Another thought: Please could you do some articles (rather than videos) about where to store your clothes. ( thinking about what type of clothing is best hung in a wardrobe OR folding on a shelf in the wardrobe OR in chest of drawers alongside the wardrobe). shirts, knits, cardigans, trousers and jeans etc. So storage verses accessibility and being able to see all clothing options as much as possible, if you get my drift. … thanks
Wardrobe storage is a little personal. It can depend on what your wardrobe looks like and the space you have.
Personally I prefer to hang as much as possible. Most of us go to our hanging section first, so if you can see it hanging, then you’re more likely to wear it.
- Only 1 garment per hanger
- Hang similar items together – eg. skirts together, trousers together, jackets together etc. This allows you to discover more mix and match possibilities as you start to see what your options are.
- Hang in colour order. I go through the rainbow, starting at white, then through the rainbow ending with brown, grey and black. This way you can easily find your pink top when you’re in a hurry. Plus you discover if you’re rather colour dominant in any way – I will always remember doing a wardrobe audit with one of my clients and she insisted she had no green tops, but we found about 20 of them, but because they weren’t hung together she didn’t realize just how many she had (and kept buying more because she thought she was lacking in green tops.
- Throw out wire hangers. They trash your clothing. They rust, leave marks in your clothes and should be returned to the dry cleaner rather than used at home. Invest in some decent hangers. If you have space, wooden ones are great, if you’re space poor the slim velour hangers are fabulous as things don’t slip off them.
- Find your wardrobe hot spots and cold spots (where you reach first, and where you reach last). Put your most used garments in your hot spot – for me that’s tops. Then put your least used in your cold spots (for most of us it’s evening wear). Make it easy for yourself to get dressed, don’t have your most used clothes in a hard to reach place. One of my clients wanted to dress more smart casual than relaxed casual, yet she had all her relaxed casual tops in her wardrobe hot spot, so of course that’s what she reached for each day. We swapped it around, put her smart casual tops in her hot spot and moved those more casual tops to a slightly harder to reach spot so that she’d reach for the clothes that made her look smarter first!
- Make sure you hang skirts on skirt hangers and trousers on trouser hangers. They keep your clothing investment in better condition.
- You can use hanging pockets to store shoes in the hanging portion of your wardrobe – it makes them easy to find and is an economical use of space.
- Drawers are great for underwear, hosiery, sleepwear, exercise wear, shorts, beach wear, jeans, but not much else. I can’t tell you how many times when cleaning out drawers with clients they’ve discovered tops that they’d completely forgotten they had because they’d got stuck at the back of a drawer.
- Use old shoe boxes to divide up smaller items such as underwear, socks, hose and bras.
- Don’t over fill them.
- Shelves can be great for larger pieces of knitwear that would get stretched if hung, and that may be too chunky for a drawer.
- Tidy shelves frequently, like drawers they can get out of control easily.
- Don’t just store a heap of old stuff on your shelves because you have space. Shelves are often the space I see old, out of date clothes go to die, yet they never get laid to rest (given away), they just stay there for years, but are never worn.
- Shelves can also be great for jeans, shorts and exercise wear. Very few people have enough discipline to keep all their knits tidy on shelves, though one of my clients has the most organised shelves I’ve ever seen and she folds all her knits in tissue paper to stop creasing and slipping in their piles, and they are arranged in colour.
- Shelves can also work for shoes, if you have lots of them. You can stack shoe boxes on them if you like to keep shoes in boxes. Otherwise, you can store shoes one behind each other on the shelf so you can easily find them.
- Handbags are great stored on shelves. Stand them next to each other so you can easily slide out.
After reading this, I was motivated to have a bit of a wardrobe tidy-up, taking particular notice of steps 1 and 3. I found few more hangers, gave each top a hanger of its own, hung the tops in colour order and the results were pretty amazing. Suddenly I could see all sorts of combos that I hadn’t envisaged before, and like the green top lady, I don’t need half the things I thought I needed. Thank you very much Imogen, I’m delighted!
