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If your wardrobe regularly leaves you feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed, then I know exactly how you feel, because this used to be me!

The funny thing is, I’ve worked as a visual merchandiser for luxury lifestyle brands, so I’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about how to present clothes at their best. But it took me ages to connect the dots and apply this knowledge to my own wardrobe. 🤦‍♀️

Since embracing a more conscious fashion approach, I now have a much better relationship with my clothes. So whatever the space you have available, I’ve got a few easy organisational tips that will help you to simplify your style and fall in love with your wardrobe again.

Why Is it Important To Organise Your Wardrobe?

The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.

Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Sorting out your wardrobe isn’t just helpful from a practical point of view. Intentional living is about doing more on purpose and less on autopilot, so, in a bigger sense, curating your wardrobe is about designing your life consciously.

Plus, research suggests that visual simplicity is strongly associated with a decrease in stress and anxiety. Recent studies show the link between cluttered spaces and procrastination, overwhelm and a lower quality of life. Organised environments, by contrast, have been proven to increase productivity and mental processing.

In short, your outer environment is a reflection of your inner environment. This sends your brain a powerful subconscious message about the kind of person you are.

In my experience, an organised wardrobe is the cornerstone of a minimalist home. Because if you can crack your wardrobe – one of the most notoriously tricky areas – it empowers you to be more organised, decisive and effective in all other aspects of your life, too.

3 Fundamentals BEFORE You Start Organising

Fundamental #1: Declutter ruthlessly

Piles of clothes for decluttering

Now, I don’t mean to state the obvious, but I just want to point out something that I failed to fully grasp for years when it came to organising my own wardrobe. I remained doggedly convinced that if I just found the perfect organisational method, all my wardrobe woes would be solved.

But the truth is, you’ll never achieve organised calm out of chaos. One of the main reasons our wardrobes feel cluttered and overwhelming is because… well, they are!

According to Lauren Bravo in How to Break Up With Fast Fashion, we typically only wear 10% of our clothes regularly – a pretty sobering statistic.

The best way to create a sense of order is to therefore start by heavily editing your wardrobe. In particular, I’d suggest creating a mix-and-matchable capsule wardrobe, which I’ve spoken about in more detail here.

Fundamental #2: Separate the seasons

Only keeping seasonally appropriate clothing in your wardrobe is another simple yet effective practice that not only declutters your closet, but also ensures you have weather-appropriate clothing at hand.

As the seasons change, you can update your wardrobe by vac-packing bulky coats and storing off-season items that you won’t get regular wear out of. This system also offers the perfect opportunity to periodically reevaluate your clothing and stay up-to-date with your personal style.

To make this as easy as possible, I like to create capsule wardrobes for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Schedule a 6-monthly wardrobe changeover in your calendar, dedicating at least half a day to the switch-over process.

For seasonal storage, you’ll find these collapsible storage boxes come in handy!

Fundamental #3: Create an inventory

Digitise your wardrobe

One of the main reasons our wardrobes quickly get out of control is because it’s easy to lose track of what we already own. That’s why I recommend creating a wardrobe inventory system.

You could do this with a simple spreadsheet, but my personal preference is to use a free digital wardrobe organising app. With this, you can upload your clothes, build and log your outfits, and create inspiring mood boards.

Whering gives you handy stats, such as the monetary value of your wardrobe or the percentage of it you’re regularly wearing (very illuminating!).

Data really is your friend. It’s certainly made me much more self-aware of my shopping habits and given me high-level visibility of my wardrobe. There’s even a wish list feature to help you keep track of items you’d like to add to your wardrobe, helping you to avoid emotional impulse purchases.

7 Top Tips To Create an Organised & Visually Appealing Wardrobe

Now that we have our basic organisational foundations in place, here are some of my favourite visual merchandising tips. These techniques are so simple yet have a significant impact when applied together, creating a calm and polished space you’ll actually enjoy spending time in.

Tip #1: Use the same style of hanger

Clothing on wooden hangers

When I used to look in my wardrobe, all I could see was a jumble of mismatched plastic hangers. And no matter how tastefully chosen, clothes are always going to look visually chaotic in this environment. By contrast, you can have an eclectic wardrobe and immediately achieve a sense of overall cohesiveness by applying a clean underlying framework.

