Original article written for Review Australia by Lauren Grace Harding. This article is republished here with permission from Review Australia. You can visit the original article on Review’s website by clicking here.
Have you ever looked inside your wardrobe and thought to yourself “I have nothing to wear”? I certainly have and I know I’m not the only one to have experienced this dreaded fashion dilemma! The good news is that there is a cure which involves only an hour or two of your time at home and a bit of organisation.
Now we’re spending more time than ever before at home and with a change of season fast approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your wardrobe organised. Not only will this neaten up your closet, it will also give you a clear idea on which pieces you need to invest in now and for upcoming seasons. So, let’s put some music on, grab a cup of tea or coffee (or even a glass of champagne), and let’s get ready to spark some joy back into our style with these tips & tricks on how to organise your wardrobe!
Take everything out of your wardrobe
The first step is to get everything out of your wardrobe, drawers & storage – and yes, I mean everything! This is especially important if you haven’t organised your clothing in a while, and provides you with an opportunity to take a long & considered look at everything you own, to see whether you truly still love each item. This is probably going to be the most time-consuming step – however when it’s done properly, it will create a solid foundation for your new wardrobe!
This is where you will need to create three separate piles:
- Items to keep
- Items you’re not sure about
- Items to donate, sell or giveaway to family & friends
For each item, take the time to try it on and really be honest with yourself on the following questions:
- Do I truly love it?
- Does it fit me properly?
- Is it still in good condition?
- Does the colour look great on me or does it make me feel dull or uninspired?
- Is this still age-appropriate?
- Does the item need repairing (e.g. a new zip, hems taken up or other alterations)
Another important question to ask is “when was the last time I wore this item?” If you haven’t worn this in the last year or two, then seriously consider the reasons why and what are the chances you will actually wear it in the future? If you’re only hanging onto it only for sentimental reasons, then remember it is taking up valuable real estate space in your closet!
Be ruthless with clothes which don’t fit you properly anymore and don’t keep items that are too big or small for your current size, unless you are willing to get them altered to fit your current size. Once you’ve gone through each item, you may have a few in the second “not sure” pile – this is your chance to then go back through each one with the aim of dividing these between the keep pile and the donate/sell/giveaway pile.
Divide your clothes into seasons
Now you have identified the items you truly love and want to wear; the next step is to divide these between the Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer seasons. We’re heading into winter here in Australia, so all my warmer weather clothes have been packed away in a suitcase. This keeps them safe and frees up space in my closet for items I want & need to wear now. It also makes deciding what I want to wear much easier, when I have less of a selection of clothes to sort through whilst creating an outfit!
Group your clothes by category
This is one of my favourite parts of organising my wardrobe, as it truly allows you to identify which items you may need to invest in and which pieces you definitely don’t need any more of! Group your clothes into the following categories:
- Coats, jackets & blazers
- Tops – blouses & shirts
- Bottoms – Skirts, pants & denim
- Loungewear & activewear
- Accessories – scarves, gloves, hats, belts, handbags
The benefit of organising items by category is that this will make building your outfits simpler & quicker; for example, you will be able to see all your coats or dresses in the one section.
Sort by colours
Once you have divided your items by category, the fun part happens with sorting them out by colour! I tend to organize mine from dark to light shades and this is made easier because I tend to stick to a consistent colour palette with my clothing. For instance, with my tops category I would start the colour scheme with darker/bright colours such as black, navy & blues, then following on with lighter shades like pinks & whites. Keeping the same colour sorting scheme for each category of clothes, will then allow you to see which colours you might want to stock up on for specific items.
Take care of your knitwear
When it comes to your knitwear, it’s best not to store these in your wardrobe on coat-hangers as this will stretch the material. Coat-hangers can also create small tears in the fibres of delicate pieces like angora, wool and cashmere. The recommended way to store your knitwear is by folding them and placing on a shelf in your closet or packed safely away in a drawer, to help them maintain their shape. Remember to keep your delicate warm knitwear organised by colour, to help you locate those items easily.
Organising your accessories is the last step of the process and is more important than it may seem, because these goodies are like the icing on a cake in terms of outfits! They are undoubtedly some of the most important items in your wardrobe, which will help to take your style from alright to amazing. Sort your handbags, belts, hats, gloves and scarves into groups and find a special place in your wardrobe, shelves or drawers for each. Try to store handbags in their original dust-bags if possible, to protect the leather, and be careful not to squash your hats so they maintain their original shape.
Time to shop your new wardrobe!
The benefits of following the above process is that it allows you to really know what’s in your wardrobe, review where your style may have evolved and re-build your wardrobe with pieces which you genuinely love; ones which fit you and are easy to locate in a hurry. Your organised closet will help you to build outfits a whole lot easier; you will know exactly where to go to find that light coloured coat or cardigan you adore, which would match perfectly with a certain skirt or pair of trousers. Finally, it enables you to see exactly which colours or types of clothing that you need to invest in for the current season and for that Review certainly has you covered!
I hope you have enjoyed these tips & tricks on organising your wardrobe. Let us know in the comments below what you think and if you have any tips on organising your wardrobe to share with everyone.