Have you ever fallen guilty to staring at a bludging wardrobe, “without a single thing to wear”? Chances are, there are plenty of great items there, but they are hiding behind a pile of mess. Or perhaps it’s simply time to make room for some new favourites! Either way, the transition from season to season is always a good time to take a look at your clutter and get organised for the months to come!
Benefits of an organised space
Having an organised wardrobe isn’t just for the ladies out there! In fact, having a well-constructed wardrobe will help to make your everyday life much easier, no matter your gender.
Firstly, it will create more space, which is something we can never have enough of! A well planned wardrobe lay out specifically aids the maximisation of space. Consider utilising shelving, hanging rails and drawers that will help to accommodate all your bits and pieces in a constructed mode, aiding your lifestyle through accessibility.
An organised wardrobe will ensure that everything has its place, helping you find the items you need quickly. Knowing exactly where everything goes stops you from wasting time hunting through piles of clothes for that item you know is hiding somewhere!
It might not be something you have considered before, but a large, organised wardrobe helps to increase your home’s value! How? Storage space is often an issue for everyone and with more and more buyers in search of larger wardrobe spaces, you could see yourself benefiting at sale time!
Finally, it will make your wardrobe look great! Let’s face it – an organised space with a personalised layout will help to keep it clean and tidy, making sure your dressing area is always in tip-top shape and looking fabulous!
Where to begin
Start by clearing your wardrobe entirely, emptying out all of your clothing and shoes. This will help you see the bigger picture and understand the space you are working with.
When assessing your cupboard space, think about what you actually need to store and whether you have enough room for this. You might need to consider creating more space or restructuring the area you already have. Also, think about what hardware you have to work with – drawers, hangers and storage boxes for instance.
Next, ask yourself how much room you need for clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. Are you going to hang, fold or pack these items? Keep in mind extras such an underwear, jewellery and hats that need to be factored in too.
If you are going to be pushed for space, think about space elsewhere in your home. However, be mindful, you don’t want to simply move the problem out of your wardrobe and into another room of the house. Storage in other rooms, say a guest bedroom wardrobe, is great for special clothing items such as ski clothing, wedding dresses, evening gowns and costumes but not much more.
Make the choice
It is time to de-clutter! Pick up every item of clothing and make a decision about it there and then. It might not be easy, but tough love never is- it’s time to be ruthless!
Throw out anything that you haven’t worn in two years, or anything that is two sizes too big or small. Consider whether you would buy the item today, or whether it goes with other pieces in your wardrobe. If you don’t regularly wear an item but can’t bear to part with it due to sentimental reasons, consider putting it into storage.
Try sorting through your clothes into the following categories:
Keep – Regular – These items are ones you wear often, or have done so in the last 3 months. They fit well, suit you and go with other items in your wardrobe.
Keep – Irregular – In this pile you will include special occasion items such as evening wear, wedding dresses, maternity wear and season items that aren’t used frequently but still want to keep.
Keep – Out of season – This includes items that are not worn in the season you are in.
Keep – Repairs – These are items that require dry cleaning or minor repairs to bring them back to regularly worn items. These repairs need to be made ASAP, as they will not be worn (taking up important space) until mended.
Donation – This pile is for items that are in good condition, but you don’t wear anymore. Perhaps they are no longer your style or an incorrect fit. Donate to the less fortunate at your nearest Good Sammy’s store.
Recycling – If you have good condition items that you don’t wear consider giving them to friends, free-cycling, selling on eBay or at a car boot sales.
Rubbish – This pile is for clothing items that are genuinely rubbish. Items that are irreparable, worn-out, or unfit for wear.
To keep or not to keep...
Keep in mind – you only really use 20% of your clothes 80% of the time, so if you are contemplating whether to keep it or chuck it, our vote is chuck! This helps to maximise space and make room for new items.
Whether you are keeping something because you love it, because you’re waiting for it to come back into fashion, or because you want to lose those extra 5 kilos – now is the time, throw it out! You will always find a reason to stop you from binning it but that doesn’t mean you should keep it. These ‘irreplaceable’ items are very much replaceable, and will probably end up being replaced by something you will use much more.
Ready, steady, organise
Now that you are aware of what space you have to work with, as well as what clothes you are keeping, it is time to get down to business. Most importantly, it is about utilising the space you have available to its full capacity. So how should they be organised to best compliment your lifestyle?
There are a million and one ways that you can organise your wardrobe but why not start by dividing your items in to three primary zones of your wardrobe based on the above categories.
The A Zone – The zone should include all your items that are worn on a daily basis. For example, work wear, athletic gear and pyjamas. These should be stored in a very accessible area.
The B Zone – This area is for items worn less regularly, stored in a less accessible area but still reachable. This can include casual wear or special occasion items, for example.
The C Zone – This is used to store items rarely used at the current time, but will be used in the future or hold a sentimental value. It can include seasonal items, maternity wear and wedding dresses.
From this point you need to delegate each zone to a different section of your wardrobe and decide what hardware you are going to utilise for what. Think hangers, shelving, dividers and drawers and what is going to work best for you. If you have enough space to hang everything, make sure you do, as you are likely to wear everything more if you can see it.
Dresses - There are a range of different ways that dresses can be organised. By colour, by sleeve length, by skirt length, by season or by occasion, just to name a few. We like to organise ours by season – from strapless to long sleeve – allowing you to find the perfect dress for the weather!
When it comes to pants, skirts and shorts, we suggest using clipped hangers. Hang inside out to ensure that the items are not marked by the hangers, and in an order from shorter to longer length.
Shelving, Drawers & Dividers
Knits, Jumpers and Sweaters – These are best folded and stored on shelving or in drawers. This helps to prohibit heavy items losing shape over time when hung on a hanger. Consider organising them by material, and therefore weight, ensuring you use dividers between each. Keep the heavier sweaters at the bottom, and why not even use a folding board when folding to make perfect, neatly stacked piles of clothing.
Make sure to use drawer or shelving space to organise your jean collection too. Compile in colour coordination or by brand, to ensure you know exactly where to find your favourite pair! This method is often more convenient to hanging as you are able to view all pairs at once before making a choice.
Living with it
Once you have the area sorted, it’s time to live with the system you’ve created and stick to it! You obviously utilise your wardrobe on a day-to-day basis, which means your wardrobe needs day-to-day maintenance to keep it organised before it becomes cluttered again.
Try these tips to keep your wardrobe in a functional system:
Rotate your clothes as the seasons change – Add a date to your diary to which you will change your wardrobe over. If you have a lot of clothes make sure you rotate them more often to ensure you wear them all!
Make sure you look after your clothes – If you treat your clothes with respect and keep them in an organised manner, you will likely get more wear out of them. Saving you time and money in the long run searching for replacement items.
Work on a one-in-one-out system – ensuring all new purchases are met by an old one which can be disposed of. This will help you ensure you do not become overwhelmed with numerous items again.
Shop smart - When you are shopping in the future think about what you actually need and what will go with what you already have.
It’s time to measure whether the changes you made have been working for you. What issues are you facing (if any)? Are you able to find things quick enough? Do you still have too many clothes? Could you organise your items differently?
Once you have identified any issues, make sure you tweak your system to ensure you stick with your organised wardrobe into the future. With careful modification you will eventually develop the perfect method of wardrobe upkeep for you personally.
If you are stuck for ideas, why not try these handy hints here - http://www.buzzfeed.com/juliegerstein/life-changing-clothing-organization-tips