Personally, I prefer to store my tops, thin sweaters and not-usual-worn-this-season in drawers because I dont have enough space to hang everything. My closet is one metre wide and its almost completly full with blazers, blouses and buttoms only. I just have too much clothes to store. (but I use MOST of it. None of my clothes has their tags on and most of it get worn except for a few “dont know where to wear” pieces. I dont throw out or donate clothes for storage reason. Like I still wear my 6 years old jeans that are fairly good condition…) 😛
One thing I think is useful:
Store off-season and special occassion wear in plastic storage boxes under your bed or on top of an closet (if you’ve some space over it) or in a shared walk in closet. Paper boxes can stain clothes so either canvas or plastic bags only. This method helped me alot, because that way I will find everything I need even in drawers!
Another method I use is sorting my clothes by occassion or after their purpose (e.g. basics, “workhouses, occassionally wear like statement pieces) and then by type, not by color. For example, If there is something I already know now that I wont wear regulary, I put it on the buttom of the drawers or the side of the hangers. My everyday wear gets more worn than my weekand/leisure wear so those are always in the centre and on top of the drawers! If I store both my everyday tops and evening tops together I would get confused.
But a problem Ive when storing clothes is the drawers – everytime I take out a top, the entire drawer become decluttered, because my drawers are so deep. Like 6-10 tops on top of each others…xD
I’ve started following Marie Kendo’s recommendation to roll tops and store them “vertically” by color in drawers. Much easier to find, and easy to keep neat.
Thanks for replying Imogen, it helps to have some pointers to refer to.
I’ve just cleaned my wardrobe and shoes too, re-organised a bit and got rid of a lot of hangers and some got bagged for charity. “Find your wardrobe hot spots and cold spots”… has helped me the most. I agree about “workhorses verses occasion wear”, my main standby’s are more accessible than my going out / evening clothes for example. I still need to address the out of season things, but have at least got going !
Thank you for your suggestions.
Great point about placing your most wanted/needed items in the hot spots
do you care if I tweet your post?
You are of course welcome to tweet all my posts Mason!
I like your tip to find your wardrobe hot spots and cold spots. I think that’s a great way to make things that you want to wear more accessible. Like in your example, it’s much more likely that you will dress a certain way if a certain style of clothes is in your “hot spot.” Thanks for the tips!
This week I tried an experiment. I was bored with wearing the same combinations of clothes. When I have time on the weekends, I can come up with new combinations of clothes, but I never think of them (or to look at photos of outfits I can up with on the weekend). So I decided to arrange my clothes in outfits. I had 3 outfits planned when I came up with an idea for a new combo that needed one of the tops that I had already used. By planning ahead I was able to switch the top out of the first combo and replace it with another. If I had just worn the items, then the top I wanted wouldn’t have been clean. Plus I didn’t have to think too much each morning – although I did make a few tweaks based on how I felt each morning. I will definitely do it again.
Can you please explain the difference between a skirt hanger and a trouser hanger? How did I get to age 61 and not know there was a difference (then again, I remember covering wire hangers with knits of fabric to make them prettier, less wirey and less slippery).
They can be the same – clips on a wire. Or a trouser hanger can be two pieces of wood with a felt lining that clamp together over the bottom of the trousers.
I am working hard at creating my wonderful, seasonless wardrobe utilizing your tips and suggestions. I have a question regarding hanging techniques for tops. Do you suggest hanging all tanks together light to dark; short sleeve tees light to dark; long sleeve blouses, etc. OR, all cream tops together, tank, tees then long sleeves? I am trying to find the best solution for wearing what I have more efficiently. Also, do you hang cardigans separately from colored tops or include the cardigan with the appropriate colored tops? The rest is a no brainer, jackets, pants, etc.
Whew! You are just the girl to help me with this organizational delima…
Thank you and I remain, as always,
A faithful fan,
Ah – the million dollar questions! It really depends on you and your lifestyle and how you like to put things together. I hang tops together (all sleeve lengths) including cardigans together. I use the rainbow starting at white and ending at black with the rainbow inbetween. I think it’s worth trying this, see if you like it, if not try hanging all same sleeve lengths together and see if this works. There is no one right way! And sometimes it depends on the space you have and how things are laid out!
thanks so much for your blog. Can you please tell me what kind of trouser hangers you use? I don’t want to use normal clothes hangers for trousers but the trouser hangers with clips which I can find in shops and the internet take up a lot of space. Thanks! Andrea
Hi Andrea – I use this kind in my wardrobe as I’ve only got an area for shorter hanging to fit in my trousers http://amzn.to/2EplakR
If you’re really short on space these might be good http://amzn.to/2DRFhXQ
or these http://amzn.to/2Es1pJz