The Ultimate Wardrobe Organisation and Storage Hacks 2021 Closet Makeover

FASHION DETOX Part 2of2

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So in part 1 of the fashion detox blog, I explained how every New year for me starts with a wardrobe / closet declutter, refresh and reorganisation (aka fashion detox / wardrobe makeover). Whilst I’m not a professional organiser by any means, I’m naturally inclined toward structure, order, neatness and being generally tidy, in all areas of my life, including my wardrobe.


Having an organised, well maintained closet boasts numerous benefits far beyond the clothes themselves, and part of the satisfaction that comes from a wardrobe declutter, is the opportunity to reorganise things in a fresh new way that not only make it more manageable and accessible, but also more inspiring to get dressed in every day.

Lets face it, our wardrobe is the first place we visit, every morning, (sometimes multiple times a day), and I know personally, that the state of my wardrobe sets the tone for my mood and mental state for the rest of the day.


Although not clinically diagnosed, I've no doubt I suffer from a degree of OCD. I am a creature of habit, I like things organised and straightly lined up, I arrange things in categories and colour coordination, I like labels facing all the same way, I like my surfaces and spaces clutter free and the cushions on the couch perfectly chopped down the centre. Why am I telling you this?


Whilst the need for visual perfection, can be a frustrating trait to have, If I'm being perfectly honest, when systems are in place and my environment is aesthetically neat and tidy, I feel more relaxed and happier and my productivity is so much higher. It saves time, I'm much more efficient, I feel a sense of calm and my mind has room to think and breathe without being distracted by the thought of all the tidying I have to do at some later date.


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No matter what size space you're working with, you want to imagine your wardrobe like a boutique. If you were shopping for clothes, how would you like to see your options displayed? By color, by item type, in pre-selected outfits? The ultimate goal is to reduce the time you spend searching for an item, ensure you love and wear all of the pieces you own and make it asthetically beautiful and inspiring in the process.


Maintaining an organised wardrobe will always be an ongoing process (because updating your wardrobe is an ongoing process), but through my personal trial and error as a serial 'fashion detox-er', I have found a few handy storage and organisational hacks to simplify and create a well oiled and easily maintainable wardrobe / closet system.


Categorise

This may seem obvious but it makes all the difference when you store your clothes by category type, so that all of your pants are together, as are your skirts, dresses, tops, and so on. Working in groups of 'like items', allows you to determine how much space you will need for each category of clothing so you can then determine the best way to store each category in their respective sections together.


To take it one step further, within each category of clothing, create sub-categories of similar types together, for eg in the pants hanging section, group all of your jeans together, followed by tailored trousers, then casual pants etc. So within this one 'pants' section you can visibly see distinct sub-sections of item type, which makes it so much easier when it comes to finding a particular piece. I repeat this process for every category of clothing to clearly distinguish the different styles.

This not only creates a systematic approach to housing your clothes, but it also takes the guess work out when trying to locate a particular piece or returning clean clothes as everything has a designated home where it lives.


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Colour Coding

Creating blocks of colour in an organised wardrobe is far more functional than beautiful.

Many of us can quickly recall the color of a blouse in our wardrobe and it makes it so much easier and quicker to find when all your red blouses are together.

Colour coding your wardrobe and drawers can dramatically reduce the likelihood of forgetting pieces you had and will shave off the time it takes to find what you’re looking for making it quick, easy, and efficient.


Now this might be my OCD talking, but if you want to take your organisation to the next level, arrange your sub-category colour groups by sleeve length. Hang everything facing in the same direction and where possible, hang dresses and coats from shorter to longer length. Details matter, and so does aesthetics.


Quick step overview cheat sheet for organising your colors, patterns and styles for the ultimate wardrobe efficiency:

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  • Group “types” of clothing together first (eg. dresses, blouses, jackets, etc.)

  • Create clothing sub-categories within each group 'type' (eg. in pants group - jeans, trousers, joggers, cargos)

  • Within each sub category, arrange sleeve length (eg sleeveless on the left to long sleeve on the right)

  • Within each group type, create color blocks. Use the rainbow - start from left to right - light to dark to color coordinate. (eg. white, beige, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, grey, black)

  • If you have patterned items with multiple colours, create a “patterned section” or decide on it’s primary colour and group it with in that colour group.




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Reverse shoe method

There many methods for storing shoes these days, eg clear shoe boxes, tiered floor racks, over the door hooks etc but if your lucky enough to have some form of shelving in your space, this is the best solution I've found to store and maintain the condition of your shoes.


If you haven't caught on by now, I'm a bit of a self confessed shoe-o-holic.

Yes I know, surprising!


I've been a shoe collector since I could walk and as a result of said habit, I generally own more shoes than I have physical space for.


The reverse shoe method is something I adopted when I realised it allowed me to fit an additional two pairs per shelf simply by alternating each pair front to back. Not only is this a great space saving hack as it effectively doubles the amount of shoe space needed, it's also a practical way to display both the front and back of your favourite leopard print shoes in a sleek and sophisticated way. You're welcome.


