A WARDROBE REFRESH - ORGANISATION
Continuing our mini series on decluttering, renewing and building the perfect wardrobe, in this post, we will dive into the organisational part of the process. How you store your clothes is just as important as decluttering - it will reinforce and sustain the work you put into overhauling your wardrobe and potentially prolong the lifespan of your clothes.
Before we dive into the techniques of organisation, let us revisit the four pillars or principles we used as our guide:
Quality over Quantity
This principle does not only apply to the clothing in your closet but also to the closet and storage itself. Now, you do not need a bespoke walk-in wardrobe to create a great organisation system, however, it is worth considering a few well made, quality storage items suited to your wardrobe needs. And remember, quality doesn‘t always have to mean expensive. See our shopping suggestions below for some inspiration.
In the context of organising your closet, versatility means adapting the available storage space to the individual structure of your personal wardrobe/style as well as looking at storage solutions with an open mind, e.g. an empty shoebox is great for housing random items like gloves or spare hosiery.
Together with versatility, function builds the backbone of your wardrobe organisation, supporting your unique wardrobe structure and lifestyle. For example, if you have a focus on workwear, then your wardrobe space should be adapted to accommodate it for frequent access.
Even in something as seemingly mundane as wardrobe organisation there is still room for authenticity. If you love displaying your scarf collection and it gives you joy, do so, even if it means sacrificing a little extra storage space.
Before you jump into the actual organisation, it is worth evaluating your current storage system as well as the content you have curated by the decluttering process. Really think about every category of clothing, what role it plays in your day to day dressing, how you have it stored now and how you ideally would like to store it in a new wardrobe set up.
Do you have a lot of things to hang? If so, is there enough hanger space (consider length of clothing in this as well), do you have enough good hangers for your items (no wire hangers, please!), do any of the items require dust bags for protection, etc.? Or perhaps you own a lot of shoes that require shelf space and/or space for the boxes to be stored. Analysing your items and current set up in this way will help you gain clarity on what your closet is really missing in terms of storage and what system you would like to adopt to make your closet work for you and your lifestyle.
Wardrobe Organisation Techniques
After analysing and getting an idea of your new storage system, you can finally start with the actual organisation of your wardrobe. We think that you don’t need a complicated master plan to build a practical and organized closet. Rather, we believe that a clear structure and certain discipline are key to keep a closet neat and tidy:
The Most Used One
In an ideal wardrobe, you should place your most needed items somewhere visible and easily accessible first. So ask yourself, what type of clothing plays a major role in your day-to-day dressing. Are you working in an office and have to follow a certain dress code? Or are you an active gym member and need your sport outfits on a daily basis? In contrast, the stuff that you only access occasionally or seasonally (e.g. a ball gown or your ski gear) can be stowed away somewhere less accessible, say, on a top shelf or under the bed (if you have storage space there).
The Current Season
Making room for only the clothes that you need in this season, not only helps you have a streamlined space but also helps with air circulation, thus extending longevity and freshness of your clothes. The last thing you want is a jam-packed closet, where you have to push aside clothing items to take one out. Therefore, we recommend to place all your out of season clothing ideally in a separate wardrobe (if you have one!) or in the attic, covered to protect from dust. If you don’t have spare space in your closet and the cellar is the only alternative, make sure to cover your clothing items properly or use vacuum storage bags (see our shopping list below) to protect them from humidity. Just make sure to air your seasonal clothing properly before swapping it out when the next season rolls around.
The Hang & Fold Question
When you look at your clothes, one of the questions is “what to hang” and “what to fold”. Practically and efficiently thinking, it might make sense to hang most of your frequent items as you don’t want to refold them again and again. However, you should definitely fold delicate items like knit to avoid them losing their shape. Other delicate materials like silk are also best put on hangers (use padded ones, see our shopping list below) as you want to avoid endless creasing. Whatever you hang or fold, just keep in mind that some of the items might require dust bags for protection, e.g. an expensive designer dress or vintage items. For the hanging items, choose wood or velvet hangers. Please avoid wire ones, even if they are delivered free from the laundry service. It happens so quickly that your beloved item gets stuck at the rough edges of it.
With regard to folding, we highly recommend to follow Marie Kondo’s advise and use her space-saving technique. It is based on folding every piece into a smooth, simple rectangle so when standing on its edge, it fits the height of your drawer or other storage container. You will be surprised how vertically storing your clothing this way creates more space and helps you see everything at a glance. Think about it, if you pile your clothes on top of each other, it is not only much harder to see where everything is, but also a lot more cumbersome to access it all.
An easy access to your wardrobe also means considering the aesthetics of it. If your clothes are lined up in a row all colour-coordinated, it makes it easier for you to get dressed quickly. You could arrange them in a rainbow effect, which would look very pretty. But we suggest to set up your clothes by type first and then organize by colour within the types. It gives you a better overview of what you have and what’s potentially missing.
Once your closet is completely organised and sorted by colour, the next step should be to keep the content fresh. We recommend to open your wardrobe doors whenever you air your room in the morning to make sure that your clothes can live and breathe. If you like scents, you could use those little lavender pillows or any other scented items of choice. Depending on what you use, make sure you don’t place it directly on the clothes to avoid staining, e.g. incense sticks.
Wardrobe Organisation - Shopping Suggestions
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We hope that these techniques and tips will be motivating you to experiment with a new wardrobe structure even if it takes time and sometimes a testing phase too, to find out what works best. It is worth it though: you will see how much time this process can save you in the long term and how much joy seeing a perfect, decluttered and organized wardrobe in front of you can bring.
The next and last post in this series will focus on evaluating your newly formed wardrobe by identifying what your essentials are and to find out what’s potentially missing. For us personally, a functional wardrobe is not only the reduced amount of clothing items, it is also the power of a reduced colour palette.
Being grounded in less does not mean being constraint in your choices, on the contrary, it will open up a lot of styling possibilities and simplify the process of getting dressed, thus allowing you to get the maximum value out of your wardrobe.