Never Lose a Garment or Accessory Again. Ever!
Hey you all!
Now, I never realized that organizing a closet was something anyone could ever need help with. I’m a perfectionist and I always need things a certain way, and I’m very picky about how and where I keep things around the house. Maybe it’s because I have a degree in architecture! So as far as I can remember, my closet has been organized. As in I don’t have to rummage for clothes or shoes, and I never spend time at nights picking out what to wear next morning. (Unless, of course it’s a very special occasion!)
But then my friend needed a skype call to ask me how I do it. And then she wanted a skype tour of my closet! And then she gave me this idea to write the tips on my blog, and so here I am! Afterall, we all love shopping and our wardrobe is ever evolving and increasing. And we are busy people, so organization can really save you a lot of time in the mornings, and help you a lot in putting together your outfits. When everything’s right there in front of your eyes, it’s so easy to figure out what to pair with what.
Do I Need a New Closet? How Big should my Closet be?
What I’m going to write about today is not a walk-in closet or how to design a customized new closet. That’s for another article. Today I’ll just talk about how to best organize your existing space. Your closet doesn’t need to be very big to be organized. Of course, the bigger the better, but for now, let’s just focus on organizing a small closet.
Sounds like a lot of work. Do I need a whole day to just redo my entire wardrobe?
Of course not. It’s a good idea to clean or reorganize your closet every once in a while. But to change the way its organized, you can just start shelf by shelf, or one drawer at a time.
How to Make more Room in your Closet
1. One of the best ways to keep your closet organized is to make sure you keep the things in it that you actually use. If there’s something that’s ripped or faded to an extent that you are unable to use it, it’s a good idea to get rid of it. Consider donating what you haven’t worn in a whole year. If you have something that you like but doesn’t fit you, consider just giving it to your cousin or a friend. If you are really attached to something that you don’t use anymore, just remove it from your closet and maybe make a separate box or space for it elsewhere. (Nostalgia box). Maybe you can move it to a storage unit elsewhere in your house.
2. It’s also a good idea to separate your clothes and shoes seasonally. I usually keep my winter clothes and shoes either in a separate shelf or in a storage unit and move them on the main shelf in the winter time. Which is when I do the same for my summer clothes. This will just double your space instantly.
3. Also separate your clothes based on your lifestyle. For example, when I had a busy job in project management, there was a time when I wasn’t partying or clubbing at all. So I moved out my party clothes outside my closet. In my last job I didn’t need to wear work formals. So I had separated them from my casuals, and put them at the back of my closet.
Storage for Clothes | How to Organize your Closet Shelves
The Main Shelf
1. The best idea is to have what you most frequently wear in the main shelf of your closet. By main shelf, I mean the space that you can most easily reach in standing position, without having to bend or stretch. This could include your most-frequently used casual-wear, work-wear, and night wear.
2. Use hangers for the clothes you think need ironing or special-care. Always keep ironed clothes in the hangers, and they’ll stay that way. This will save you time in the morning before getting dressed.
3. I organize my hangers according to colors. For example, I fold and hang 2-3 white tops in the same hanger, side by side, slightly overlapping. Pink tops in the same, and so on. Then I arrange my hangers color-wise, starting from white at the left end, all the way to black at the right end. Different hangers with the same color go together. For example, I hang my white tops next to my white dresses or skirts. Just the way oil pastels or crayons are organized in the crayon box. This helps me find clothes easily. It also helps me co-ordinate my outfits better and really quickly.
4. Hang the hangers that have expensive dresses or party gowns at the back of the line in the corner. This will prevent bending or folding and keep them ready to wear when you need them, but also separate from your frequently-used clothes.
5. Pyjama-sets or nightwear can just be folded and kept on the shelves. Same goes for jeans. Sweaters should also be neatly folded and kept on the shelves instead of hanging. This keeps their knitting intact.
6. Pile your clothes in the main shelf according to the type of clothing. For example, I keep night-wear in one pile, jeans and trousers in another, and gym-wear in another.
What you store in your side shelf vs. your lower shelf depends on the built and design of your closet. Use your side shelf to store handbags and clutches. Stack them side to side, just the way books are stacked on library shelves. This will help you find them easily.
Some girls like to hang their handbags on the wall of the closet, but I find the stacking better. Handbags are bulky and hanging them makes it difficult to see them all at once. Plus not all of them have handles, for example clutches. So it’s a good idea to stack them all so they’re all at one place. Stacking is also better for preserving the stretch/quality of the handles.
If you have an extra side shelf, use it for other accessories like hats and gloves. Or you can use it for less frequently used clothes.
How to Organize your Drawers
Some of the closets I’ve had didn’t have drawers at all. I personally find drawers really useful. Use a drawer to store socks, and another for lingerie. If you have just one drawer, keep lingerie on one side, and socks in another. It’s a good idea to keep your lingerie organized as well. Store your panties or underwear in a bag, and your bras or corsets neatly piled separately, either in a separate bag or in the drawer. This will help you easily find the right undergarments for your outfit.
If you don’t have any drawers, keep the lingerie and socks in separate bags or baskets, and store them on one side of your main shelf or side shelf.
Upper and Lower Shelves
Since accessing these shelves needs you to bend or stretch, and sometimes their contents are not even visible while standing, these should be used for things you don’t need frequently. Reserve corners for different uses, such as ethnic-wear, or Halloween costumes or memorabilia. You can also keep separate space in one of these shelves to store clothes here that need alterations, that you bought as gifts for someone, or clothes that need to be returned to the store or to your friends.
Organize your shoes seasonally. Keep your winter-boots and booties in a different rack, and open-toe shoes and sandals in a different one, so that it’s easier to spot what you need. Don’t pile shoes on top of one another, because this makes them lost and messy very quickly. Instead, stack eack pair side by side. If your shoe rack is very small and you have too many shoes, use it to keep only the shoes of the current season, and store the rest in boxes in your storage room.
Instead of color-wise, it’s a good idea to organize your shoes based on type. For example, shoes that you wear casually or to work can be on one side, and on another you can have your athletic shoes, and the ones you wear to parties or on special occasions can be on another side. High heels can be on one side and flats on another.
Keep what you most frequently wear, or what’s most comfortable in the front. This will help when you’re running late.
Best Ways to Organize Scarves, Innerwear and Belts
Scarves, spaghetti or inner-wear and belts should have a separate place, where you can spot them easily. Innerwear and spaghettis eat too much hanger space if you hang them in hangers, and also are prone to falling every time you pull a garment next to them, owing to their smooth fabrics. So it’s a good idea to neatly fold the spaghettis and keep them in a pile, maybe in your lingerie drawer, if the space permits. If not, keep them in your main or side shelf at one side. Keep the embellished belts in separate pouch to retain their shine.
For scarves and belts, install a couple of hooks on each of your closet doors or walls, and hang them, one or two on each hook. This will help you never lose a scarf or a belt, and it’ll save so much time when you want to accessorize right.
So that’s all I guess. These are my tips for the best way to organize whatever space you have in your closet, whether it’s big or small. Hope these tips were helpful. If you have any more tips you’d like to share, do lemme know! Happy organizing!!
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]