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Katie Trotter: When in doubt, toss it out

When organising your clothes, be smart, be efficient, be ruthless, says M's fashion expert Katie Trotter.

Since arriving in the UAE three years ago, I have been yearning for a place in which I can have all of my possessions unpacked neatly in wardrobes, drawers and cupboards, in a place I would enjoy spending time. Because of lack of space and/or facilities and the fact that I spend most of my time moving around like a snail with my life on my back, I have had to put up with a mix of storage boxes stuffed to the brim with clothes in no particular order or system.

Thankfully, due to a recent move, things have changed remarkably and somewhat for the better. There is something wonderful about starting fresh. Unpacking remnants of a now previous life and deciding what to do with the new the opportunity is endless. However, willpower (which they say is the key to success and a happy life) is much needed when it comes to maintaining the new, tightly structured and efficient wardrobe. Deciding what to wear while staring aimlessly into a heap of clothes in the morning is stressful. You find a shirt but it needs ironing, the trousers that would work perfectly have lost a button, or the jumper that would finish the outfit off is hidden under four coats dangling perilously from a broken hanger.

Start with buying decent hangers; they will make everything last longer, and make sure you can fit two fingers between each hanger when your wardrobe is full. A great trick a friend gave to me recently is to have a second rail fitted in the bottom half of your wardrobe for additional space to hang trousers.

Save space by rolling belts and scarves up and keep them separately in a drawer. Organise tights and socks by balling them up to also save space and avoid the dreaded mass tangle, and be strict about throwing away anything that doesn't fit or has lost its match. Protect delicate clothes, and keep moths at bay, with garment bags be vigilant about this as I have seen entire wardrobes ruined by the dreaded moth.

Pack clothes away at the end of each season; here in the UAE, there is no need to store any of our winter clothes in our wardrobes as most of us wear them rarely. Instead fold them flat or have them vacuum-packed professionally and keep them in plastic flat storage boxes under the bed until they are needed.

Clutter chips away at us slowly, and stunts our ability to accept and embrace the new - which is, of course, utterly detrimental to our evolution and development. Be ruthless, and ask yourself these three questions: Does it fit? Have you worn it more than once in the last six months? Does it serve a solid purpose? Three "no's" mean it has to go.


This week's highs and lows

JESSICA HART The gap-toothed Australian model has charmed us with her kooky style, big grin and an array of top knots.

FASHION HAUL New York's most established fashion fund, the CFDA, is moving from the city's Garment District to Bleecker Street. The biggest concern is that local talent may take a back seat as a result. DIOR DOUGH Despite the controversy surrounding the French brand, it managed to boost overall sales of its parent company, LVMH, last year.

FAILURE TO MULTITASK This prototype weight-loss high heel is already getting a bad rap in the aesthetics department, and it hasn't even hit stores.

THE POWER OF PAOLO One of fashion's most poetic photographers, Paolo Roversi is showcasing his work in London's The Wapping Project Bankside until March 31.

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