A few requests have come in for folding, storage, and clothing care best practices. And honestly? I had to scrape the bottom of the brain-barrel for a few because – like most of you – I’ve got limited space and employ many makeshift solutions. In an ideal world, our sweaters wouldn’t get rumpled because we’d all have stadium-sized walk-in closets populated by sweater-fluffing robots who kept everything looking pristine and smelling of lavender. In the real world, we may fold them neatly but then cram them into overflowing dresser drawers, which undoes all the folding-related goodness almost instantly.
So here’s what I’ma gonna do: I’ll give you the theory. I’ll lay out some wardrobe organization best practices and why they work. You can decide if they’re worthwhile, applicable, or possible given your budget, storage, wardrobe, and preferences. THEN! You can tell me and everyone else your own storage and organizational tips in the comments, and we’ll get some real-life solutions into the mix. Sound good? Fabulous. Here we go:
Why do clean, fresh clothes emerge from the closet looking wrinkled and rumpled? Nine times out of 10 it’s simply crowding: Overstuffed drawers, packed closet hang bars, overflowing armoires. Hung clothing should be able to move freely – at least a few centimeters between hangers. Folded clothing should have plenty of breathing room, too.
Use good hangers
Crappy, wire dry cleaner hangers do the job, but wider and/or softer hangers are less likely to cause shoulder nipples and distension. Many people swear by velvet-covered Huggable Hangers, others use padded lingerie hangers or wide plastic hangers.
I prefer this method for folding sweaters and other drawer residents. Fold however you’d like, but be mindful of how folding patterns create creases: Any method that has you folding a garment in half vertically will place a crease right down the center of your torso. That said, any folding method is likely to leave a garment in better shape than throwing it into a pile on the floor.
Learn from your mistakes
Some garments appear relatively sturdy, then sag and unravel when hung. Some garments seem like ideal candidates for folded storage, but then wrinkle beyond all comprehension. If an item doesn’t do well in one storage method, try another. Simple, but important.
Be prepared to steam or iron
No matter how you store your clothes, they WILL get a little wrinkled and crimped. Don’t expect anything to look freshly pressed unless it’s been … well, freshly pressed. Or steamed, which can be a quicker way to spruce up a jersey or knit that’s got some storage creases.
Just so we’re clear, my hung and folded items are all crammed into their allotted spaces, I use crappy dry cleaner hangers, and seldom iron. This is a list of best practices that assumes you’ve got loads of time, space, and energy. I’m short on all three, as I’m sure you are. For some other tips on storage, organization and maintenance that might seem a bit more do-able, see:
- Cheap ways to keep your wardrobe in order
- Closet alternatives
- Unexpected sartorial uses for water
- Organize your wardrobe, hone your style
- Accessory organization on the cheap
- Shoe care made simple
- All Already Pretty posts on organization
But, in addition, I’d LOVE to hear from you folks! What tips can you share for keeping sweaters looking fluffy and fresh? How do you keep your closet organized? What are your organizational best practices? Help us all out, and share them!
Image courtesy The Daily Green.