Wise gal’s guide to Wardrobe Maintenance

Maintaining your wardrobe is not much different maintaining your garbage..I know when we open our closets, there are more garbage than wearable stuff, any day. However that doesnt stop us from buying that gorgeous dress that fits-like-a-dream, or that sequined top eventhough-i-dont-know-where-i-can-wear-it-to. My wardrobe is always full of these impulse buys. Those impossibly high heeled shoes, that lovely rich blue bag and of course those heaps of clothes.

As always, I turn to Japanese for their time tested wise ideas. Those of you familiar with 5S (Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke) methodology know what i mean. Here are some suggestions for maintaining that discipline in your wardrobe, and actually (believe me) having more clothes to wear from your own wardrobe.

1.Seiri – Unclutter – Tidy up – First step in clearing your wardrobe is to be ruthless in clearing it.

Take out all the clothes that you havent worn in over 3-4 months. Make three baskets – Just like your garbage.

Basket one – Re-use – What Can be worn again – With a few repairs that you can make yourself or your neighbourhood tailor can make for you. You will be surprised how nice it feels to wear all those old clothes once again.

Basket TwoRecycle– What you just cant wear –

Can your cute cousin use those sequinned tops? Your maid would love you for those old cotton kurthas..Those impossibly high heels? Gift it to your colleague at work..or your best pal who was coveting it. You will get rid of your junk and  become popular in the process.

Dont feel like giving some stuff away that lovely top gifted by your boyfriend 10 years ago? but there is no chance you’ll fit into it? – Get it done into a lovely oversized cloth tote bag, or clutch purse or cushion cover. Use pieces of it onto your other clothes like applique.

Another idea would be to give it away to old age homes or orphanages. There is nothing more fulfilling than when that special piece is worn by someone who could use something really special.

Basket ThreeReduce – The ones that cannot be worn nor can be given away – Give it to your maid, who can use them for mops or your janitor or the neighbour rag picker. Remember one person’s garbage is other person’s livelihood.

2.Seiton – Orderliness Keep all your clothes neatly organized.

Remember clutter begets clutter. Keep your jeans, trousers, formal tops, kurthas and whatever else you have in your wardrobe in separate piles. Keep them colour coded if needed.

Keep all your accessories for each of these clothes handy.

Keep all your shoes in shoe rack. Again keep each category of shoes, stillettoes separately.

Keep all your bags separately and where you can easily take them from.

3.Seiso – Shine – Ask yourself everyday – Am I confident enough open my wardrobe in front of my Mother-in-law or that critical cousin of mine? – If the answer is yes, then more power to you girl. Cleanliness is the state of being.
Keep unwashed clothes in the linen hamper for washing.

4.Seiketsu – standardize – Once you have organized the wardrobe, key is to maintain it the same way.
Every time you wash the clothes, fold them cleanly and keep them in their respective piles.

5.Shitsuke- Discipline – Train yourself to detect any disorderliness in your wardrobe.  Review them every weekend..correct anamolies.

Does it sound very boring and clinical? Trust me its not – Its one time activity and once you have done it, its just maintainance. It just takes me about half an hour every weekend. And its nice to go back to a clean room after a hard days work.

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