Howards Expert Organiser Cathy Player teamed up with Houzz to answer common questions about wardrobe organisation. Here are Cathy’s top tips to sort your wardrobe and save you time every day!
Why is it so important to keep your wardrobe organised?
It’s all about time, money and emotional well being. Firstly, a well organised wardrobe can save you time every day as it takes less effort to find the things you need. As you’re not battling clutter every day, your emotional well being will also improve. Furthermore, instead of opening the cupboard and believing that you have nothing to wear, you’ll be able to see everything with ease. Being in a position to do more with less, means that you will save money. You’ll feel less compelled to go shopping being driven by the misperception that you have “nothing to wear”. Very simply, it pays to be organised in your wardrobe.
What are 2-3 of the common mistakes people make?
Here are 2 examples illustrate beautifully why your wardrobe can quickly become a shared wardrobe, because you are sharing it with the person you are now as well as the person you used to be (or wish to be).
“I paid good money for this” is not a good reason to hang onto an item that you will never ever wear again… Get rid of it! Sell, donate or simply give it away, as in reality you simply paid good money for “clutter” that is getting in the way of the good items that you love, and would wear if you could only see them.
“I might change size, so I’ll hang on to that” – the problem with this thinking is that in the time it takes to change size, styles change, plus you are hedging your bets rather than committing. Furthermore, if you drop size you’ll probably want to go shopping to celebrate.
Do yourself a favour and live in the present as its tangible, real and honest. It’s a refreshing state of being.
What are the essentials of well-organised wardrobe? ie is it about having enough space? Lighting? Decluttering so you’re only storing the essentials? etc.
Space is rarely the problem for a well organised wardrobe. Most people are surprised at what can be stored with intelligent use of the available space. The golden rule for the perfect wardrobe, is to only keep what you really want and need, stored in such a way that you can find it again. The ultimate fix a wardrobe system like elfa that can flexibly adapt to your needs.
In addition to this, we recommend that you follow the Howards Stop, Sort, Solve method of organisation. STOP and assess your opportunities before moving a thing. With a clear plan in mind, SORT like items into groups, discarding the unwanted. Then SOLVE the storage puzzle by storing items using appropriate organisers. Remember to put items you use most frequently in the easiest to access space and conversely to place least used items in the least accessible space. This ensures that your system is fine-tuned to perfection!
What are some clever products/ additions that will help you maximise – or even increase – your existing wardrobe space
The first thing you should address is your archive space. This will help you free up the most important high access space. Using tubs and vacuum bags will instantly make a difference, particularly the vacuum bags which can triple your storage space. Then look at how you are storing your shoes. They don’t always need to be stored at the bottom of your wardrobe. You can dedicate a section to your shoes or create a shoe library separate to your wardrobe.You may also want to think about boosting your hanging space by installing a second hanging rail. The objective is to look at where the unused space is and make it productive.
Boost your hanging space by adding a second rail underneath short hanging items like shirts.
What type of hangers do you recommend? And are there any you avoid?
It’s good to look at your hangers and ask yourself if they are appropriate for the clothes you are storing. Suit hangers are space hungry but essential for preserving the shape of suit jacket shoulders. Dresses and light blouses are best stored on flocked hangers as they won’t slip off. Timber hangers are kind on clothes but if you are short on space, are not the best choice. And if you are exceptionally tight for space, consider multi-tier hangers. I always advocate donating back to the dry cleaners wire hangers and try buying the same hanger in bulk, as it will instantly inject a sense of order into the space. Plus, wire hangers in the long run can damage your clothes with ugly shoulder marks and potentially rust stains.
If there was just one thing people could do to make their wardrobe more organised, what would it be?
Definitely use the correct hangers. Firstly they inject an instant look of order into the space. But most importantly they help preserve the shape of your clothes and ensure that you are maximising your space. Plus if you are the one doing the ironing, you’ll appreciate how a nicely hung garment is less prone to crushing, so it won’t need “freshening up” prior to wearing it again. Any strategy that results in less ironing is a good strategy!
And what’s the one thing people tend to forget when re-organising their wardrobe?
Drawers are often forgotten in wardrobe overhauls, which is understandable as “out of site is out of mind”. However there are some significant wins to be made in your drawer storage. For example, simple dividers can help keep our socks and underwear colour and style sorted. Then in the dark when you are trying to get ready, you’re less likely to end up wearing sports socks to work by accident!
Another good use for drawers is jewellery storage. Divide and conquer is the strategy in this instance. Plus, if you can see your jewels you are more likely to use them thus ensuring you use more of your collection.