A few days ago I was asked on my Facebook page how I keep my wardrobe organised, and if I had any tips to share on clothes and shoes care etc... I'd love to say I use a wonderful organisation service or that Mary Poppins in person drops in every couple of months to order my walk-in closet to tidy itself up, but really I just do it myself, and keep a rather loose routine alternating between the odd weekly tidy-up, the crazy "I have too much stuff" wardrobe culling and the fashion-conscious micro-edits...
However, over the years, being a shopaholic and fashionista means that I have learned a few rules which work for me. Here they are, for your amusement!
1. If you can, create a space that will fit your needs:
After years of struggling with a closet that was never big enough, I decided to transform one of the bedrooms in our new home into a walk-in closet and shower room. I sat down and drew my walk-in myself, to scale! Then ordered some basic anthracite units from Ikea. Foregoing an extra bedroom was the best decision I've ever made: so long Bermuda Triangle closet, hello gorgeous YSL vintage dress I thought had gone missing!
2. Create a special space for everything:
Deciding how to organise my little space, and now knowing exactly where everything goes makes it easier to place accessories back in their place at the end of a long day at work.I showcase my favourite accessories on special trays or shelves, meaning I think of wearing them more often...
3. Make two wardrobes, one for Winter, one for Summer:
It doesn't matter how much or how little clothes you own, this is the way to see clearly in your closet... and it gives you an excuse to clean and organise your wardrobe! Twice a year, I do this (with a lot of help from the ever patient Hubby Dearest), and we store the past season clothes in cloth storage boxes in the top sections of my closet, making space for the new season, and it's like a little party when I get to re-discover long-lost friends!
4. If it looks pretty on the hanger, you'll wear it:
I make a conscious effort of hanging my clothes by colour, and my jean drawers are organised by cut and denim wash... Silly waste of time? Not really as it takes as long to hang something on the left as it does on the right, however it means I never look long for that Prius blouse and my open space wardrobe looks really appealing in the morning;
5. Don't squash clothes and never pile heels:
It's a fact that clothes and shoes look gorgeous in the shop, those places are built with one purpose in mind, making us lust after the goodies to want them enough to spend sums which are sometimes as high as the GDP of small countries on the tiniest straps of leather... so if you want to keep wearing your clothes and your shoes keep them in as good condition as you can: cashmere sweaters should be folded neatly in a drawer (keeps the shape better than a pile on a shelf) and investment coats should go on padded hangers, and 5'' heels should not be thrown in a pile on the floor, fact!
6. Be ruthless:
One in, one out... that's the rule in my closet. If I buy something new that has the exact same function as something I own, the older version goes off to my nanny, charity, online sales... Also, whenever I do a tidy-up, I make a check where any piece that's gone un-worn for over twelve months in a row gets the door (this rule obviously doesn't apply to evening-wear!). It's the only way to ensure that my wardrobe doesn't explode... and editing is part of learning about what looks work for me and what doesn't;
7. Keep the evil that lurks in the darkness at bay:
No matter how clean you want to keep your home, sometimes moths turn up (I have a theory that they can sense good cashmere and quality silk from miles away), and they can destroy your wardrobe in less time than it takes to say turtleneck; make sure you keep them at bay with anti-moth products such as the ones from Total Wardrobe Care...
Now tell me, what's the wardrobe management secret that makes your life easier?