Many professional organisers out there will remind you of the 80/20 rule. Basically, if you open your wardrobe doors and acknowledge that you wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time, you will already be on your way to creating more space in your wardrobe. Easier said than done? Then try this trick. Take all your clothes hangers (with clothes still on them) and re-hang them back on the rail with the hook reversed. When you use an item of clothing on a hanger, hang it back the correct way. After six months (or less) you will see which items you wear regularly and which haven’t been worn at all. Elimination, round one, complete. Apply this to shoes, and other accessories. If you keep your shoes in shoeboxes, keep a marker pen in your wardrobe and tick the box every time you wear the shoes or turn shoes on racks back to front. For accessories put them all into a box (say belts) and only store away what you wear. Anything left in the box after 6 months or any unmarked shoe-boxes go to goodwill with the clothes.
Like with Like & Creating Boundaries
It makes sense to create boundaries. Put all your items into categories. How far you go with this depends on how much space you have and how disciplined you can be. If you like to create a rainbow of colour with all your items that’s up to you, but be careful of painting yourself into a corner that is too difficult to maintain on busy or uninspired days. Obviously once you have sorted everything it’s time to be honest and do your virtual fashion show and just see how many outfits you can make that will use the ‘red shoes’, the ‘gold belt’ or the ‘to-die-for aqua purse’. There better be at least 3 outfits worthy of their expense and shelf space. Now segment up your wardrobe and allocate a space for each category. Once you have items grouped you will see how much space you need. Trim down where necessary.
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. The problem with wire hangers is that they are meant for the quick and temporary application of your dry-cleaning transport and not for long term use (that’s why they’re free!), 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. For ideas on how to do this and more on which hangers to use for the right job, check out my other article 6 Groovy Wardrobe Organising Products on hangers.
Drawers & Shelves
Invest in some dividers for your drawers to literally divide and conquer and make better use of the space within them. Dump bins on shelves can be as pretty or as practical as you like. If behind closed doors then no one else sees them, label where possible to retain order. Use dump bins on shelves and floor. If stacking knitwear or t-shirts on shelves, stop tumbling piles and mess by putting a sheet of cardboard between each one. Lift and separate one or a block of folded items (a good use for old unfolded cereal box cardboard).
Sometimes getting crafty by covering ordinary items with fabric and adding a groovy label can inspire you to put things away. Next time you’re in a clothing shop, have a look at how they do things there and try and do similar things at home. If you can use hooks to hang things on walls or doors inside robes, think of creative ways to display them. One client I had was a self-confessed fashionista and as soon as we re-created her own version of a fashion shop at home, she was always inspired to put things away and felt like she was shopping in her own wardrobe each time she got ready. Another note on labels, try and keep them uniform. Uniformity in any styling has a way of making most things seem tidier and lines cleaner. It’s a bit like sticking to one colour code for shoe boxes. In the picture you’ll see I’ve kept similar labels on different shaped baskets and boxes which aids the presentation of ‘clean lines’ and uniformity.
And for tips on rolling, folding and storing jeans and gaining a world of hanging space check out this this instructional video from Fold and Fly. Even the big guys and the teens will be inspired!
For some useful products and other wardrobe organising tips check out my other article 6 Groovy Wardrobe Organising Products.
And you thought you had nothing to do this weekend?