STYLE Fling it, bin it

Time to spring-clean your wardrobe – and your underwear drawer

Fling it, bin it

Time to spring-clean your wardrobe – and your underwear drawer

Maggie Gibbons

The practice of spring-cleaning is actually quite ancient. It was once considered a season of cleansing and rebirth for practical and religious reasons. Long before electricity, there was an awful lot of soot and smut hanging around after the winter fires, so the first bright warm day in spring presented the perfect opportunity to do a thorough cleaning and clearing out.
This got me thinking about other possibilities for a good old clear-out. Place that can get stuffed and cluttered, like wardrobes, handbags, shoe racks (or dumping grounds), underwear drawers and  bathroom cabinets. When did you last do a proper clearing out?
This week, why not tackle two of these – your wardrobe and you underwear drawer. Sometimes I wonder how anyone with a bulging wardrobe can dress well. With so much in there it makes choosing what to wear a huge problem.
Ah, wouldn’t it be wonderful to just have things in there that are beautiful to you. I have a friend who has just a few key pieces – she wears them to death and always looks wonderful. Me? I’m afraid I’m into instant gratification, loads of stuff, some bought impulsively and never worn. Shame on me! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said ‘I forgot I bought that’! Wouldn’t it be marvelous to be surrounded by clothes and shoes you loved on a daily basis. Dressing would be a much more pleasant experience.


  • If you’re not likely to wear it again, move it on. You don’t have to get rid of it altogether but get it out of your wardrobe. I move them on to my sister because I feel I can always get them back if I want! Some things are just too good to consign to charity yet – but the rest could help make money for a worthy cause.
  • Get rid of wire hangers and dry cleaning plastic, they create clutter. Get some new slim hangers.
  • Remove the stuff that needs mending or altering. See to it immediately. Where are the gaps are in your wardrobe, what have you too much of. Who needs 45 T-shirts?
  • Look at what’s left and be ruthless. Do these clothes make you feel good? Are they practical?
  • How about the bottom of your wardrobe. Any bashed and battered shoes beyond redemption? Dump. Keep only what’s heeled, polished and scuff free.

Underwear drawer
  • How is your underwear? Has some of it gone grey and beyond its ‘best by’? A good barometer is to ask yourself how you would feel if anyone saw the kind of neglected knickers lurking in there. Maybe a few need to be consigned to the undie crematorium?
  • Check the elastic – anything loose needs dumping!
  • Do your bras fit properly? When were you last fitted? It’s well worth doing and almost all stores now offer the service. Fling anything you don’t wear because it is uncomfortable or past it.
  • Do the same with your tights – get rid of anything with snags and ladders. Ikea do fantastic drawer separators so you can keep them all colour coded.
Life is much simpler with a pared-down wardrobe. Clothing choices are very personal. We have to dress ourselves every day, so why not make an effort to only wear things that make you feel good rather than the first thing that comes to hand. Your clear-out is the first step in that process.

Maggie Gibbons
is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at