Tonya Lehtinen runs Vogue XChange and here she offers her expert advice on how to tackle space issues across your home.
If you are ready and want to make some changes, this is a super place to start.
Prior to coming to Malta, I had a successful business as the Spacewhisperer. I worked with storage of private art collections and had a lot of fun being flown all over the country to my clients’ exotic private getaways and gaining a lot of experience from working alongside some of South Africa’s top designers, photographers and decorators. Although I worked mostly with blue-chip short term rental and investment properties, the work I did for clients, helping them to declutter and reorganize their space was the most rewarding. These clients contacted me when they needed to make changes in their lives but felt “stuck”. It is because I have seen how liberating, emotionally and physically, the process of organizing is, I want to share some of the things I have learned. As we are coming out of the lockdown into new and possibly different lifestyles setting up a good foundation is a great starting point.
We will start with the wardrobe because this is a very personal experience and once you have cracked it you will feel more confident and ready to move to the next area.
The Wardrobe edit
Is this you? ‘Nothing to wear’ while having a closet full of clothes? You are not alone – this is most women. The main reasons for this is because you have not really identified your own style and will be influenced to follow high street fashion trends that are designed to keep you buying, rather than keeping to your most flattering colour pallet and, not having a solid basic wardrobe.
Take some time to write down what you want to achieve and jot words that describe your ideal style then invite your most trusted friend over, together you can determine what colours work best on you. Be honest with yourself and keep your ideas relevant to your lifestyle. Have at hand, black bags, coat hangers, a mirror, a supportive but honest bestie, a camera and a pen and paper. Make sure you have a good few hours uninterrupted.
- Take everything out and separate into four piles. ‘Donate’, ‘Sell’, ‘Keep’ and ‘Maybe’. (Don’t forget underwear, shoes and accessories.)
- Give your wardrobe a good clean.
- Bag anything you don’t like, never wear or don’t feel comfortable in and add in clothes that are tatty. Put items you want to sell in a separate bag.
- Put your ‘keepers’ back into your wardrobe in like-with-like and then in colour order. If you have doubts on anything, put it on and ask your friend to take a photo. If the outfit does not make you happy, into the donate bag it goes.
- Set aside any items that need to be fixed or altered and make this happen before they go back in the wardrobe.
- A predominant colour pallet and style will be clearer to see. These are the items that you wear most often and feel confident in and a start for building your new basic wardrobe.
Well Done…Keep going!
- Now is the time for an audit. You will notice where the weight of your wardrobe lies, for example; you may have too many jeans and not enough blouses or too many winter jackets for a Maltese climate. Scale down on the excess. Evaluate the quality of your clothes and fabrics – you will notice that the quality items have been there forever!
- The difficult part comes next. Choosing from the ‘Maybe’ pile. Think of it as going shopping in your own wardrobe – you will be selecting items that match and combine with outfits you have already put in the wardrobe. Keep a few signature items that express your personality too and that liven up your basics but discard anything that you bought on a whim, does not fit you properly or is worn out. Doing your shoes at this point is good too. Don’t keep more than one pair of shoes that are outfit specific. Keep your accessory collection simple.
- Last but not least is editing your underwear. Once you have discarded all the uncomfortable and tatty underwear you will notice what style and brands best for you. These are the ones you need in skin tone to match and white– you can build this over time.
And there’s more…
You should be feeling really good about your wardrobe now! Don’t rush if there are a few things you feel you need to add. Take this opportunity to change the way you purchase clothes. Spending that extra few euros on an item means that it will last well, stay in style, wear well and you will look and feel, so much more ‘put together’.
- Buy second hand. If you put in the time, you can get luxury brands at affordable prices!
- To add to your overall look, maintaining your clothes is important and if you have spent good money on a garment, you will want to take care of it.
- Do re-heel good leather shoes, remove stains, air woollen sweaters and jackets. You can even re-dye dark jeans and T-Shirts.
- Always use the right size hangars for your blouses and jackets to keep their shape.
Submitted by Tonya Lehtinen.
If you would like Tonya to help you declutter your wardrobe, get in touch via her Facebook. page.