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Drew Barrymore's six steps to spring cleaning a wardrobe

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Do you ever feel as if you're in a constant state of unrest with your wardrobe? Some days we'll love our clothes and will slip right into our favourite outfit; on other days we'll hate every ounce of it. And do you know who else has this problem? The bohemian and chic actress Drew Barrymore.

"If anyone ventured into my closet, they would say I have plenty of clothes. Yet, I wear the same jeans on the floor from yesterday along with my favorite soft, slouchy T-shirt," wrote the 40-year-old on Refinery29.com.

"Winter is inevitably jeans and a sweater. Summer is hard because I don't love short anything, so I struggle to stay covered and still look cool."

"But, the big problem is this: My closet keeps getting larger and larger with this unhealthy diet of shopping without clarity. What am I looking for, really, and why can't I find it??" she explains.

"(My) 20s clothes don't make sense anymore. And, after two babies (two daughters with art dealer husband Will Kopelman), the 30s clothes don't fit anymore. I am at a clothing crossroads, and it's a painful one at times." 

With spring around the corner, Drew decided to have a wardrobe intervention or what she likes to call "The Closet Diet" to streamline her fashion choices once and for all. Here are her useful tips below.

Step 1: Get rid of everything you don't wear

Drew says: "All the “once in a blue moon” or the “it will fit someday” duds finally went in the donation or resell piles!" She took her clothes to local charity shops, boutiques and Teens for Jeans, a charity that provides clothes to homeless she works for.

How to: You can donate unwanted clothes by taking them directly to a charity shop, to a local recycling container or centre (find yours at recycle-more.co.uk) or use a home collection service such as clothesforcharity.org.uk. Alternatively, you can sell designer goods on Vestiaire Collective or Covetique.

Step 2: Don't hurry through the clearing process

Drew says: "The whole clean-out took a few weeks as I wanted to do it without haste, and with kids you have limited windows (naps are perfect times!)."

How to: Block out two hour slots on a Saturday or Sunday morning across two weeks in your diary. Dedicate that time to sorting though your clothes. If you don't have consecutive weekends free to do this, it's fine to break it up across a few weeks. But make sure you give yourself a deadline; the last thing you want to do is contemplate over that printed cardigan for a month.

Wardrobe clear out

Step 3: Group clothing types

Drew says: "I categorised all my clothes. Yep, skirts with skirts and pants with pants and dresses with dresses. So far, with this approach, I find I'm already going to the exact garment I need, rather than standing like Winnie the Pooh in the closet needing a bottom but still staring at a bunch of tops."

How to: Once you've created a pile of clothes you're going to keep, work back through them separating your wardrobe into different types of clothing, for example, tops, jumpers, skirts, trousers and dresses. Designate a certain place to hold each type of clothing in your cupboard.

Step 4: Colour-coordinate your wardrobe

Drew says: "I color-coordinated, which has been life-changing in itself. The rainbow helps because it’s visually clean. When you grab something neutral, you can then go over to your colors and throw something in to mix it up."

How to: Blog Organized Meg has some useful tips on how to sort your cupboard by colour:

1. Pick one kind of clothing.
2. Pick a shade on the colour wheel and make that the "first" colour you start grouping that type of clothing by. 
3. Go around the colour wheel and put your clothes in that colour order. 
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for the remaining categories of clothing.

Use this colour wheel to divide clothes

Use this colour wheel to divide clothes

Step 5: Be brave. Make deep cuts. 

Drew says: "Try getting down to a zen palette of wearable clothes — but what's wearable for you. For me, that meant I got rid of kooky prints that just weren’t good enough or crazy, loud colors I never seemed to wear. Case in point: I’m just not gonna wear the hot-pink Nike track shoes with the Chinese pajama pants anymore (yes, I once DID…) so out they go!"
 

Step 6: Expect depression and/or identity crises.

Drew says: "My closet seemed to be clean. But, no longer eclectic or wild enough. It actually seemed like I had no clothes. It got too sparse! I was sad. Had I gone too far? I was missing my old funky self and felt like I had become some conservative, boring woman — but not even in a cool, J.Crew way. I was more like, I don’t know…just not me. 

"But, then something happened. There was such a noticeable lack of chaos that I could actually start playing clothes Jenga in my mind before I reached the closet. This was different. Normally, the inner dialogue was defeatist and avoiding. Now, I was looking forward to a minimalist curation that didn't overwhelm me. Holy crap! This closet diet is working!"

The results

The actress says she now knows what she likes and buys pieces of clothing thoughtfully, "adding a little flair here and there, but with a floral print or a sequined top rather than some of the insane vintage pieces I used to buy (I still respect them, but I just cant wear them anymore)". 

"Months later, my closet is sane and I am happy. I don't have a battle every time I get dressed. I say to myself, "You know what works, so just work it, and be good to yourself!" Yes, my body has changed a lot as a new mom. But, more importantly, it’s my responsibility to send good, empowering messages to my kids. We can’t rip ourselves apart and expect those negative messages not to reach our girls. It’s about doing what works for you and what makes you feel good. Much like a closet, we have to make space in our minds for bigger and better things. But, it never hurts to do it in a cute outfit — one that came out of your nice new closet."

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