In the long list of household jobs you never quite seem to find time to do, sorting out and de-cluttering your wardrobe is right there at the top. It’s daunting, overwhelming and feels like a battle you absolutely don’t want to enter into. It’s no wonder we put it off for so long. But it doesn’t have to feel that way – in fact, if you set aside a decent chunk of time, plan an excellent play list, and have a handy guide ready to help you on your way, you can organise your entire wardrobe (and any drawers) without too much stress.
Which is why we’ve created Matalan’s ultimate wardrobe organising guide. Not only are there plenty of great ideas to make the whole process quick, efficient and easy, but we’ve also included wardrobe storage ideas and wardrobe space saving ideas – perfect if you’ve got a lot of clothes and accessories to store but have a small space. There’s also tips on organising drawers, organising your laundry and ideas on how you can best keep up with your new streamlined space.
We know what you’re thinking. Why is now the perfect time to organise your wardrobe? Couldn’t you just put the whole chore off a bit longer? Yes, you could. But there are so many brilliant upsides you won’t want to. Not only will your wardrobe look so much more aesthetically pleasing and instantly make you feel calmer and more in control, but you’ll be able to properly see everything you already own and work out which pieces need to be more easily accessible and which pieces you can get rid of by passing on to friends, selling on a secondhand site or giving away to charity. And if all that hasn’t quite convinced you it’s time to organise your wardrobe, it also means you’ll be better clued up about any potential gaps in your wardrobe for new items which means a clothes shopping trip might just be on the cards…
So, let’s get started!
The best starting point is to remove everything you want to organise in your wardrobe. Take out all your clothes, take out all your hangers and everything else you might find lingering at the back. This might be things like bags, shoes and those long-forgotten items of clothing that have slipped off their hangers. Once the space is empty, give it a decent wipe-over and clean, and leave the doors open to help air the space out.
The next part is the big part, and that’s going through every single item from your wardrobe and deciding whether to keep it or get rid of it. Create different piles on the floor or on your bed. One of these is your ‘definitely keep’ pile, one of these is your ‘maybe’ pile, and the other is your ‘goodbye’ pile. When making the decision about what to keep, ask yourself several things. Instead of asking when the last time you wore it was (remember lockdown has changed what we wear and it won’t always stay that way), ask yourself if you love it or if it’s useful. There might be an amazing party dress you only get to wear once a year but it makes you feel incredible, and equally there might be a grey jumper you don’t particularly love but end up wearing every week because it’s comfortable, practical and goes with everything else in your wardrobe. Keep them both.
When sorting through your ‘maybe’ pile, it’s worth trying everything on to see what still fits and what no longer works for your body. Try not to hold onto anything that’s more than a clothes size too big or too small – and if you do keep anything that doesn’t quite fit at the moment, try and store it elsewhere, such as in under-bed storage or in a vacuum storage bag. Other questions to ask your ‘maybe’ pile might be: does it work for my lifestyle? Does it go with anything else I own? Is it actually comfortable to wear? Do I feel good in it? If the answer is predominately a no, then it’s probably time to get rid.
Sort through the things you’re getting rid of and work out if there’s anything you could sell on secondhand websites and apps, if there’s anything your friends might love, and whether items are good quality enough to be taken to the charity shop.
Before you put everything back in your wardrobe, try separating things into seasons if you’re keen to only display the items you want regular access to right now. If it’s winter, then get those beach dresses stored elsewhere, and if it’s summer it’s time to separate out those roll neck jumpers and winter coats.
Sorted through everything? Now it’s time to return everything into your wardrobe. If you want to find brilliant wardrobe storage ideas, then it’s best to try and utilise every bit of space available to you. You could try installing a hanging shelf, which is perfect for lighter items like scarves, hats, t-shirts, jumpers and accessories. Another idea might be to install a shelf at the top of your wardrobe which can be lined with baskets and boxes for holding things you don’t need access to every day. And don’t forget the inside of your wardrobe doors, they offer additional hanging space for smaller items like jewellery which avoids them getting tangled up and unworn.
Investing in thin matching hangers will not only look gorgeous and neat, but will ensure you can hang as much as possible in your wardrobe. Make surethat they’re all facing the same way and not tangled up to make removing items of clothes as seamless and easy as possible.
Work out which items need to be hung on hangers and which items are better folded away. Delicate items like occasion dresses are best hung, whilst knitwear is best folded to avoid losing its shape. Things like jeans and t-shirts can be hung or folded depending on where you have the most space for them.
When organsing your wardrobe and the items you hang in it, think about which categorising method works best for you. You can either group items in categories such as all dresses together, all skirts together and so on, or you could even add a fun twist and colour co-ordinate your items, creating your very own personal wardrobe rainbow.
And lastly, don’t forget to organise the floor space of your wardrobe – every bit counts when you’re organising a small wardrobe space. You could line up the bottom with baskets or boxes to hold bags, shoes or even pyjamas and loungewear. This keeps things neat and organised but they’re also super easy to pull out should you want to quickly grab anything.
Your wardrobe is looking gorgeously organised and now it’s time to tackle your drawers. As with your wardrobe, it’s important to first remove everything from your drawers and to give them a generous clean and airing before you start to fill them up with all your worldly possessions again.
You might keep a whole host of things in your drawers. Maybe they’re reserved for additional clothes, or maybe they hold accessories, beauty products or jewellery too. Ensure you go through all the items and separate out anything that no longer works, no longer fits or is no longer needed. This will minimise how much goes back into your drawers and will stop them becoming overfilled and messy all over again.
Before you replace everything, it’s good to consider whether drawer separators or dividers might better keep your drawers organised. These are especially good if the items you keep in your drawers are small – they’re perfect for things like beauty products, underwear, socks or smaller accessories and ensure items don’t get lost, tangled or messy. It will also make it so much easier for you when you’re trying to locate that one item you desperately need and will save a lot of time and stress.
Move everything that you want to organise in your drawers into categories and then assign each category an individual drawer. Maybe all your t-shirts will be together, all your underwear and socks in another, and then pyjamas in a third drawer. This will keep everything neat and ordered and make it easier to utilise space in each drawer.
Anything big or bulky like coats and jackets are better hung up on a clothes rail in a wardrobe, and the same goes for delicate items too. But drawers can be a great and easy space to hold all other types of clothing, from jeans and t-shirts to jumpers and loungwear.
The best way to fold clothes in drawers? Use the Mary Kondo method which involves folding clothes length ways and then rolling them so that they can be stacked vertically. This means that when you open a drawer you will immediately be able to see every item of clothing inside which will make getting dressed in the mornings so much easier! (It also looks very cool and well-ordered which is a much-welcomed bonus).
It’s not just your clean clothes and accessories that need organising, your dirty or worn clothes can be stored in a way which makes them easier to access and look neat too.
Consider investing in a nice laundry basket. This will likely be on show somewhere (unless you have a roomy cupboard to hide it in) so make sure that it’s not just functional, but that it goes with your interiors too. If you live on your own then you don’t have to worry too much about size, but if you have a large family then consider either buying a large laundry basket to avoid messy overspill, or several of them to keep in different rooms.
There’s different laundry basket styles to choose from, such as collapsible styles and corner styles which are great for smaller spaces. If you want to take the laundry organisation up a notch, then why not try a basket which comes with separate lights and darks sections to make your clothes washing even easier to complete.
It’s important to have a place for everything, even your dirty clothes, as it makes it easier to tidy up, but also to find things too.
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