House of French

November 13, 2008

Perfecting Your Wardrobe: Organize (Step 2)

Filed under: Building Your Perfect Wardrobe — xfrenchx @ 9:55 pm

When you start putting everything back, make sure to do it in a organized way. Don’t just throw your clothes in there, it all needs to make sense. The most logical way to organize is by category, and then by hue (from neutrals to bright colours & prints). It’s also smart to put together one or two “go-to” outfits for when you’re in a hurry. If you have an outfit already put together, you don’t need to think about anything. Arrange your clothing in the following order, starting from one wall:

1. Dresses – start with long dresses, and anything meant for evening wear. Then arrange your cocktail dresses, starting with longer hemlines, working your way up to the shortest. Next you want tailored dresses that work from day to night, followed by work dresses. Last you can add your casual day dresses.

2. Bottoms – First you arrange skirts, then trousers. Begin with your formal pieces, then work appropriate, followed by your casual pieces.

3. Tops – Start with  dressy tops, followed by shirts, lightweight knits and other day wear tops. Then move on to long sleeves, cardigans and sweaters. Always go from lightest to heaviest.

4. Jackets & Coats – First arrange your jackets from casual to more formal. Then tailored coats. Do not store your heavy outwear in your wardrobe. Heavy coats including furs, windbreakers, parkas and overcoats should be stored in your main hallway closet.

Great Organizational Tips:

– Store scarves, hats a gloves in small baskets on a shelf. Silk scarves and leather gloves are fragile, so store them seperately in a shallow drawer, or in their own small boxes. Place labels on the lids so you can find them fast.

– Install a row of hooks at eye level, to hang your belts on. This way you can see and access them easily, and hanging them prevents the buckles from scratching, as they would in a drawer.

– Small boxes are fine for jewelry, as long as you keep them sparsely filled to avoid scratching and tangles. Jewelry trees are great, but you can also pin earrings, necklaces and rings to a bulletin board. Another low cost idea is to cut egg cartons in half and use the small dividers for seperate pieces. For a higher priced solution, you can buy felt dividers and mats that go right into your dresser drawers, or of course, a specially made jewelry box or chest.

– Do not scatter your shoes all over the floor, they will get dusty, scuffed or lost. Built in shelves or hang in canvas shelves are great ways to safely store your shoes. If you don’t have enough room, either purchase a floor shoe rack, or place pairs in clear plastic boxes. You can also use non-transparent boxes and place a photo of each pair on their corresponding box. This way you can find them quickly, but keep them safe from dust and markings. Shoe trees are a great for keeping boots in shape, or you can roll up some magazines and slip them in your boots as well. Don’t use newspaper to stuff with – they create moisture.

– Always keep your bags stacked up right. Line them up along a shelf  or in cubbyholes or hanging canvas dividers. Stuff them with tissue paper to keep their shape, and add small doses of potpourri to keep them smelling fresh, not dusty.

– Keep a notepad on your closet door to write down anything you need to complete an outfit, or anything you are lacking from your wardrobe. This way you will remember every time you get dressed.

– Use only one type of hanger. This will allow the hangers to sit properly together, saving you space. It also just looks nice. Make sure to get new hangers whenever some of them get bent out of shape. Always use plastic or wood hangers – never wire ones. If you hangers sag, so will your clothes and they will lose their shape. Always leave atleast 1 inch of space between your hangers to keep them wrinkle free.

– If you’re a really organized kind of person, once you have grouped your skirts together, blouses together, jeans etc … sub-divide these categories into colours, then styles, or by fabric, etc…

– Analyze the possibilities of your closet. Do you have room to add some shelves, or maybe double rods, one for bottoms, one for tops? Anywhere you are able to add space saving pieces, it can really improve the potential for organization.

– Create different ways to eliminate bulk in your closet. Buy bins or baskets to hold your swimwear, your workout clothes etc… This saves space in your drawers and closet for your more important clothing, and makes it easier to find the little things quickly. Keep your off-season clothes in under-the-bed storage bins, or other closets that may be available.

– Give your closet a warm feeling. It will be easier to associate clothing with happiness if you create a good mood in your closet. Add personal touches like painting the back wall your favourite colour, by adding vintage hooks, or a mini-chandelier. Add your favourite scent to your closet to keep it smelling fresh and comforting.

– Invest in a steamer. Steamers do wonders more than ironing, and they steam away all but the toughest wrinkles in minutes. They also help prevent you from over-dry cleaning your clothes. Go for a travel size if you’d prefer, which is cheaper and more convenient.

– Having a fix-it kit is very wise. Stock a moderately sized bag with the essentials: thread, extra buttons, scissors, double stick tape, safety pins, a lint brush, a soft sponge for deodarant stains, sewing needles plus a shoe polish or spray along with a cloth, sponge or brush.

-A mesh lingerie bag is a must have for every woman who doesn’t want to handwash her delicates. These bags are great since they can be thrown in the washer with your clothes. I personally still prefer to stick them in the bag on delicate cycle to ensure they are treated extra gently.

– Consider adding a “give-away” hamper to a corner of your closet. If you know anyone who may like something you no longer want, toss it in. Empty this basket every season when you do your closet overhaul.

– Use acid-free paper to seperate things that are stored in dresses. Keep your tee’s fresh by placing a sheet between each one. It’s also great for protecting your lingerie as well.



  1. Oh my, how I need to be this organized. I am always frustrated with my closets, cause they’re always messy. I’m moving soon, so hopefully I’ll be able to put your advice into practice.
    It was a good read.

    Comment by Jelena — November 25, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  2. Why thank you Jelena. Moving into a new place is always a great way to start fresh with a newly organized closet. Im very glad you found the information useful, its always more fun to get dressed when you enjoy your closet space. 🙂

    Comment by xfrenchx — November 28, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

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