How to Organize Your Wardrobe
Did you just purchase one of our fantastic wardrobes? (Even if you didn’t, read on.)
Wardrobes & closets can be hard to keep organized. But if you start out organized, you can keep it organized. Let’s begin!
Step 1: Empty it Out
If you’ve purchased a new wardrobe, you’re already one step ahead. For those who haven’t, pull everything out...and we mean everything!
As you pull out each piece, ask yourself: "will I wear this again?" If yes, (or maybe), place it on the bed sorting piles by clothing type (tee shirts, dress pants, etc.) If no, start a new stack on the floor.
Step 2: Sort the “Keepers”
Now we’re going to go through everything you’ve kept, piece by piece. If it’s in good shape, great! If it’s dirty or needs mending, set it aside.
At this point, you have a good idea of the amount of clothing you’re going to store. So, let’s get organized!
Step 3: Assess your Hangers
Are your hangers a mishmash of wire, plastic, wood, etc.? That’s bad for two reasons: First, cheap hangers can damage your clothes because they don’t provide adequate support.
Second, no matter how organized your clothes are, they will look unorganized when hung from an assortment of hangers.
Organizing pros recommend slimline velvet hangers. They’re sturdy but don’t take up a lot of space like plastic hangers.
Padded L-shaped metal hangers for pants are ideal for several reasons. The padding prevents creases at the fold, and the shorter length, when folded in half, allows you to add extra bars to maximize space.
Step 4: Rehang on New Hangers and Put Away
Instead of haphazardly hanging your clothing and mixing up the types, organize your closet into sections. Sections can include:
- Shirts or tees (Velvet hanger)
- Skirts (Velvet hangers with clips)
- Pants (L-shape hangers)
- Jackets (Velvet hangers with shoulder shapers)
- Dresses (Velvet hangers with shoulder shapers)
And here’s a tip used by clothing stores: Hang as many things as possible so that the “chest” is facing left.
As you hang, organize each clothing group in your closet. There are several ways to do this. For example:
- Within each section, organize the clothing by color from lightest to darkest
- Arrange shirts by sleeve length
- Separate dresses by their length (short to long) or occasion (work, casual, dressy.)
Step 5: Shoes, Purses, and Accessories
- Use small, clear containers to store and stack shoes. Since you can see through the containers, you won’t forget about the shoes you store. Tape a photo of the contents to the box. You can also use racks or hanging bags.
- Use shelf dividers above your clothing rack. These dividers can separate folded scarves, purses, or small handbags.
- Purchase small adhesive hooks and attach them to your closet wall or door to store scarves, belts, or jewelry.
Step 6: Bulky Clothing Needs A Different Approach
Some pieces of clothing shouldn’t be hung because their weight will stretch them. These include bulky, thick sweaters and long dresses. Heavy dresses should be neatly folded and stored to avoid stretching out the shoulders. For example:
- Maxi dresses usually have thin, easily stretched straps, and should be folded. If you must hang, make sure you use the hanging loops sewn into the dress.
- Long dresses made of cotton-spandex blends can quickly lose their shape if they’re hung up.
The weight of a sweater will stretch out the shoulders. Instead, neatly fold your sweaters and store them:
- Stack the sweaters on the shelf above your clothing rack for easy access.
- Keep folded sweaters in plastic storage bins so that you can easily find them.
- Place a small dresser or plastic drawer in your closet for sweaters. Roll them and place them side-by-side to make them easy to find and maximize space.
Step 7: Store Seasonal
Any seasonal or sentimental items can be stored away until they’re needed. Place bins of packed clothing under your bed, in a storage closet, or above your wardrobe. This will help clear up wardrobe space for other items or organizational tools.
- Delicate items such as silk or cashmere should be wrapped in tissue paper and stored in canvas storage bags.
- Regular clothing can be folded and stacked in large plastic bins
- Only store clean clothes.
Step 8: Almost Finished!
Don’t forget the clothing in your cleaning/mending pile. Toss dirty items in the laundry or set them aside for the dry cleaners. If you’re handy with a needle, you can make simple repairs yourself. If not, see if your dry cleaner offers such service or find a seamstress.
And what if you have an “I’ll never wear again” pile? If it’s in good shape, donate it to a resale shop. If it’s not resalable, ask the shop if they will recycle it. If not, throw it away. (It’s tough, but you can do it.)
Step 9: Admire Your Wonderful Wardrobe!
Finished! Now getting dressed in the morning will be easier, you’ll rotate your clothing more evenly, and all the clothes that you’ve spent so much money on will get the respect they deserve!
Step 10: Stay Organized
Now that everything has a place don’t get lazy. Keep up the good work!
- Jaroslaw Michalowski