Organise your clothes cupboard in no time at all with James’s top tips.
HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED WARDROBE ENVY? Co-ordinated clothes hanging neatly in line, perfect rows of shiny shoes and open shelving showing off that handbag collection… You, too, can get this feeling at home, and it’s not that difficult.
1 TAKE IT OUT, START AGAIN
Start from scratch and pull out everything. Take note of what you own, and think about it as you put everything back – in order! Place similar items in separate piles, and return them to their own sections in the wardrobe. This is the perfect time to vacuum all that dust at the back of the robe, or find those missing earrings.
Also ask yourself a few questions: how much space should each type of clothing take up? Do you need more long hanging or an additional set of drawers? Could you place some items in storage boxes for special occasions? This time helps you declutter the items you don’t really need or had forgotten about. Try things on to see how they fit, and admit if it’s time to let them go.
2 THROW IT OR STOW IT?
We often hang onto items – sometimes for years – and never use them. All of us have pants, shoes or jackets that we never wear, don’t fit us anymore or are worn and damaged from being loved too much. Go through your wardrobe and place in piles those items you wear and those you don’t. If it’s been more than a year or two since you last wore those shoes or that shirt, then breathe in: it’s time to let it go.
A great tip from de-clutter champion Peter Walsh is to place all your clothes hangers inwards, instead of out, and only turn them the right way when you wear an item. After 12 months you can see which hangers are reversed, and know which clothes you aren’t wearing.
3 CHOOSE THE RIGHT STORAGE SYSTEM
With many cost-effective options on the market, getting the perfect wardrobe fitout doesn’t mean ripping everything out and starting again. It’s often about small but clever changes to create the right balance of storage types.
Standard wardrobes usually have one hanging rail underneath a fixed shelf, so there’s never enough shelf or drawer space. Hanging fabric shelves provide shelving space on a budget, but for something more substantial, flat-pack or prebuilt sets of drawers or open shelf units can easily be placed inside your existing robes to give you additional storage space. Pull-down hanging rails are perfect for very high robes, slideout shelves are great for ties, socks, underwear and even shoes (see above left), and slide-out hanging rails can provide extra space for trousers or shirts. Storage boxes are perfect for seasonal clothes, and shoes and handbags can be placed on shelves, making them easy to keep organised, as well as accessible.
Don’t be daunted. You really can get organised in a weekend. Who knows, if you get rid of a bag or two of old, unused clothes, you have a great excuse to squeeze in a shopping trip!
Top notch Good-quality coat hangers stop creases in trousers as well as make your robe look up to date and organised.
HANG IT ALL Svira hanging storage, $19.99, from Ikea.
TIED UP Dress-shaped scarf holder, $9.95, from Howards Storage World.
RACK ’EM UP Percy 2-tier shoe rack, $59.95, from Freedom.
GREY AREA Felt small lidded box, $24.95, from Freedom.
NATURAL CHOICE Living Space “Zara” small covered box, $24.99, from Spotlight.
HEY, GOOD LOOKING Algot wall upright/ mirror/shelf, $40, from Ikea.
OUT IN THE OPEN Algot wall upright/mesh baskets, $115, from Ikea.
Shoe in These open pull-out shoe drawers are a genius design.