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Queen of Cull: Meet Surrey's answer to Marie Condo

With isolation set to ground us for the foreseeable, now is the perfect time to show your wardrobe some love and sprinkle a little spring-clean magic through your rails.

Is there anything more satisfying than a streamlined closet where opening the doors fills you with joy not anxiety; styling your #ootd will be a whizz!

We caught up with Surrey’s answer to Marie Condo, Karen Powell aka The Organising Lady for some de-cluttering wisdom. With years of experience as a Personal Stylist and Professional Declutterer, Karen has helped hundreds of women achieve perfectly organised closets and an extra ten minutes in bed in the morning.

So,where do we start?

“Dedicate time and avoid distractions”

explains Karen, pointing out that phone time is off the agenda- ouch!

“Allocating the whole day can feel like you are climbing a mountain, tackling small areas even just for 10 minutes every day helps; lots of small wins will encourage you to carry on.”

Karen suggests a good wardrobe de-clutter should see a 25% edit. Allocate separate piles for donation, consignment, recycling.

Karen encourages practical thinking to prompt the decision process.

“Turn all your wardrobe hanger hooks one way. Each time you wear something you will turn that hook in the reverse direction on the pole.”

So far, so good. All seems do-able!

“The twist on the usual advice is, before you return the item to the wardrobe ask yourself this - If I was in a shop today would I buy this? If you are really honest I believe you could reduce your clothing by 25%.”

Now, that sounds like a mantra we can all adopt.

One of the perks of de-cluttering process is the potential financial reward. Give your quality, high-end pieces that no longer have a place in your heart or wardrobe a new lease of life. There are 12 consignment shops across the Surrey Hills, explore them here.

Karen’s ethos is little and often and recommends adjusting our daily habits to achieve the perfect wardrobe zen.

“De-cluttering should become a habit.”

One way to achieve this is to introduce recycle boxes for unwanted items.

“Choose ones to compliment your boudoir decor as a permanent visual prompt that de-cluttering is an ongoing task.”

“We are all programmed to recycle our rubbish these days aren’t we? At home we have added another box for stuff we don’t want; we try to add one item per day to this. The box comes with us to the recycle centre where most stuff can be dropped off and reused or recycled. Or take them to your local supermarket. Most of them have recycle areas for collecting textiles, books and shoes.”

Karen’s bottom line and golden rule is clear. “Clutter - Get it Outta Here!” she states.

“Once you have made the decision it’s going, bag it and get it out of the house and quickly, the same day is best. If you are passing on items to friends or family same rule applies, pass it on quickly!”

There are no exceptions in Karen’s book! “Tie up the top of the bag so you can’t see the contents” (we’ve all been there- peeling back the bag for a cheeky remiscense).

“Pop on a label with the recipient’s name and get it gone!”

Post edit - has it changed anything ?

It is still early days but one week on from my closet cull and I'm loving my colour-coded, decluttered heaven of a wardrobe. I'm wearing clothes I haven't worn or embarrassingly seen in ages. Cathartic cleansing has lessened my wardrobe woes and hopefully when life returns to normal I and others can profit from some of my discarded gems.

Karen offers a transformational wardrobe decluttering service, helping clients say goodbye to things they don’t need by making some simple, practical changes for a more organised and clutter free way of living.

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