Time to Go to Wardrobe Rehab?

lifestyle nichola english the dressing room the retreat Apr 20, 2021

By Nichola English

Around the world we’re experiencing different levels of freedom right now, but for many boredom and cabin fever is still feeling very real. Over the last 12-months a lot of us have been tackling DIY jobs and ticking things off lists like there’s no tomorrow. But have you gone that extra mile yet and also tackled the groaning and bulging contents of your

With some sense of normality starting to return to our shores, now is a great time to do a complete wardrobe overhaul. And if you’re anything like me, having a good old clear-out and reconnecting with my clothes will help you feel better about embracing the changes ahead.

Spring, with all of its colour and new life, is a great time of year for having a seasonal wardrobe refresh. But, whether you’re a wardrobe declutter virgin or a more seasoned pro, my top tips on how to put your wardrobe through rehab will be perfect for you. Before we dive in though, let’s first understand why having an organised wardrobe is

You know the old phrase “Organization is Key”

Our wardrobes form the centre-point of our dressing world. Why? Well, because their contents give us an insight into some of our dressing habits and allow us to reflect on our moods and events in our lives when we’ve gravitated towards certain colours and pieces of clothing. Did you know that, on average, women spend £1,000 per year on clothes, shoes and accessories, yet only a third of that clothing ever sees the light of day! No wonder we get frustrated, stuck in style ruts or have blocks when we’re rummaging through our wardrobes trying to find outfits to wear. As a Personal Style Coach I’ve seen first-hand that a chaotic and unorganised wardrobe can lead to things like morning chaos and the boredom of making the same, safe daily outfit choices, which can negatively impact our self-confidence.


What are the psychological and positive benefits of an
organised wardrobe?

You’ll have a greater awareness of your shopping habits which in turn helps you to make more efficient purchases, thus saving money, time, and wardrobe space

An organised wardrobe helps you to be more creative with the way you dress, and choosing outfits becomes less frustrating and more fun

Reduces stress and unnecessary time wasting with your morning dressing routines, so you start your day in a positive and less chaotic state

You'll be able to clearly see what you already own, which helps you to curb unnecessary spending

You’ll feel more in control and confident when it comes to choosing outfits

How do you know when your wardrobe needs rehab?

It’s simply all down to how you feel when you throw open the doors. If it starts to create negativity, overwhelm, anxiety and frustration then that’s your key to take action. These feelings can be caused by a number of situations, for example, not knowing what you have, too many items that no long function or are ill fitting, or you’ve simply got your own little bit of Narnia going on in your wardrobe! Our clothes (and our wardrobes) should be a window into who and what we are, they should bring us happiness, fun and joy as well as a feeling of confidence. Let’s get started with a step-by-step guide to organising your wardrobe

So, let’s get down to business! It’s time to head on over to your wardrobe, open the doors and let the wardrobe rehab commence.

Step 1: Make sure your room is tidy, your bed is made, and everything is generally organised, because you’ll want to reduce any overwhelm while completing this process.

Step 2: Remove all items from your wardrobe and stack them in a neat pile on your bed.

Step 3: As you remove your clothes also discard any hangers that are broken, childrens’ hangers or ones that are bent because they won’t help your clothes keep their shape. Ideally you’ll invest in matching hangers, which will make your wardrobe feel more personalised. It will also make getting ready more efficient as you can see all your items hung at the same height and width.

Step 4: Have bin bags at the ready for bagging up unwanted items and, if possible, a clothes rail for hanging and easily viewing the items you decide to keep.

Step 5: Next go through each and every item and be firm with your decision for whether to keep, donate or recycle. For example, if you haven’t worn an item in two years, ask yourself why? (Occasional wear is not included because you may only wear it for weddings or events.)
Then decide whether you want to keep it, store it away (if it’s a seasonal item) or get rid due to its poor condition, or it’s outdated for who you are now. Remember though, you can sell, give to a friend, or donate unwanted items to charity.

Step 6: Okay, so you’re nearly there – congratulations! You’ve gone through your entire wardrobe and decided what to keep, what to get rid of, and I’ll assume you now have several neat piles and some items hanging on a rail that are keepers. Now it’s time give the inside of your wardrobe a thorough clean include the doors, the rail, and any shelving. Then while it’s drying you can celebrate what you’ve achieved so far with a quick glass of vino and a dance around to your favourite tunes!

Step 7: Once you’re ready to start putting your clothing back into their space, think about how you want them displayed – clothes should all face the same way. You may like them in a more casual format, or grouped with similar items together like all skirts in one section followed by blouses, jackets, trousers, etc. Colour may be your thing so you may prefer to arrange according to colours, this is very individual to you and how you want your wardrobe to serve you.

Step 8: You may find that pieces that once lived in your wardrobe are now better folded in draws, such as jeans, sweatshirts, and knitwear. Always remember to keep knitwear folded and flat; this is the best way to store them.

Final thoughts…

Always be objective when sending your wardrobe to rehab, because if you take care of your clothes, they will take care of you.


Nichola English is addicted to fashion. From an early age picking out clothes for friends and family, she always had an eye for style which only expanded as she got older, eventually creating her business, The Wardrobe Provocateur. 

Nichola adores working with women (and men) across the world discovering personal style, reinventing that old tired wardrobe and realising new confidence and vitality through coaching, shopping and good old clearing out of the old. You can read her full story of becoming The Wardrobe Provocateur here. 




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