How to spring clean your wardrobe: 11 top tips to Marie Kondo your clothing

You could throw everything out that doesn't spark joy, or you could follow our quick tips to spruce up your wardrobe and indulge in a little retail therapy...

How to spring clean your wardrobe

If your wardrobe is stuffed with winter clothes and getting dressed is a chore every day, it’s time to spring clean your wardrobe. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of the Marie Kondo technique for a less cluttered and easier life. So if you want to do things properly, you can follow her steps of taking everything out of your wardrobe, assessing its value and questioning whether it sparks joy, to downsize your clothing collection by getting rid of anything that doesn’t make the cut. 

But if time is of the essence, you can follow our quick tips to spruce up your wardrobe and indulge in a little retail therapy while you’re at it.

1. Sort out your hardware

If you’re looking to make your wardrobe look more organised with very little effort, get yourself a matching set of hangers. First cull all the clothes you don’t wear or that are too worn out, give it a clean, and then spend a little time looking at what you’ve got left. We bet you’ll find a few forgotten favourites. Then you can work out which gaps you need to fill and get shopping. 

The whole process will feel more rewarding if you finish with a tidy-looking wardrobe. 

John Lewis’ metal and wood Clothes Hangers (pictured above), look super stylish and their wishbone shape is great for holding pretty much any garment securely, so you don’t need different types for trousers and shirts, giving you a more uniform look in your closet.

2. Replace heavy knits with lighter knits

If your wardrobe is stuffed full of chunky knits, now is the time to stash them away for next autumn and replace them with a thin and versatile knit for the warmer weather. 

If yours are looking a little well-loved, why not add a luxe version into your collection in one of your most-warn 'basic' colours? The cashmere jumper from Polo Ralph Lauren is a beautiful light grey colour that will go with everything and boasts the recognisable logo, in a discrete way. Treated to maintain its breathability, easy care and sumptuous texture, this will be a favourite you can rely on time and time again, and you can even pop it in the washing machine.

3. Clean and prep your wardrobe

Moths love wool and other fibres, so it’s a good idea to protect the investment you’ve made in your clothes by getting some moth-repelling tricks. John Lewis’ cedar nugget moth proofers come in a pack for 24 for just £6.50 and smell much more pleasant than some alternatives.

Simply put a few of these cubes in your drawers and wardrobe to keep the winged critters at bay. When they lose their natural scent, just rub them down with sandpaper and they’re good to go for another season.

4. Replace tired looking favourites

We've all got those favourite items of clothing that we can't throw away. Well, how about demoting those to DIY/Gardening/Lounging wear, and replacing them with fresh items.

Take this classic grey tee from Folk's Assembly, for example. Cut from mélange cotton-jersey that has a soft, brushed handle, and reinforced with triple-stitching along each seam, Folk’s Assembly t-shirt is a great example of a quality basic. The brand's emblem is discreetly shown the side of the 100% cotton tee for understated style. We bet if will work out cheap if you factor in coast-per-wear and won't took as tired as fast as cheaper options.

5. Swap flannel for cotton shirts

What would winter dressing be without a cosy flannel shirt? Particularly in muted autumnal shades and a great lumberjack print. But such a heavy shirt can be a little too warm for the spring, so when you're evaluating your wardrobe for sunnier months swapping flannel for cotton checked shirts is a good idea. 

Tom Ford's cotton checked shirt is on many a fashion-fan's wish list. The slim-fit shirt has a black and white check that could be dressed up for work, or down with black jeans at the weekend. Made in Switzerland, it's 100% cotton and has buttoned cuffs and chest patch pockets and unlike most Tom Ford clothes, this shirt is machine washable. 

6. Swap heavy denim for lighter trousers

Jeans are a wardrobe staple pretty much all year round, but if you want to switch up your style this spring/summer (in addition to some shorts for really hot days) why not consider some lightweight cotton trousers? Oliver Spencer's drawstring trousers are a mainstay design that's re-imagined in different fabrics and colours each season. 

This version has been made from light-brown cotton that works well with neutrals and darks, so they're a particularly good choice to pack in your suitcase for a weekend away. Made from a 50:50 mix of cotton and polyester they're cool, but don't crease too easily, while details including horn buttons elevate them beyond a wardrobe basic.

7. Add a few trend pieces

Hawaiian shirts and pretty much any clothes that look like you’re off surfing (except an actual wetsuit) are big news on planet fashion. And it’s a good idea to pick a trendy piece of two every season to update your wardrobe and have some fun with the latest trends. 

Whether you're hitting the beach in Hawaii or Hastings, Officine Generale's camp-collar shirt will brighten up any outfit. Cut from breathable cotton in a slightly boxy fit, it's printed with palm tree-planted islands against a sea-blue backdrop and there’s slightly skewed chest pocket that’s a brand signature. 

8. Spruce up your trainers

Spring/summer 2019 is all about trainers, whether they’re chunky and ugly, or skate inspired. Vans’ Old Skool tick a trend box while managing to be minimal, making them super versatile. Made from pale suede, they would look great with shorts as well as lighter-coloured trousers, or equally jeans or black trousers in the cooler months. So why not sling any stained trainers and update your collection with some sleeker sneakers, which will freshen up all your outfits this summer.

9. Update your undies and socks

There’s a certain trend for wearing thick white socks with rolled-up trousers and to rock it, you need pristine white socks. So if yours are looking lackluster, this season is the time to upgrade. Ralph Lauren’s three pack of crew socks feature ribbed detailing, and contrasting branding to the outside and elasticated ankles. While it’s hard to get excited about socks, these ones will serve you well if you want to dip your toe in this trend, and beyond. The only downside is that they only come in one-size. 

10. Swap your coat for a jacket

Your heavy coat may be ideal for winter, but no matter how chic, sweating is never a good look. So swap yours for a lightweight jacket. PS by Paul Smith’s nylon overshirt jacket is easy to throw on over a t-shirt or jumper and as it’s nylon it’s handy in a shower too. 

The jacket has central button closure, a pointed collar, a multitude of pockets and is finished with the brand’s signature logo to the chest. Best of all, it’s machine washable, so you can wear it to picnics, on walks and other places that come with a risk of staining, with few worries of ruining this staple.

11. Philips Steam Go Plus steamer

Last but not least, there’s no point curating a perfect spring wardrobe if you’re not going to look after your clothes. A steamer is your crisp white shirt and new t-shirt’s best friend. The Philips Steam & Go Plus handheld steamer makes it easy to blitz wrinkles and creases thanks to the SmartFlow heated plate. It's designed to be used vertically or horizontally on difficult-to-iron areas and to refresh clothing, making it ideal to freshen up a shirt before work without getting the ironing board out. It’s quick to use and there’s a brush accessory for thicker fabrics. The downside is that it’s not cordless, but with a 2.5metre long cord and a detachable water tank for easier refilling, this won’t be too much of a drawback. 

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Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course. Sarah has reviewed a range of products for T3, from children’s electric toothbrushes to water bottles and photo printing services. There's nothing she can't become an expert in!