring cleaning Frowhome like my life depends on it!

I've always been the person who identifies with the 'tidy home tidy mind' mentality so when the New Year hits and my motivation is at its highest, the need to take the tree down, organise everything I own and clear out what I don't need/use enoough is a must. 

Much to Alex's dismay, here's what I've been focusing on the first couple of weeks of January and how to really simplify a closet declutter. 

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New year new me may not be in my lexicon when it comes to the way I personally tackle Januarys but every start to a new year always encourages me to declutter. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd achieve my own walk in closet, let alone have a closet filled with pieces that I adore. Items that I've purchased and treated myself to, items gifted from brands I've been grateful to build relationships with and items that I've lusted after for years and had the opportunity to snap up at opportune moments. 

Being in this position because of the career I'm in also means my intake is far higher than the average person, something I recognise. In the last couple of years I've cut down a LOT on my intake by implementing certain rules and checklists when it comes to my work and personal consumption but I'm still a fashion lover at heart.

I seek out bargains, I love fashion, I indulge in new trends and I enjoy the act of styling. It's part of my career, it's a big part of my personality and it's also a huge passion of mine in general. Without fashion I'm not sure who I would be, nor what my life would look like. Fashion moulded my teen years, curated my career as a lecturer and PhD researcher and brought me to where I am today, as a content creator. 

Although every January is a signal for me to refresh, declutter and reorganise, this January feels like it warrants a clear out like never before. So if you're in the mood to start afresh when it comes to the fashion and beauty you consumed last year too - here's how I'm currently tackling that new slate as efficiently as I can. 

It'll Get Worse Before It Gets Better

I feel like the most underrated piece of advice if you're decluttering and refreshing, is that it always gets worse before it gets better. I'm a pull it all out and go from there person as I visually need to see everything to decide what goes, what stays and what's in the second chance pile. I delve further into these categories below! I'm actually laughing writing this because I know that even though I know it gets worse, there's nothing more horrifying that opening every drawer, every door and every cupboard and instantly thinking to yourself 'Why on earth did I think this was a good idea?!' Last week I sat on the floor of my closet and almost gave up after an hour because I felt like I was getting nowhere. Fast forward a couple of hours later, a few run throughs of Miley's latest album and lots of texts to friends to re-home some items and the weight started to lift. As I said above I'm firmly in the tidy room tidy mind club so seeing the mess start to dissipate and the closet start to come back to life, brought literal joy into my heart. A clothing and beauty refresh doesn't just clean your closet, I often feel like it calms your mind too.

Set a System Into Place Pre Clear Out

I know this is starting to sound like a military operation at this point but heading into anything without a plan just isn't in me and heading into an organisation and declutter worthy of January, most definitely warrants a plan. As above, I'm the type of person who needs to visualise the task at hand so pulling everything out and cleaning all the cupboards, drawers, tops, fascias etc. is the first step. It gives me a good foundation to start the clear out, then it's time to categorise and start to adhere to a grouping system so you give yourself and your task at hand some clear boundaries. Make sure you stick to the organisational system that works for you within your space - you know what benefits your space and your function of the cupboard/wardrobe/space best. A clear out isn't always the time to also change up how you reorganise and use your space but the more organised you are with one, the easier the other also becomes. When it comes to the clear out itself stay true to the categories you decide on pre declutter and don't try to convince yourself otherwise - we've all been there. 

  1. 1. Keep - These are the items that bring you the most joy. The pieces that you wear often, integrate into your style easily and that you love pulling out to step into. This also includes those few sentimental items that bring you equal amounts of joy but that you might not wear often - or at all. These include items like your wedding shoes, your first designer purchases, special gifts/keepsakes from loved ones etc.
  1. 2. Second Chance - These are the items you're unsure about. The pieces that you aren't totally sure you wear enough, the pieces that only style well with a few select items and the ones that you did love but maybe don't love as much anymore. I keep a list of these pieces on my phone to reference on my next clear out. They go back into the closet for now but if they're not worn and loved between now and the next declutter, they are cleared out next time.
  1. 3. Clear Out - These are the items that no longer bring you any joy. The pieces that you aren't wearing, that you don't feel an attachment to anymore and that you know need rehoming. If an item on my second chance list hasn't been worn and enjoyed between the last clear out and this one, then its time has come. These pieces are all set to one side and either given to charity, sold on my Vestiaire Collective account (with a portion of the proceeds going to charity) or re-homed with friends who will get more joy from them.

Be Ruthless & Take Notes

Now it's really starting to sound like quite the intense process but future you will thank you. I used to be very wishy washy with my clear outs and I wouldn't fully stick to a system that worked for me. The above is how I find myself keeping things organised and when the next clear out or spring clean rolls around, I know exactly if a piece has had a their last chance already and if it now needs rehoming. It makes the process more streamlined and far quicker every time it rolls round and that combined with consuming less in general, means clear outs and decluttering that used to take days, now take just a couple of hours and feel far more manageable. Being ruthless with my choices also brings me joy in so many other ways. Raising money for charity and re-homing pieces with friends are such a highlight for me. Friends and family using and loving handbags, shoes, clothing and beauty products that sat unworn/unused in my closet for too long makes me more happy I can tell you! Being ruthless not only makes the process more efficient but it also equals lots of happy besties too :)

For anyone wondering the Velux windows in this room are a newer addition we added in the latter part of 2020. A much needed change I'm so glad we opted for, as this room used to be so dark during the day and they really bring it to life! The closet itself was built by the wonderful team at Hammonds. Couldn't recommend them more for both design innovation, amazing communication and quality of work overall - I'd choose them again in a heartbeat. If you have any questions about the closet itself or anything featured in the images let me know below and I'll try my best to answer :) 

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