Posts Categorized: organize

Space Saving Wardrobe Organization Tricks

space saving wardrobe tricks

My house is small and its closets minuscule, so my clothes also occupy dressers and armoires. Still, space is at a premium and I’ve learned a few tricks to make the most of my storage space:

Alternate sweaters when stacking

My sweaters are in a hanging dealy-bob like this one, but this will work in drawers, too. I fold them all the same way (second technique shown here), but stack them so that one has the collar facing out, the next has the fold, then collar, then fold. The folded area is bulkier than the collar area, so alternating them prevents a sweater pileup.

Turn shoes heel out, heel in

If your shoes are stored on shelves of any kind, you can save space by turning one shoe of each pair backwards. Like so. Again, it’s about volume: Most shoes are bigger toward the toebox, so alternating roomy toeboxes with narrower heels is a better use of space.

Stack tees vertically

Instead of folding tee shirts flat and stacking them within a drawer, fold them smaller and stack them vertically like this. This saves space AND makes them easier to see. This works with tanks and other knit tops, too, but isn’t a great idea for sweaters as it can cause some serious wrinkling.

Ditch bulky hangers

I’m yet to invest in the fancy fuzzy kind, but still stick to thin hangers. Thick plastic ones and padded lingerie hangers take up way more space than you’d think. (You may need them for special or delicate items, but they’re not necessary for durable, everyday clothes.)

Multiple skirts to a clip hanger

I use pant hangers for my skirts, and have found that I can typically fit two or even three skirt waistbands in those little clips. Doesn’t work as well for pants, but you can employ a stacked hanger for those.

Store off-season clothing elsewhere

This is a luxury that isn’t available to all, but it’s a great practice if you can manage it. Your closet will feel less crowded and your clothes will stay in better shape if you stash off-season items elsewhere.

What other space-saving tips and tricks can you share?

Image courtesy Frédérique Voisin-Demery

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The Dangers of Pre-made Outfits

closet

Over the summer, I worked with several clients who chose to organize their closets into complete outfits. They’d hang a cardigan, tank, and skirt together, or a sweater and coordinating pants, or a dress with a blazer and scarf. Since most of us have experienced Morning Wardrobe Panic – you’ve got 10 minutes to get dressed, swing open the closet doors, and experience brain freeze – this tactic may sound incredibly appealing. And if you’re in possession of a smallish wardrobe and aren’t a frequent shopper, it can be very valuable. But in other cases, it can be somewhat counterproductive. And here’s why:

It’s harder to see what you’ve got

If you hang a blazer over a blouse, all you’ll see is the blazer. In a large closet, that blouse may be totally forgotten. And since many outfits are born when we see various garments hanging near each other and creating visual pairings, masking garments can force you to lose out on remixing options. It generally helps to be able to SEE as much of your wardrobe as possible. Hanging completed outfits makes this difficult.

It encourages single-outfit thinking

When we buy complete outfits from the store, it can sometimes be hard to remember that those pieces can be worn separately with other clothes from our closets. Something similar happens when you hang outfits: You group those items together mentally, and it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine them working in other ways.

It may cause you to shop more often and less effectively

This ties into the visibility issue, of course, but deserves its own moment in the spotlight. If you can’t see that black-and-white houndstooth silk shell hanging in your closet because it’s hidden under a cardigan, you may end up buying a different black-and-white printed sleeveless top that essentially fills the same spot. Even a mindful shopper who limits her purchases to holes in her current wardrobe may end up doubling up when she can’t see and easily access what she’s already got.

If you hang pre-made outfits in your closet and love this system, there’s an easy way to avoid these pitfalls: Once the outfit has been worn twice, break it apart. In most cases, completed outfits are born when we wear items in combination and love them together. So, wear them together on discovery, wear again after they’ve been hung grouped, and THEN separate the items so they’re part of the general pool again.

Another option that can help those who don’t want to lose great outfit ideas after two wears? Photograph your outfits and keep the photos printed in your closet or easily accessible on your phone. So after an outfit has gotten its two wears and a couple of months have passed, you can find and revive it again.

Who out there hangs completed outfits? Do you feel like these limitations apply to your own system? Other workarounds to suggest so that hanging grouped outfits is more efficient? Let us know in the comments!

Image courtesy Emily May

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Already Prettypoll: Care Instructions

I have transformed a few sweaters into potholders in the wash and caused the occasional rayon garment to shrink into unwearable tightness. Because although I follow garment care instructions about 85% of the time, I just cannot believe that an unembellished cotton/spandex top needs to be dry cleaned. AND. I’ve had many experiences where the instructions want me to dry a garment flat, and doing so leaves weirdly deep, totally un-iron-able creases everywhere while 10 minutes in the dryer makes it look perfect. For truly delicate garments, I hand wash, but most get put through my machine’s delicate cycle. It’s risky, but sometimes I save myself time, money, and aggravation and sometimes going against care instructions works better than following them.

And you? Are you a stickler for following garment care instructions to the letter? Or do you trust your own judgment based on fiber knowledge? A little of both? Any guidelines for when “dry clean only” is a lie? Any horror stories that have forced you to lauder exactly as instructed forever?

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