Do you have a wardrobe of clothes you love? Or, is it a place that stresses you out and saps your energy? These closet organisation tips will really make a big difference to your life if you are time poor (isn’t that most of us?) if you want a closet that easily works for you and your lifestyle or both.
The good news is that each suggestion will work whether you have a tiny wardrobe or a large walk-in robe.
Before you start, invest in non-bulky, flocked hangers for uniformity and space savings. Dispose of wire coat hangers, bulky wooden hangers (except when hanging heavy items like winter coats and suits) and plastic dry-cleaning bags. Have clip hangers ready for your pants and skirts.
Tip: You can buy flocked hangers at Target and other general merchandise retailers.
How to Start Organising Your Closet
First, let’s weed out what you are not wearing to make it easier to find clothes you DO wear. Pull all your tops out of the wardrobe. Now, cull according to these criteria:
- flattering colours on you
- authentic representations of you and your signature style e.g., classic, relaxed, creative, dramatic, feminine, elegant
- fits you now
- in a style that suits your body shape and proportions
- is current (rather than c1990)
- cull any more than 5 items of the same thing e.g.,10 white shirts – cull half
- supports your lifestyle
Place the tops that ’pass the test’ back into your closet using colour blocking – like in the feature image. If you decide to wear a top in a particular colour e.g red, all of your red tops will be in one location saving you time and simplifying the selection process.
Now, sort through the other items – pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, handbags, jewellery etc.
Depending on how extensive your collection is, how thorough you want to be and how much time you have, this step may need to be spread over a few days. (You may not be overjoyed with the process right now, but you’ll thank me later ?)
• Do you have more shelf space than hanging space? Consider folding bulky items like jeans.
• What do you wear most? Ideally, those items should be at eye height and positioned close to the centre of the rack or shelf so you can see and access them quickly.
• Invest in a full-length mirror.
Recently I was at a client’s home (Cathy) helping her refresh her wardrobe and was surprised to find she didn’t have a full-length mirror. After the initial cull, I created new outfits with the clothes she decided to keep.
Cathy was unable to view her outfits in their entirety. At one stage she was wearing a fabulous outfit and I was explaining and demonstrating how changing the length of her skirt would dramatically improve the overall look of her outfit. Unfortunately, she was unable to see it!
Having a full-length mirror takes some of the guesswork out of creating stylish outfits. Being able to see yourself head to toe gives you the opportunity to tweak something if it doesn’t look quite right.
There are many affordable options available (try Ikea) and they take up no additional space if you hang one on the back of your wardrobe or bedroom door.
Organising shoes in your wardrobe
If you have plenty of hanging space, shoe pockets, available from Kmart and Target, are an excellent storage solution for your shoes. One usually holds 10 pairs of shoes. Another idea is to keep your shoe boxes, cut out the end of the box so you can view its contents and stack them one on top of the other.
Tip: If you want your shoes to retain their shape and last for years avoid stacking them.
I recommend organising your closet twice a year – Autumn/Winter and Summer/Spring. It offers you the opportunity to reassess what’s working for you and what’s not. Most of the heavy lifting will be done the first time around, so future closet organising will take a lot less time and effort.
I hope you find these closet organisation tips useful. The aim is to have a wardrobe that brings you joy! – One that compliments your personality, lifestyle and budget. And, one that is easy to navigate, and gives you time to do the things that matter most.
Organising your wardrobe can be emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. It’s difficult to make choices about what stays and what goes. It’s also challenging to see alternatives ways to style items you have worn the same way over and over again. If you feel you could use some professional to help cull items, organise your closet in record time and get a new lease of life from clothes you already own, gift yourself a fun and rewarding wardrobe audit.