Howards Master Organizer Cathy Player has partnered with Houzz to answer common questions about wardrobe organization. Here are Cathy’s top tips for decluttering your wardrobe and saving you time every day!
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR WARDROBE ORGANIZED?
It’s about time, money and emotional well-being. First of all, a well-organized wardrobe can save you time every day, as it takes less effort to find the things you need. Since you’re not fighting clutter every day, your emotional well-being will also improve. Also, instead of opening the closet and thinking that you have nothing to wear, you can see everything with peace of mind. Being able to do more with less means you’ll save money. You will feel less compelled to go shopping being driven by the mistaken perception that you have “nothing to wear”. Very simple, it pays to be organized in your wardrobe.
WHAT ARE 2-3 COMMON MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE?
Here are 2 examples that beautifully illustrate why your wardrobe can quickly become a shared wardrobe, because you’re sharing it with the person you are now and the person you used to be (or want to be).
“I paid good money for this” is not a good reason to hold on to an item you’ll never use again… Get rid of it! Sell it, donate it, or just give it away, since you really just paid good money for the “clutter” that gets in the way of the good items you love, and would use if only you could see them.
“I could resize, so I’ll stick with that” – The problem with this thinking is that in the time it takes to resize, styles change, plus you’re hedging rather than committing. Also, if you lose a size you will probably want to go shopping to celebrate it.
Do yourself a favor and experience the present as something tangible, real and honest. It is a refreshing state of being.
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS OF A WELL ORGANIZED WARDROBE? I MEAN, IS IT ABOUT HAVING ENOUGH SPACE? TURNING ON? DEACTIVATE SO YOU ONLY STORE THE ESSENTIAL? ETC.
Space is rarely an issue for a well-organized wardrobe. Most people are surprised at what can be stored with a smart use of available space. The golden rule for the perfect wardrobe is to keep only what you really want and need, stored in such a way that you can find it again. The ultimate solution: a cabinet system like elfa that can be flexibly adapted to your needs.
In addition to this, we recommend that you follow the Howards Stop, Sort, Solve method of organization. STOP and assess your opportunities before you move anything. With a clear plan in mind, SORT similar items into groups, discarding unwanted items. Then SOLVE the storage puzzle by storing items using the appropriate organizers. Remember to put the items you use most often in the most easily accessible space, and conversely, put the least used items in the least accessible space. This ensures that your system is tuned to perfection!
WHAT ARE SOME SMART PRODUCTS/ADDITIONS THAT WILL HELP YOU MAXIMIZE, OR EVEN INCREASE, YOUR EXISTING WARDROBE SPACE
? The first thing to address is your file space. This will help you free up the most important high access space. Using tubs and vacuum bags will make an instant difference, particularly vacuum bags that can triple your storage space. Then look at how you are storing your shoes. It is not always necessary to keep them in the back of your closet. You can dedicate a section to your shoes or create a separate shoe library from your wardrobe. You can also think about increasing your clothes hanging space by installing a second clothes hanger rail. The objective is to look at where the unused space is and make it productive.
WHAT TYPE OF HANGERS DO YOU RECOMMEND? AND ARE THERE ANYTHING TO AVOID?
It is good to look at your hangers and ask yourself if they are appropriate for the clothes you are going to store. Suit hangers take up a lot of space, but are essential for preserving the shape of the jacket’s shoulders. Light dresses and tops are best stored on flocked hangers, as they won’t slip. Wooden hangers are good for clothing, but if you’re short on space, they’re not the best option. And if you’re exceptionally tight on space, consider multi-tier hangers. I always advocate donating wire hangers to the dry cleaners and try to buy the same hanger in bulk as it will instantly inject a sense of order into the space. Plus, long-term wire hangers can damage your clothes with unsightly shoulder marks and potentially rust stains.
IF THERE WAS ONE THING PEOPLE COULD DO TO ORGANIZE THEIR CLOSET, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Definitely use the correct hangers. First, 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 making the most of your space. Plus, if you’re the one ironing, you’ll appreciate how a properly hung garment is less prone to squashing, so you won’t need to “refresh” before wearing it again. Any strategy that results in less ironing is a good strategy!
AND WHAT DO PEOPLE TEND TO FORGET WHEN REORGANIZING THEIR WARDROBE?
Drawers are often forgotten in wardrobe reviews, which is understandable as “out of place is out of mind.” However, there are some significant gains to be made in your drawer storage. For example, simple dividers can help keep the color and style of our socks and underwear organized. Then, in the dark, when you’re trying to get ready, you’re less likely to end up wearing sports socks to work by accident!
Another good use for drawers is jewelry storage. Divide and conquer is the strategy in this case. Plus, if you can see your jewelry, you’re more likely to wear it, ensuring you wear more of your collection.