JANUARY is traditionally a time for decluttering.
But before you start chucking out clothes, Siobhan O’Connor asks psychologist Bayu Prihandito what the inside of our wardrobes reveals about us.
GettyFind out what your wardrobe reveals about you as psychologist Bayu Prihandito takes a peek inside[/caption]
EVEN the most successful women can be plagued by a messy wardrobe overflowing with creased clobber, odd shoes and broken coat hangers.
Half of us struggle with wardrobe organisation due to our sentimental attachment to items, according to a study by bespoke wardrobe firm Spaceslide.
But as three-quarters of us declutter this month, is being ultra-organised really something to aspire to?
Having regular clear-outs reflects a personality trait of being adaptable, but psychologist Bayu Prihandito says that too much precision could be a sign of being a control freak — and that striving for a middle ground could be key.
He says: “Regular clear-outs could reflect a desire for more simplicity and order, often seen in people who value fresh starts and minimalism.
“However, perfectly organised drawers can reflect an inner need for control and predictability in your environment, which can extend to how you structure your personal and daily life.
“Messy drawers, however, can indicate you’re not giving it much importance and instead prioritise other responsibilities or activities over strict internal organisation.
“This is often the case for more flexible people.”
Here, we take a look at what your wardrobe could say about you . . .
METICULOUSLY ORGANISED CLOTHES – YOU’RE A CONTROL FREAK
ALMOST 70 per cent of us declutter in January, and clothes are the most sorted-out items.
But Bayu, who is a life coach as well as a certified psychologist, explains that rigidly sticking to a set way of hanging your clothes can be a sign of craving control.
He says: “Randomly hanging your clothes is a sign you are a free spirit that finds joy in being flexible and spontaneous.
“Whereas, having a specific order in hanging your clothes shows you have a desire forand control with your little ‘kingdom’ of hangers.
“This personality type thrives on structure, order and predictability.”
MATCHING HANGERS – YOU’RE A SHOW-OFF
HAVING matching hangers could be a sign you are more concerned about how you are perceived than about what’s going on internally.
“A wardrobe full of matching hangers could be a quiet statement of ‘I’ve got it all together’ and maybe suggest you’re a bit of a show-off,” says Bayu.
“It shows you care about aesthetics and value symmetry. Non-matching hangers is a more down-to-earth approach, keeping it real and focused on what truly matters.
“Hangers facing the same way suggests a systematic approach to life, where small efficiencies are greatly valued.
“While alternating the orientations might show a more casual approach, a sign of relaxedness over meticulous planning of the little details.”
PAIR YOUR SOCKS – YOU MICRO-MANAGE
“PAIRING socks together usually indicates you have an organised approach to life,” says Bayu.
GettyA messy sock drawer is for those who embrace a little anarchy in life, while something like the above could suggest you micro-manage your way through life[/caption]
“But it also shows how you micro-manage your life, appreciating small victories.
“Messy socks are for the ones who laugh in the face of rigorous order, fully embracing life’s anarchy. They are the people that don’t like to plan ahead.”
“Storing shoes in their boxes can show an over-particular personality trait that worries about the little things.
“You seek to maintain a great condition over time, suggesting a personality that obsesses over care.
“Messy arrangements reflect a more laid-back attitude — people who prioritise convenience over carefulness.”
BUY IN EVERY COLOUR – YOU’RE RISK AVERSE
BAYU says: “Purchasing an item in every colour shows that you have a more risk-averse mindset.
“You stick to what you trust instead of going for variety, and you have a preference for reliability and uniformity in your life.
“If you colour-code your items, this could be more than just being systematic.
“It can be the wardrobe of someone who is always one step ahead of the day, perceiving themselves as clever in the way they arrange their wardrobe.”
CLOTHES STREWN ON CHAIR – YOU MAY BE LAZY
“USING a chair for your clothes can show that you find your own unique order in chaos,” says Bayu.
GettyA situation such as this could suggest you sit somewhere between relaxed, nostalgic – or just plain lazy[/caption]
“This is a sign of a personality that values practical solutions but may struggle with being organised.
“Shoving clothes into a bundle typically shows you prioritise convenience over order, which can be due to a busy life, a more relaxed attitude or even laziness.”
If you struggle to clear out, you could also be clinging on to the past.
Bayu says: “When you’re holding on to your belongings, it shows a deep sense of nostalgia, sentimentality and someone who finds comfort in the continuity of the past.”
CLEAR IT OUT! SIX RULES TO FOLLOW
FASHION editor Clemmie Fieldsend reveals six tips for clearing out clothes.
TIDY UP FIRST: Before you even begin to tackle sorting out your wardrobe, you’ll need a clear space to start.
Whether it’s your bed, a patch on the floor or even a different room in your house, you’ll need a clear area to lay everything out, so you can have a proper look at what to keep or toss.
SET A DEADLINE: Clearing out can often be one of those tasks you start doing and then get distracted from, by your phone going or the doorbell ringing.
Give yourself a set amount of time – either to do little and often or all in one go – and don’t end up with more mess than you started with.
RULE OF THREES: When you’re reshuffling your wardrobe, you need the rule of three. That’s keep, toss and repurpose.
Keep items that you know you always wear and that aren’t tatty. Toss items that are unsalvageable or falling apart. And repurpose (donate or sell) items that no longer fit you or that you haven’t worn in the past three years.
TRY ON IF UNSURE: If you are unsure whether to keep or repurpose an item, try to envisage yourself wearing it on three separate occasions. If you can’t, then it’s time to get rid.
Or, if you are still on the fence, then try it on. It could be that pair of jeans you’ve had for the last ten years, or a dress you bought on a whim with the tags still on.
Even if it’s something you wear semi-regularly, trying it on might reveal that it is snagged, has holes in it or no longer looks right with your style.
STORE SEASONALLY: If you have loft space or room under your bed, then your actual wardrobe should reflect the season.
For instance, if you have a summer dress hanging up at this time of year, put it away until the weather changes.
This creates more space for bulkier items, such as coats and knits.
Also, make sure you pack away items with care so they last longer. This could be buttoning up, folding in tissue paper or wrapping in bin liners.
CREATE A SYSTEM: You don’t need to go overboard but once you’ve decided what to keep, create a system.
Think about how you get dressed every morning – and then set up your clothes from left to right in your wardrobe or drawers.
Start with underwear, then T-shirts, jumpers, bottoms, dresses and lastly cover-ups, such as jackets or coats.
It will make getting ready each day easier.
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