How to organise your wardrobe & edit your clothes
Hi, I’m Kate, the founder of A Tidy Mind. It’s been a while since I’ve introduced myself on the blog so here I am! My purpose is helping people who are struggling with their stuff or battling disorder at home.
In modern society, we have extensive access to cheaper retail. But an abundance of choice means we’re in danger of acquiring things which don’t add true value to our lives, that we don’t have room for or don’t fit with our authentic selves. Everyone needs a calm, functional home and it has a knock on effect to a calm, content mind too.
Tidying has always been a bit like therapy for me – I find it so relaxing. Some people go for a massage – I tidy out a wardrobe(!) I remember being quite young and feeling inspired to give my bedroom a makeover. I cleared out the clutter, ensured everything had a place and colour coded my clothes. I immediately felt more inspired, energetic and secure. It felt like my own refuge – a place to centre myself and a hub of positive energy. I see my home the same way today and I believe everyone deserves their own little sanctuary.
If I’m working with a client, I often suggest starting with the wardrobe. It’s one of the first places you see in the morning and the last you see at night.
When you open your wardrobe, you’re seeing a representation of yourself.
What you choose to wear has the power to affect your mood, your confidence and the trajectory of your whole day.
Your clothes and accessories have so much power over how you feel and how you present to other people. You need ‘go to’ outfits that you know make look good, but are also practical. You need storage to work for you so you can see what you own. You need habits and routines which maintain that order.
You CAN have a wonderful relationship with your wardrobe and make it work for you. Don’t let it be a messy dumping ground! Follow my tips below:
Get The Right Storage
I normally suggest waiting until the end to look at storage but wardrobes are the exception to the rule. They are a limited space so it’s easier to visualise. Plus there are only so many storage products that work well with wardrobes.
In drawers, use dividers so you can separate small items like socks, underwear and accessories.
For shoes, stackable, clear boxes work well (in the bottom of a wardrobe if there’s room), as do shelves or cubby holes.
Consider putting ‘out of season’ clothes in enclosed boxes and storing on top of a wardrobe or under the bed – but do label so you can see what’s in them at a glance.
‘Skinny hangers’ are brilliant. They save 30% space and create a streamlined, uniform look.
Always look at all your potential clothing storage space objectively, wardrobes, drawers and the space you have around them. Would you benefit from adding an extra wardrobe rail? Or additional shelving or hooks on the wall, which you could use for bags or scarves? Are you utilising every bit of your space? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have one of those walk in dressing rooms? Only most of us don’t – and need to use every single inch wisely.
Decluttering is not about depriving yourself or losing anything. It’s about learning to cherish what you have. When you declutter your wardrobe, keep in mind that everything you keep should make you feel good and bring you joy. Even if you are not content with your body, this can still be the case – that’s the power of good clothes and accessories.
Carve out some uninterrupted time to have your sort out but don’t try to do everything in a couple of hours. You’ll exhaust yourself. To combat this, split things into categories and finish one category before starting on another. Maybe start small with your underwear drawer. Or your socks. Or your jeans, shoes etc. Categorising is useful because you can compare like with like and you see whether you have duplicates easily.
Have charity bags and bin bags ready, plus an ‘action pile’ for things which need mending/cleaning etc. Ask yourself:
Do I feel good in this?
Is it comfortable?
Does it fit right?
Is it ‘me’?
Will I actually wear it?
Do I have other things to wear it with?
Does the colour compliment my skintone?
Would I buy it if I saw it today?
Do I have something else similar I would choose above this?
Once you’ve streamlined down your clothes to only those which you are meant to own, you can look at how to organise your wardrobe.
People tend to think hanging clothes saves room but actually, even with skinny hangers, you can get a lot more clothes into drawers than you can on a rail. But forget folding clothes and then piling them on top of each other – that will just create a crumpled mess over time. The key is to fold each garment so that it basically stands up on its own aka ‘the Marie Kondo folding technique’ If you have cubby holes or shelves, you may choose to stack jumpers or t-shirts….but think like a shop owner and don’t stack more than 4/5 garments.
Turn your attention to your hanging space in the wardrobe and think about whether you want to separate clothes into work, occasion and casual. I don’t personally as I find it an extra thing to think about. But it works well for some lifestyles.
Colour coding can work well, but depends on your personality. We often chose what to wear based on colour so colour coding makes it simple to find what you’re looking for. It also creates an aesthetically pleasing look. And it stops you buying another black top if you don’t need one! Simply start with dark colours on the left, working your way up to lighter colours and white. Have a section somewhere in the middle for patterned clothing.
Develop Habits And Routines
Many of us do laundry every day, particularly if we have children. Where a lot of my clients fall down is putting the dry, clean clothes away. It’s too easy to end up with a build-up of clothes waiting to be folded or hung. Make it a rule that one load of dry washing has to be put away before the next load gets done. And ideally, put dry clothes away as part of the same task as getting them out of the dryer or off the washing line. It makes a 5 minute job a 10 minute job but if you see it as one task, it won’t feel onerous. Ironing? My only advice there is try to do as little of it as possible.
Another routine might be choosing your outfit for the next day and laying it out. It means a few less decisions to make in the morning and creates more head space for the day ahead. You might want a hook or clothes horse to lay your outfit on (not a chair, because they just attract more clothes until they become a giant chair/clothes mountain). With your clothes ready for the morning, try to get your bedroom tidy with everything in its correct place before bed. You’ll then be ready for a truly restful night’s sleep.
I hope you’ve gained some wardrobe inspiration. It’s not about perfection…once you’re organised, you’ll be able to let things slip for a day or two and still pull them back quickly. And remember that decluttering isn’t about depriving yourself. If you do it mindfully, you’ll end up feeling that you have more rather than less (read more about how decluttering can make you more content)
Finally, if you need help streamlining and organising any space, do get in touch – [email protected] or click the contact button below.