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Invest in matching Hangers

If there is one piece of advice you take from this blog, it would be to invest in matching quality hangers. Nothing screams closet chaos quite like a collection of wire and plastic hangers trying to coexist alongside one another. This is always the first thing I tell anyone wanting to update their wardrobe, it's instantly gratifying with very little effort or expense and makes the biggest difference to both the aesthetics and quality of how you store and maintain your clothes.


Now everyone seems to have a different preference when it comes to their version of the 'ultimate' hanger, but my personal favourite is the flocked space saving velvet hangers.

Not only does the flocking (velvet) texture hold the garment securely on the hanger, but they are also a lot gentler on delicate materials like chiffons, silks and knits. And, the best part, wait for it... they are space saving! Which means, you can create more hanging space for your clothes to breathe or if needed fit more in.


They really are everything they are hyped up to be and I wish I made the investment a lot sooner. There is something very gratifying about limiting the visual clutter and seeing your clothes all hang at the same level.


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Visual equals wear

If you can't see it, chances are you're not wearing it, or worse still, you've completely forgotten you even owned it. I'm still guilty of this and part of the reason why I continually detox my wardrobe to mitigate this happening as much as possible.


The more visible you can make every piece in your wardrobe, the more chance you have of wearing it and better still rotating the wear. its that simple.

Hang as much as possible, fold clothing and utilise the shelves, add dividers to draws to visibly seperate pieces, add a shoe rack to back of the door, or hooks to the inside of cupboard doors for necklaces and belts, use catchall baskets or boxes to group 'like' items and accessories and store them in an accessible location.


Prioritise the realestate

Visually organising your wardrobe, segways into my next point of prioritising the realestate in your wardrobe. Reserve the front and middle of your closet for clothes you wear most often. If you have to get dressed for work each morning, make sure your work clothes are at the front of your closet. Lesser-worn items like formal wear and out-of-season clothes should be stored toward the back and on the higher or lower shelves.

Prioritise your most worn clothes in the easiest, most accessible location in your wardrobe, and tuck away least used items.


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Maintain Your Space

The more often you work on closet maintenance, the less time it will take. Review your closet and complete a quick audit once a month and tackle the full declutter / purge at least twice a year. You can also maintain the function and housekeeping of your wardrobe by adopting a few simple but effective systems and sticking to them.


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Catchalls

Introduce a catchall basket and fill it with any clothes you come across that you decide you no longer need or want between scheduled declutters. It's easier to identify which items to let go as you pull them out to wear, you might realise they are worn and tired, ill fitting or simply no longer suit your style or lifestyle needs. This catchall basket can then be sorted through during your next purge or any stage and the clothes can easily be re-homed or sent to charity.


Coat Hangers

I swear by this method of always collating your empty hangers to one spot in your closet until the item is returned and re-hung. There is nothing more frustrating or time consuming than sifting through all your clothes looking for where the empty hangers are once you return your clothes from the wash. I like to keep mine to one side of the hanging rod altogether so they can be easily found.


Keep it clean

Make it easy on yourself by following a cleaning schedule, either by season, by date or by an event. The next time you can't find a particular piece of clothing, that's a good sign it's time to re-organise your wardrobe.


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One in one out rule vs Use it or lose it

Contrary to popular belief, this is not necessarily a method I completely agree with or practice, nor is the concept that if you haven't worn something in six to twelve months it needs to go.

It takes time to build a cohesive, well rounded and hard working wardrobe, sometimes years, so unless your physically short on space or hoarding for the sake of it, I don't believe you should have to let go of something you love in order to enjoy something new.


I'm also a firm believer in investing your money into classic, quality pieces that will withstand the years and trends and sometimes those pieces might not always be things you necessarily wear often. Some of those pieces might be fit for purpose and only worn when the appropriate occasion arises, but they are still things you need in your wardrobe. Some of my favourite pieces Iv'e owned for more than 10 years and still remain wardrobe staples and favourites I couldn't live without.


It's more important to focus on being a more intentional shopper than frivolously operating your wardrobe on constant rotation. This will save you a lot of money and also work towards a more sustainable consumer consumption.


Respect your belongings

And finally, regardless of how much your clothes cost, it's important to take care of them. Considered storage and basic garment maintenance makes the biggest difference when it comes to preserving the longevity and appearance of your clothes and how you present yourself to the world. Nothing screams neglect louder then creased or stained clothes, scuffed shoes or mis-shaped garments.


In the words of Marie Kondo, you should 'consider your clothing’s feelings: Are they happy being squashed in a corner or crowded onto hangers?'. If they look miserable, it's time to reassess how to respectfully store your belongings. Keep the essentials on hand, like a steamer, de-bobbler, lint brush etc so you can give your clothes a once over before you head out the door.


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Maintaining an organised wardrobe will always be an ongoing process but when it comes to something you use every day of your life, it’s worth investing time now to save time and stress later.


I've always been someone who identifies with a 'tidy home tidy mind' mentality, and in the current climate with people now spending more time at home, it's more important than ever, to nurture your mind and home and truely make it a sanctuary worth enjoying.


Love Bella x


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