I would like to start this blog by wishing everyone good health during this difficult time, and sending all the NHS, police and essential care services a big applause for the amazing job they are all doing.
Understandably, one of the many things we are all worried about right now is how to cope with isolation. I am a firm believer that in order to look after our mental and physical health, it is of great help to keep ourselves busy doing something creative that will make us feel good and positive. That is why I hope the tips and tricks I am giving you, to make your wardrobe work for you, will perhaps get you closer towards that goal.
I would like to start by suggesting the very same first thing I tell my clients when I do a Wardrobe Assessment with them, take everything out of the wardrobe and start by getting rid of anything that no longer serves your purpose. It is very important all those garments that for one reason or another get left there unused, think of them as unnecessary baggage that is obstructing your wardrobe and your mind, are removed and sent to charity or sold on line.
Now, everything that will go back should be only the clothes that fit you right now and most importantly make you happy.
Double bars as I mentioned in my previous blog, Beat Stress with a Well Organised Wardrobe, are the way to go if you want to double up space. I personally organise my clothes by colour and by type of garment. For example, on the top bar I hang: trousers, skirts and jackets and within these 3 types, I then organise them by colour starting right to left (in my case). I hang the lighter colour on the right and work my way through to darker on the left. You can choose your own way, there’s no right or wrong here. On the bottom bar I have all my tops organised by colour and type as well. This way you can see everything and it makes it easier to put an outfit together.
I use flocked hangers not just because these help your clothes stay on the hangers, but also because they are great space savers, and allow you to have some space between garments so your clothes stay pressed and ready to wear. To work the distance between garments, I just put my index finger in between the hooks.
My personal preference is to use shelves for your knitwear, handbags and shoes. Keeping your jumpers on shelves makes them easy to spot and easy to get rather than in drawers. If you, on the other hand, prefer drawers I recommend you use the Marie Kondo folding style. Fold garments and stack them as if they were hangings folders in a filing cabinet drawer. Again, I do this by colour: darker at the bottom, lighter at the top. It gives me a warm and happy feeling when I open my wardrobe and see a rainbow in front of me.
It is important to make sure the surface is smooth and won’t snag your clothes. If you feel that this would perhaps be the case, cover your shelves with paper before putting your clothes on them. It makes it really easy to clean the shelves as well, just replace with fresh paper and you are good to go. Also, there are many companies out there doing scented paper if that is what you like.
Shelves are also ideal to stack your shoe boxes. If you don’t want to invest in transparent boxes, use the ones from the shoe shop. Usually they are labelled and sometimes they even have a picture of the shoes on the outside, so you can easily recognise its contents. If not, you can always take a photo and stick it on the box, or just simply stick on a label describing the content. This is particularly very good advice for shoe-buying-maniacs or as I prefer to call them “shoe collectors”… and Yes, you can count me into that group!
On the subject of shoes, my favourite, never wear the same shoes two days in a row. Always alternate them, so they have time to dry from one wear to the next. Also, try to store them dry and clean, and keep them in good condition by replacing soles and heels as soon as they are worn out. If you love your knee-high boots as much as I do, I would strongly recommend boot trees to preserve their shape.
Another group of which I’m an avid “collector” is handbags. If you have the space stand them side by side inside a protective cover and stuffed with an old cushion, so as to keep their shape. If space is a problem, try to at least keep them in a protective bag. Some handbags come already with one, but if you don’t have any, there’s no need to buy them. Simply use and old t-shirt cut the sleeves off and stitch close the arm and neck holes . Open a little slit on the hem and thread through a cord and you are good to go.
I cannot stress the importance of taking into account that the shelf will need to be strong enough to withstand the weight of all the clothes, bags or shoes you will put on it. You don’t want to create an avalanche burying you under a pile of your favourite jumpers, shoes and handbags… no bueno!
And finally, drawers are good for lingerie and small items. I think it is best to avoid folding ties. If you have plenty of drawer space, I would recommend to roll them and use drawer dividers to help them keep in shape. If on the other hand you are short of space, use a tie rack hanger preferably flocked. They will accommodate a number of ties barely taking any space at all.
Scarves are best folded or rolled and if they are delicate i.e. silk, wrap them in tissue paper. Check them regularly and re-fold or re-roll, so as to avoid any permanent creasing.
To finish this blog, I would like to give you some of my tricks to keep your clothes and your wardrobe in pristine condition:
- A good hand-held steamer removes creases without the need to set up the ironing board and waiting for your iron to be ready.
- Clothes brush or Lint roller- these are especially useful if you have dark clothing and pets! You can buy them cheaply everywhere. When out and about pop a roll of Sellotape in your bag, it doesn’t take up any space whatsoever, and does the same trick as a lint roller without the extra bulk in your handbag.
- Shoe shiners – These are a real time saver specially when you are ready to go and notice your shoes haven’t seen a bit of polish in a while. They come in different sizes and sometimes you get them for free in hotels, so keep your eyes peeled for them. They are sponge applicators with a bit of neutral shoe polish on them. You can shine your shoes in seconds. If you do not have one and still need a quick fix, use the inside of a banana peel and shine with a dry cloth.
- Cedar wood pieces and cedar wood essential oil- I use these in combination. Once the cedar wood piece is dry, I put a drop of the essential oil on it. It is a great insect repellent specially for your cashmere and wool knitwear shelves.
- To make sure your hangers glide along on the rod, keep it clean and rub it slightly with a candle. This also helps with sticky drawers.
- Do not keep clothes, after you bring them home from the dry cleaners, in the plastic covers. Remove the covers immediately so your garment can breathe and hang it.
And this is it from me this time. I do hope you have found this blog helpful. I would love to hear from you and see pictures of what your wardrobe looks before and after.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. If you would like me to help you with your wardrobe, I have currently a very good offer for my Wardrobe Assessment service. You can take advantage of the special price now, and book for whenever we are all allowed social contact again.
Also, keep an eye on my Facebook page as very exciting things are coming up!
or drop me an email: [email protected]