Out of the closet

Before the festivities begin, it’s time to prep well. Cleaning your house, ridding your space of old and unused stuff and looking forward to a new future... it’s a wonderful exercise in cleansing. “Diwali closet-cleaning is a tradition. We do it every year, and it is probably the only time we thoroughly clean our closets.

Women shop all year round, and the contents of our closets keep increasing. Diwali closet-cleaning is an opportunity to pack away all the clothes we don’t wear any more, and pass it on to someone who actually needs it. What can be better than starting a fresh year, with a new closet?” states designer Dia Ajmera. So, let’s talk about spring-cleaning your closet before the festive season breaks in!

The need to de-clutter

Many of us are compulsive buyers who love to get into the stores and buy whatever catches our eyes. But what happens next, is that it all gets piled up and we land up never wearing much of what we have purchased. “To make one particular T-shirt more than 200 gallons of water is used and, as an environmentalist and designer, I have paid a lot of attention to the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle.

If all our clothes are put to better use we would be able to save a lot not only in terms of money, but also in terms of electricity and helping the environment,” shares designer Amy Billimoria. Cleansing and cleaning should be a part of our lives not only seasonal or occasional, it has to be done as often as we can. “It is so because when we clean our houses it’s like cleansing our inner selves, cleansing our mind, body and soul. This is something that everyone should practice because decluttering also invites good energy to our lives and our surroundings,” specifies designer Hema Kaul.

Getting you there

Before getting into your festive binge wish list and jamming as much as you can into that tiny space in your closet, think of a little purge. Building a capsule wardrobe is all the rage at the moment but if that is too extreme for you, here are some ways to keep your overflowing closet in check. “To have a better view of all that you have stored all these years, spread out everything (clothes, accessories, shoes) from your closet on the floor.

Once you are done emptying your closet, start by segregating,” advises stylist Maneka Harisinghani. She says the first category can be things too worn out to wear and hence stuff to retire. “You can even systemise your items in order of colour, silhouettes, casual, dressy and more,” points out designer Parikshaat Wadhwani.

Representative image
Representative image

Fashion is never constant, so it’s essential to analyse your style now; what you liked a few years ago might not work with your current sense of dressing, which is why one shouldn’t hoard under false pretences. “With changing season now, create an off season category and pack those away. Beach, city, winter are my top categories. If still not able to decide which one to hold on to just ask yourself if you would be shopping now, would you buy the same? You know what to do next,” vouches Maneka.

One can also try to group items like all jeans together, dresses together, silver accessories in one box and gold in another, so it becomes easier to locate. “If you are stacking some of the clothes/ accessories/ shoes on shelves, I would suggest you to keep them in clear bags with sides and bottom visible so next time you want something you can just bring that one piece down, saving you from a jumbled mess,” suggests Maneka. One can also stick a picture or note on it for easy recognition as it helps especially for shoes and bags. Items that tend to wrinkle like satin and silk or blazer and dresses, hang them up. Jeans and trousers can still be stacked.

What to keep and discard

We become emotionally attached to our stuff. Be it clothes, shoes or accessories, they all hold a sentimental value. “Being a wardrobe analyst I follow this rule widely: If you haven’t used it in six months then get rid of it,” establishes Mamtaa Joshi. “Keep essentials and basics, which are very important, keep things that fit you currently, keep things that are in trend right now and something that you really like and can't wait to wear,” suggests Parikshaat. “When keeping and discarding items, always go for items, which you think you can style at least in three different ways. This will not only revamp your look, but will also make more space for other items in your closet,” recommends Maneka.

Clothes are something that we must always circulate. “Sometimes they are too big or too small, so it’s always nice to let go off the possessions that we may not need and recycle them and give it out to the needy,” suggests Hema. If you are holding and not using an item only because it cost you too much, try selling it online. “If there is a sharara that you don’t want to wear again, take out the embroidery and applique it on an asymmetric kurta and wear it again with pencil pants,” suggests Amy. Even old denims can be used in multiple ways from turning it into a bag to making accessories out of it and can also be used for artefacts.

Marie Kondo once quoted — Discard everything that doesn’t spark joy. So, we ideally should clean our wardrobes every month or once in two months to keep up with the fashion and to know what’s extra. “But try to keep spring-cleaning a one-time activity and not in parts, this way you will see a bigger and better change in one go,” concludes Maneka.