Maintaining social distance is extremely important if we are to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. So many of us are spending most of our time at home right now, with our communities in various levels of lockdown. The isolation can be annoying and stressful, but here are some wardrobe and style-related tasks that might be a practical use of the extra time indoors. 

Of course, there are much more important things to think about than your wardrobe, but these chores might temporarily take your mind off the serious situation we find ourselves in. I find them therapeutic to do and feel a sense of satisfaction when they are complete.

1. Spruce Up Footwear and Handbags

Polish leather, clean synthetics, scrub sneakers, launder insoles and canvas, and make white laces look sparkling white by soaking them in Oxi-Clean. Wipe bags down with a damp cloth or dust them with a duster. Carefully and very gently remove blue denim stains with nail polish remover.

The first wardrobe chore on my list is to scrub my multiple pairs of sneakers, make those white soles shine, and wash the laces so that they are once again pearly white.

2. Catch up on Clothing Alterations and Repairs

Now is a good time to hem pants, jeans, skirts and dresses, fix and taper seams, and alter waistbands if you’re handy with the sewing machine. Sew buttons back onto wardrobe items. Alter the position of buttons on tops, sleeves and jackets to create a better fit. Finish a sewing project you started, and wear the item.

3. Catch up on Ironing and Steaming

Pop on the tele and attack the pile of ironing. Pop on a podcast and steam those closet darlings begging for a press. Attend to the backlog of laundry, remove stubborn stains, and make sure that items are clean before putting them away for the seasonal switcheroo.

4. Edit and Review your Wardrobe

This is a potentially HUGE job, but one that can be broken down into smaller tasks if you tackle one wardrobe category at a time. Follow my guidelines in the following posts:

If you edit and review your wardrobe regularly, the process will be quick. Feel free to ask questions on the YLF forum along the way.

5. Improve Storage Spaces

Now is a great time to tidy closets and drawers, and improve the way we store our wardrobe items. Try hanging, packing, and folding items in a more practical and neat way if there is room for improvement. Rearrange the way you organize wardrobe items to best suit your needs. Do the seasonal switch if that’s how you roll.

6. Bring on Outfit Creation Sessions

Put on some music and have a creative outfit making session. Pull out orphaned items and try to incorporate them into complete outfits that make you feel fab. Try on outfits you’ve had mulling around in your head. Pull together multiple looks with a 30-item capsule. Create outfits for the upcoming season. Create outfits that remix new items with old items. Create outfits using new-to-you colour combinations. Create outfits with an unexpected component. Have fun being creative, embrace its mess, and document fabulous looks along the way.

7. Clean Out the Make-Up, Toiletry and Jewellery Drawers

Now is as good a time as any to spring-clean pesky drawers of small items we seldom get around to cleaning out. Yes it’s tedious, but awfully satisfying when it’s done. Throw out what is old, used up, and expired. Untangle, clean, and reorganize your jewellery boxes and storage spaces.

8. Document Your Wardrobe In YLF Finds

I LOVE that my wardrobe is digitally represented using YLF Finds, because it allows me to see my wardrobe across any category — and as a whole — at the press of a button. It makes it very easy to pack travel capsules, and view my wardrobe in terms of all sorts of combinations. I can identify wardrobe holes, spot the areas that need a trendy refresh, and keep a strict control on inventory. It also minimizes closet orphans, and eliminates unnecessary duplication. I know exactly what I have at any time, and you can view exactly what I currently have in my wardrobe too.

It takes a while to set this up. First you need to collect your wardrobe items in Finds. For many popular stores you can use the collector to easily add them from your browser. For any other stores, you can create Custom Finds with existing photographs of the items, or photograph the items yourself. This does take time, but if you’re anything like me you’ll be grateful when it’s done.

Maintaining your digital wardrobe is as important. You have to remove what you pass on and add new purchases so that things stay accurate and up-to-date. But that’s easy once all the initial legwork is done. I highly recommend that you get cracking creating a digital and visual representation of your wardrobe.

9. De-Pill Knitwear

It’s not fun, but quite addictive and extremely satisfying. You’ll need the right tools, good light, patience, and a gentle hand. It’s a great idea to de-pill knitwear and woolly coats before you store them away for upcoming hot weather. Things will look new when you see them again in September.

10. Give Yourself a Manicure, Pedicure and Facial

After all the chores, give yourself a break with a moisturizing self-manicure and pedicure. Soak those feet and call it a day. Add a facial scrub and pop on a face mask. Double up on the hand cream because my goodness, our hands are dry and raw from excessive washing.

Some of our forum members got stuck into doing these wardrobe and style chores already. Feel free to join the YLF community on the forum by sharing your own progress. I’ll show you my sparkling sneakers later this week.

Finally, we wish everyone a safe week, especially those of us who have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.