Time to take stock of your wardrobe (closet)? Here are some great products to help get it all sorted and jazzed up, some of which I own and have road-tested. If you’re crafty maybe you can create some of these things yourself with what you already have? Read through the lines for tips and tricks.
Shoe Storage: Ikea SKUB Shoeboxes: Firstly personally I dislike those clear, foldable plastic shoe boxes. Too fiddly! I much prefer and believe I get more value out of my Ikea SKUB ShoeboxesThe ones pictured here are the new black version (mine are more of a calico colour). The beauty of these is that they are firstly fabric and the front flap is see-through mesh so you can see what’s in them, that flap then lifts up for easy removal of your shoes and then flaps down and attaches with velcro. Air can get in and keep shoes ventilated. They also stack beautifully and don’t bend out of shape. Usually sold in a pack of 4, I consider them great value and longer-lasting.
Boots: Booty Shapers: To ensure your boots keep their shape, grab yourself some groovy inflatable Booty Shapers from Howards Storage World. A neat gift idea ~ however, if you have many pairs of boots, it’s just as easy to grab yourself some foam pool noodles and cut them down to size and put them in your boots to maintain shape.
Extending Horizontal Wardrobe Real Estate: These extender bars on hooks provide an additional rod beneath the fitted rod. I find these are wonderful for children’s wardrobes for when they are too little to reach the high bar. For children’s rooms, it may be worth outfitting with a few of these and using the space above for either out of season garments or for some cut-down hanging pockets to store hats, scarves, fluffy toys etc. If you want kids to put their stuff away – make it easy for them by giving them a rail they can reach. The Closet Max Expanding Hanging Max Bar is available from Lifespace (although I have seen these at Howards Storage World and at other retailers.)
Smalls: Don’t get your knickers in a knot!: There are many drawer organizers on the market although you can re-use old takeaway containers, small cardboard boxes and other things you already have to help compartmentalise your drawers. I truly love this one which is great for underwear, stockings, scarves, hair accessories, ties, belts, socks and looks really pretty too, however, you might want to also check out this Diamond Drawer Organiser available from Howards Storage World. Although, again, I have seen it in other stores.
Belts (& Ties): Always a difficult one, usually found curled up in a massive ball with other belts and usually too hard to disentangle and therefore not worn. Here is a groovy product to help which holds around 6-18 belts. Evriholder TAB-W Twirl-A-Belt is available from fishpond.com.au Another way to keep your belts behaving is to simply put them over the hook of the hanger for the item they’re worn with. If your belt is more ornamental, or doesn’t have a hole in the buckle area to provide for hanging, you may need to look at rolling it and placing it in a drawer sorter, like the Diamond Drawer Organiser above, or in the shoe box with the shoes it matches.
Hangers: The Low Down: Do yourself a favour and say a big NO to wire hangers. They tangle and frustrate, loose their shape over time and more often than not end up on the floor with your clothes still on them. This also includes wire hangers with a plastic tube covering. The problem with wire hangers is that they are meant for the quick and temporary application of the dry-cleaners and not for long term use nor do they meet the demands of clothing of varying weights and shapes. Instead invest in a good selection of hangers fit for different purposes. The preface to this is simple, when things work and make things easy, we tend to use them. The right hangers can also help you speed up your morning preparation time for work.
Wooden Hangers: while some brands may be expensive, they are the ideal solution for costly coats, jackets and suits and thus worth the investment. Go for the enclosed triangle shape as opposed to the cheap wooden banana shape with a metal hook. If you go for a box of 20 or more it will bring the price down. Some wooden hangers even come with handy clips for suits.
Plastic Hangers: as long as they are sturdy, these can be the solution for most of the items in your wardrobe, just make sure they are not made of the stuff that can easily snap, which are usually the ones that come from the boutique. What you want is a hanger that is round and tubular. If you can get the ones with a few handy hooks built into them to accommodate straps, all the better.
Padded Hangers: yup, those lovely satin covered or crocheted numbers Nana gives you are actually perfect for delicate fabrics and soft knits that can be hung, if you can’t find any at the local fete or market, usually stores like Lincraft will stock them. Generally though it is better to fold knitwear than to hang it. Flocked hangers are also very useful and come in a variety of styles for many different uses.
Clip Hangers: so many on the market, go for the ones that have some kind of plastic coating over the metal clip to avoid snags, and provide better grip over time without transferring rust onto your clothes.
Clever Hangers: Like the ones pictured are well worth the investment for saving horizontal hanging space. If you can hang 4 shirts per hanger then you can have your wardrobe for work sorted with a day to be spontaneous. The 4 tier trouser hanger works by having swing out rods. When hanging your trousers across the bars, start from the bottom and work up, each rod is covered with flocking to help maintain grip and to help with fold marks, however for my money I prefer a clip hanger for trousers to avoid fold-marks.
Two final notes!
1. For those dresses, coats or suits that are kept for rare special occasions or for out of season, it is worthwhile hanging them with some kind of plastic cover to prevent dust from accumulating on the shoulder area, (especially true if you are working with velvet fabrics!). While there are many on the market, be sure to find one that allows for ventilation, however, for my money if you turn a black garbage bag upside down and poke the hook of the hanger through the bag seem and let it drape over your garment, it works just as well, and the opening down the bottom allows for air-flow.
2. Invest in a few sandalwood, lavender or cedar blocks or rings to protect against moths.
And remember, when things are ‘easy’ to maintain, then things are easy to keep organised.