TonHis fantasies of opening up your closet and finding neat rows of colorful shirts, jackets, and pants are common. In fact, in two separate, weird fashion jobs, I was paid by a superior to organize their work.
The process usually starts with a cleanup, since any type of organization needs space. What comes next may be more complicated.
This week, we got some expert advice on what to hang and fold, and the best order to store your items.
Visibility is key
A well-organized wardrobe should make getting dressed easier. According to Kirsty Farrugia, a professional organizer and owner of Organizing Art, being able to see each individual item can be helpful when you’re deciding what to wear.
“If you end up not being able to see everything, it can lead to forgetting that you even have some pieces because you can’t see them,” she advises.
Elinor McInnes, creative director of slow-fashion brand Joslin, recommends having a shelf in your wardrobe so you can see what you fold next to what’s hanging and mentally Organize an outfit without having to pull out anything. To increase visibility, she organizes everything by category, then by color and tone.
Arrange the way you dress
Make sure that any high-turnover items you own (meaning you wear them at least once a week) are easily accessible. Mary Poulakis, managing director of Harrolds, says focus on “easy access to items you wear on a regular basis, such as your favourite T-shirts, shirts, shirts and pullover jackets”.
Likewise, McInnes has a section on her favorite “mix-and-match outfits,” which are often worn. She says to make sure the section is in the most accessible part of your wardrobe, advising: “If you wear an outfit together a lot, always store it together.”
Finally, Poulakis recommends “store your clothes in the order they’re ready in the morning.” So you can get underwear and underwear first, then T-shirts or shirts, pants or skirts, then jackets or jumpers, then coats and accessories.
Of course, dressing is a personal matter, so if you build an outfit from your shoes, you may organize your wardrobe differently than someone who dresses from top to bottom.
has a wear area
Another thing that can make getting dressed easier is to install a few hooks in your closet so you can hang clothes somewhere that you’ve worn but don’t need to wash right away. “This saves you from floor mess, reduces the number of times you do laundry per week,” and can help you make clothing decisions, says McInnes.
She also recommends storing the pajamas and clothes you wear at home in a tub on a closet shelf. This means “they are easily accessible and easy to put away every night” without having to fold.
what to hang
The most important thing to consider when deciding what to hang or fold is whether it will deform if it is hung. Because knitwear is heavy and tends to stretch, John Roberts, managing director of The Woolmark Company, says the general rule of thumb is “hang woven, folded knit.”
Woven garments like custom business shirts, jackets and suits should be hung so “they don’t wrinkle,” according to Roberts. Poulakis said, “Hanging trousers and special evening clothes must be worn to minimise the cost of ironing and dry-cleaning time.”
Finally, if the long skirt is particularly heavy, be careful about hanging it, as the weight of the long skirt can damage the shape of the shoulders. Instead, McInnes recommends using two thin hangers and folding the bottom of the skirt over the second hanger to carry the weight of the lower part of the garment.
what to fold
“All knitwear should be folded flat or rolled into a drawer with a good backup cover,” says Poulakis. McInnes warns that over time, hanging knits can “permanently ruin clothing” by stretching.
Poulakis also said that it is preferred to fold bulky items over delicate ones. “Your favorite denim, for example, can be easily folded without affecting the structure of the product or damaging its manufacture.” The same goes for leather pants and skirts.
Organize Folding Drawers
For easy viewing of the contents of the drawer, both McInnes and Farrugia recommend Japanese author Marie Kondo’s method of folding. “You fold the ‘standing’ stuff in your drawer/storage…it creates double the space,” says McInnes.
Farrugia describes it as “file-wise” folding. The principle is that each item folds up in a way that it can be stored vertically, not in stacks, so when you open each drawer, it’s obvious what’s there.A more detailed guide is available here.