I don’t think anyone has ever said that they like a messy wardrobe. At best, a messy wardrobe makes finding your favourite top take five minutes longer than it should. At worst, you end up living off of a mountain of clothes and no matching socks. But it doesn’t have to be like this! The secret to organising a wardrobe is two-fold. You can spend your whole weekend getting everything folded and put away, but you need to stay on top of things. On the other hand, you can put away stuff during the week, but if you don’t have a system, the inside of your wardrobe will closely resemble a jumble sale. I’ve come up with a system that tackles how to organise your wardrobe and make sure it stays that way. It works really well for me, so hopefully you will find it useful too. So let’s get started!
Step 1: Assess your collection
The first thing to do is pull everything out of your wardrobe and lay it out on your bed or floor (or both!). Seeing everything in front of you makes you realise how many clothes you have and it can be quite a wake-up call! I rarely do big shopping sprees, and tend to pick up clothes when I see something I like in a sale or online. As a result of this, stuff accumulates almost without me realising it.
This is where you have to be a little ruthless. If you haven’t worn something in the last twelve months, you’re probably not going to wear it again, so set it aside. I usually have a big Ikea bag next to me when I’m doing a clearout because it’s always good to donate your clothes rather than throwing them away. A lot of people have a ‘maybe’ pile, but I don’t do that. I put whatever I have doubts about in the giveaway bag with the rest, and at the end of the clearout if I’m still not thinking about it, then I clearly didn’t want it as much as I thought.
Step 2: Sort, sort, sort
Now that you’ve cut down your clothes collection, it’s time to sort it all out before you actually put it back in your wardrobe. Of course, this will depend on the kind of space you have, so feel free to adapt this to make it work for you. I have one double wardrobe with a rack, two shelves and some space at the bottom. This is what I do:
Organise by colour/pattern/whatever works for you
This is where you need to ask yourself the a few questions to find what works. Do you have a primarily monochrome wardrobe? If so, sorting by colour won’t be the best idea because you won’t be able to locate things quickly. Do you have ‘work clothes’ and ‘regular clothes’? If your workwear is dramatically different from your everyday wear, then this would be a good option for you. Are there a lot of patterns in your wardrobe – stripes, florals or plaid? Then maybe you should use that as your base.
I take a mixed approach. I sort my clothes broadly by colour, and also have a section to the side for all my striped tops (because I have a LOT of those!). My work has a casual dress code, so I don’t have to worry about separating on that basis. Work with what you’ve got and you’ll be surprised at how helpful this little exercise it. It will help you identify gaps and inspire your next shopping trip. And on the flip side, it will also stop you from buying yet another black top when you see exactly how much black there already is in your wardrobe with just a quick glance.
Put similar things together
This one sounds so obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Once you have organised everything according to what works for you, it’s time to group things in those categories together. So let’s say you’ve got a ‘blue’ section. Start off with any camis or strappy tops, followed by tshirts and then blouses. Follow this for all the colours, so you get used to where things are. So the next time you’re looking for a short-sleeved blue t-shirt, you’ll know that it’s roughly in the middle of the blue section and save yourself some rifling!
Baskets are your best friend
So all of the above tips are fine for things like tops, dresses and skirts, but what about socks? Underwear? Belts? Tights? They’re all small items, but there are so many of them. This makes it easy to lose one (or five). My solution for this is to get yourself some baskets.
These are the ones I use, but you can use whatever ones you have on hand. If you need to buy some, I would suggest taking a look at Tiger, which is where I got mine. They do loads of different sizes, and they’re very affordable. I keep these at the bottom of my wardrobe, and use one for tights, one for socks and one for underwear. I use the wire one for my belts. Honestly, these things are a gamechanger! They are so much better than drawers because you don’t have to worry about keeping them neat. If you’ve got your socks in a drawer, you disrupt the whole thing when looking for a particular pair. That doesn’t happen with a basket because everything is thrown in there anyway. They’re also easy to tuck away because they don’t take up much room. Or you could just have them in the corner of your room, because they look nice and colourful!
Think about accessibility
This is more of a general tip, but think about how often you reach for certain things and arrange accordingly. You might own loads of gym leggings but if you only workout twice a week, there’s no point having them at the very front of your wardrobe. Similarly, you might have a scarf that you use the most compared to other scarves so consider hanging that up so it’s easy to reach for instead of stashing it in the back with the rest of them. It’s all about making sure you find what you’re looking for with minimal effort.
Step 3: Staying on top of things
So you’ve sorted out your wardrobe and it is looking amazing. Great job! Now, how do you ensure that it doesn’t descend back down into chaos? You need to stay on top of things.
The easiest way is to set aside a couple of minutes every night before you go to bed to either put what you were wearing that day into the laundry basket. If it’s something that doesn’t need washing right away (like jeans), then put it on a coat hangar and hang up on your door. This way it has a chance to air out a little, and the next night, you can put it away when you replace it with what you wore that day. It’s an easy system that doesn’t take up time, and if you do it every night, it stops clothes from piling up during the week.
And that’s pretty much what I do! I know this is a long one, but I thought it would be useful to share, so I hope it has helped. Do you have any organisation tips of your own when it comes to your wardrobe? I’d love to know, so please leave me a comment!