So my simplest wardrobe hack is simply investing in one style of hanger – something you’ll notice if you pay closer attention in any retail store.

I personally opt for a light natural wood effect. But if you want to maximise space, you could also choose a thinner style. The beauty of this is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Check out any of these stylish and affordable options:

Tip #2: Hang clothes correctly

How to hang your clothes

Call me picky, but attention to detail makes all the difference! Maintaining consistency with how you hang clothes in your wardrobe creates a visually appealing and organised space, so make sure to:

  • Do up buttons and zips
  • Position garments straight on hangers
  • When using clip hangers for bottoms, secure the garment’s outer edges to prevent overhanging material
  • Show off details like contrast collars & trims

Sticking to a more standardised method of hanging your clothes also means that you naturally start to take better care of them, a fundamental principle in slow fashion and building a capsule wardrobe you love.

Tip #3: Use the ‘Rainbow Rule’

When you organise your wardrobe following some very basic principles, it won’t just look nicer – it will also be far more practical when you’re getting ready in a hurry!

While it’s fairly standard practice to group your clothes by type (i.e. keeping dresses, shirts, and trousers together), I find that this method only really works when you have a very limited neutral colour palette.

For wardrobes that contain lots of different colours, my preferred method is to use the Rainbow Rule. To implement this, move from one side of your clothes rail to the other and arrange garments from light to dark, e.g. white to cream, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green, brown, grey, and black.

Tip #4: Ensure all garments face the same way

Neat hangers on a rail

Another incredibly easy win to maintain a tidy wardrobe is to simply ensure that all of your clothes and hangers point in the same direction. This deceptively straightforward technique adds uniformity, making your wardrobe easy on the eye and effortless to navigate. Plus, you’ll never have to deal with the frustration of tangled hangers ever again!

Tip #5: Finger space your clothes

A lesser-known secret from high-end retail is to leave a (roughly) finger-space gap between each of your clothes hangers. This gives a greater sense of visual clarity and order (and is incredibly satisfying!).

Now, this isn’t possible to do if your wardrobe is overflowing, so revisit foundational principle #1 before attempting this. I promise, when you get to this point, it makes all the difference!

Tip #6: Learn how to fold

Firstly, it’s important to have an understanding of which items should and shouldn’t be folded. As a rule of thumb, I would always aim to fold:

  • Basic short and long sleeve tees
  • Heavier knitwear
  • Jeans
  • Sweatshirts and sweatpants

This is because heavier knitwear can easily become misshapen on a hanger, while basic tees, jeans and loungewear are easy to fold (and also help save on precious hanging space).

On the flip side, I would always recommend hanging:

  • Delicate or flowy tops and blouses
  • Dresses
  • Skirts and trousers
  • Shirts and formal attire
  • Outerwear

Then comes the folding, which is an art form in itself! I spent many years perfecting this in retail, but check out the above video for a quick crash course demo. When you learn how to properly fold your clothes, your wardrobe is going to feel just as good as walking into a high-end store.

Tip #7: Use storage boxes & drawer dividers

How to organise your drawers

Storage boxes and drawer dividers are essential tools for maintaining a tidy and organised wardrobe. Drawer dividers, in particular, are perfect for smaller items like underwear and socks, ensuring they remain neatly separated and easily accessible.

For larger accessories like belts and shoes, storage boxes are a lifesaver. Not only do they protect your items from dust and damage, but they also keep clutter at bay and make everything more visually appealing.

Bonus tip: Scent your wardrobe

I’m adding this in as a bonus tip because I wouldn’t really class it as organisational. But when you walk into any high end store, notice that shopping is a rich and all-encompassing experience that engages the senses. For a full-on spa feel that adds a little touch of luxury, consider scenting your wardrobe – a treat for both you and your clothes. Check out these lovely scented bags from Clothes Doctor. Oh, and another bonus, they’re great for keeping moths at bay, too!

Well-Curated Wardrobe, Well-Curated Life

Remember, a well-curated wardrobe reflects a well-curated life. By investing some initial time and energy into organising, decluttering and refining your wardrobe, you will create an environment that encourages confidence and self-expression. This ultimately allows you to showcase the best version of yourself.

If you’re struggling to know where to start with building a basic capsule wardrobe, then make sure to download my essential capsule wardrobe checklist. And don’t forget to let me know how you get on with these tips in the comments below!

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