Wardrobe Architect: Closet clean outs + 7 tips for tackling your mending
This month, your challenge was to clean out your closet. So how’d it go?
Hopefully, you’re feeling the sense of calm that comes with decluttering and getting rid of the old, unwanted items that have been bogging you down. You could also be feeling a little lost, or nervous about your seemingly sparse closet.
Depending on the state of your closet before you started, you may be left with a head start on creating your capsule wardrobe, or you may be feeling like you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.
Time to Mend
Once you’ve done a closet clean out, one of the fastest ways to restore order is to tackle your mending and alterations pile as soon as possible.
It can be tempting to dive right into sewing brand new items, but repurposing and mending is a practical approach that will leave you feeling proud of reusing what you already have.
Approaches to the Mending Pile
The mending pile can seem like a boring, forgettable task, but if you take some time to organize first, it can actually be quite painless to get through. Here are some tips I’ve picked up that have helped make mending a little less of a burden:
- Pick a time. Depending on how large your pile is, you can choose to carve out an entire weekend to do mending and alterations, or you can space them out as a palette cleanser between larger sewing projects.
Divide by color. To get started, I like to make a list, divide my pile by color, and assign each garment a thread color.
Divide by sewing method. Next, I decide whether it needs to be mended or altered with a sewing machine, serger, or by hand. You may wind up needing different thread colors for every garment, but it’s nice information to have so you can avoid changing out your thread more often than you need to! For simple fixes, if you already have the color of thread you need on your machine from a larger project, it’s not a big deal quickly fix that tear along the seam of a jacket.
Gather other supplies. You’ll also want to gather all the supplies you need to fix each garment, such as buttons, trims, bias tape, or zippers.
Keep mending at hand. I make sure to put the garments that need hand mending next to the couch so that I can work on them while watching TV or listening to podcasts in the evenings.
Set a goal. You may want to set a goal to fix one garment a day, or a few every weekend. It’s easy to put aside mending and alterations in favor of newer, more exciting projects, so whatever you do, it’s important to have a realistic plan that works for you. When I have a really large mending pile, I like to knock out all garments that require certain thread colors a day at a time.
Invite friends. If you’re really struggling to motivate yourself you might consider hosting a mending clinic with some of your friends. Everyone has a pile of stuff they need to fix, so why not make it more fun for everyone with some food, drinks, and music?
How Does it Feel?
So now that you’ve cleaned out your closet, how do you feel? Do you feel more organized and in control, or are you already regretting some of your decisions? Did you learn anything new about yourself or your spending or sewing habits? Let me know how your February closet clean out went in the comments!