The weather is heating up and we are shedding all the layers so let’s deal with the under layer this week and tidy up those undie and sock drawers so that they can close properly!
So how do we decide what stays and what goes?
There are some really quick wins you can make with culling your underwear:
- Elastic is going or gone and you don’t want to risk them falling down while you are on the dance floor at your work Christmas party! (and I am not just talking about your socks here!)
- There are holes or stains or that old fave is just getting a little threadbare
- They are too big, too small or just plain uncomfortable
- They were purchased for you by an ex and the last thing you want to do is to think about them when you are slipping into something more comfortable!
- You wouldn’t want to be seen in them (remember what our mothers told us about clean underwear….)
If it isn’t quite that straight forward for you, revisit the criteria you created during Week 1 of our challenge to assist you in making decisions about these items.
How many of each thing should you have?
If you can’t close the drawer or cupboard or the basket is overflowing, you have too much. It really is as simple as that.
On a practical note though, a good guide is to have 2-3 weeks worth, but at least one week’s worth. That covers you if you fall behind with the washing, are going on holidays and may not be able to wash regularly.
You can also consider streamlining your colour palette, especially when it comes to socks and bras. Consider if you just need some blacks, some whites and maybe one or two coloured/patterned. The more neutral, the more flexible they are to work with all of your clothes.
How often should we replace them?
- Underpants – every 12 months is recommended as countless wash cycles can wear them out quite quickly.
- Bras – every year or so is also recommended. If you aren’t being supported sufficiently, they aren’t doing their job so let them go.
- Socks – socks have a little more leeway. Use the suggestions above regarding holes, staying up power and comfort together with consideration of your lifestyle. If you go to the gym twice a year, you don’t need 20 pairs of workout socks.
What do I do with the keepers?
Determine a dedicated home if you don’t already have one and set a limit. Wipe out your drawers before you replace things so you are starting fresh. You might even like to line your drawers while you are at it with some scented paper, or even just some leftover wrapping paper or wallpaper samples.
Install dividers to keep things neat and tidy so you don’t have to go digging around to find the item you want, or that unruly lost sock.
Consider using dividers in your drawers such as those pictured here. You can get some great ones at Ikea (Hofta drawer dividers, $3.99 for a 3 pack) or even use some small containers (such as the Skubb Box set).
You can also make your own from thick cardboard or reuse the pre-made dividers from a box of wine, just cut them down to the right height for your drawers. If you want to go that one step further, you can cover them with some nice wrapping paper, adhesive wrap or even fabric offcuts you already have (decluttering two things at once!). Here is some great instructions for making your own thanks to The Homes I Have Made.
Bras are best stored flat to keep their shape. You can stack them one cup inside another and place them on a 45 degree angle so that they can all be seen and you can easily select what you need.
Socks should be rolled together as a pair. Tucking them within themselves isn’t recommended as that can stretch the top band and reduce their lifespan.
What do I do with the ones that no longer have a purpose for me?
If they are torn, stained, or just no longer fit for purpose, they need to go into the bin.
Socks in good condition or new can be donated and please consider charities/community organisations who support vulnerable people including those who are homeless. If you are in Victoria, check out 2 Pairs Each – they aim to give two pairs of new socks to every homeless person in Victoria.
New underpants can also be donated. Old ones can also be used for rags if you wish, but please don’t donate them as most charities will bin them and have to pay for waste disposal.
There are a couple of great charities that accept lightly-used bras and ship them off to women in need:
- Project Uplift has donated over 1 million bras to women in need since 2005. Drop off points are listed here, including with one of my lovely organiser colleagues, Virginia, in Canberra.
- Fiji Woman’s Cancer Project (Project Fiji) . Colleens Lingerie based in Garran ACT and Cowra NSW are drop off point or alternately, you can post them to Tarrawanna or Robertson in NSW (see address here).
How did you go?
Feel free to share your successes, challenges and tips on our Facebook page.