In a world that feels increasingly chaotic, it feels important to cling to order wherever we can find it. It might seem like a small thing, but organising your wardrobe is a simple place to start. Think about it: we get dressed every day,so if our clothes are messily crammed into random drawers or hanging haphazardly off cheap hangers, we’re going to experience the same self-inflicted annoyance on a daily basis. A tidy wardrobe is a tidy mind.
There are other perks, too. “Knowing how to properly store and care for your clothes not only helps you create a calm wardrobe but also extends the life of your clothing so that you can enjoy them for longer,” Maria Bettis, organisation expert and founder of Slow Style Mindset, tells me. “I remind my clients that opening their wardrobe is the first thing they do each morning, so if the experience is positive it will help set their mood for the rest of the day.”
Sounds worthwhile, right? But before you embark on a complete closet overhaul, there are a few things to keep in mind. Find out exactly how experts go about organising their wares, plus the handy products that make the job easier, below.
If you’re working with a compact space, a heavy-duty wardrobe might not be the best option for you. I asked John Lewis‘ Home Design Stylist, Leah White, what she would recommend. “Fixing shelves on the walls that run the length of the room is a great solution in small spaces, as they keep the space feeling open and the illusion of more room. Clothing rails can then be hung underneath, maximising the space without the need for a chunky wardrobe.”
Enjoy having your clothes where you can see them? Choose a set of rails or an open wardrobe.
Opt for light-coloured shelving to retain a sense of openness in the room.
Stack HAY crates on your shelving to hold those bits and bobs that need a home.
You’d be surprised how much you can hang on these industrial-style rails.
According to Bettis, “categorising and colour coordinating clothing makes the process of getting ready each morning easier.” There are financial and environmental benefits, too. “[It] helps identify gaps in your wardrobe so you can shop with purpose and steer clear from unnecessary impulse purchases.”
Try not to stash all your shoes at the bottom of your wardrobe. Instead, place a shoe rack somewhere separate; it’s more hygienic, plus they’ll be easier to access.
Storing small accessories is too often an afterthought. With a nifty solution like this, you’ll know where your sunnies are when you need them. These come in a handful of colours, too, so you can customise to your decor preferences.
Avoid an inacessible jumble of socks, tights and lingerie by inserting this organiser into your drawer.
This slimline option is perfect for tight spaces.
There’s more to organising a closet than just hanging clothes. “Fold denim using shelf dividers to get the most use from your wardrobe,” White suggests, “and roll smaller items like strappy tops and shorts to really maximise drawer space.”
You can stack these shelves on top of each other to create a bespoke storage system in your wardrobe.
Cluttered drawers, be gone!
Use woven baskets to house everyday essentials that you need easy access to.
Muji makes stackable drawers in all shapes and sizes.
After talking to Bettis, I’m convinced there’s a knack to making your knitwear last. “Your delicate knitwear is best stored folded to retain its shape but if you prefer to hang them, ensure you use rounded knitwear hangers to avoid pointed hanger marks on the shoulders that can cause permanent damage.”
You won’t have to worry about these hardwearing hangers snapping under a bulky coat (we’ve all been there). These are non-slip, which comes in extra handy with knitwear which is prone to slipping.
Hanging shelves might seem obvious, but they’re an effective way of storage jeans and trousers if you don’t enjoy rummaging through drawers.
When knitwear season has passed, seal your jumpers and cardigans in a vacuum-pack bag to save space.
Clear boxes will make it a whole lot easier to find what you’re looking for.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.