When the winter weather approaches every year, so does a change in wardrobe which means one thing, storage and organisation. Now that it’s getting colder, we’re looking for ways to both store our summer garments efficiently, and to organise our winter ones so we can find them. Lisa Lyons of the storage brand Plastic Box Shop is here to share her tips on keeping your clothes neat and accessible.
With the approach of winter, every year in the UK comes a change of clothes — summer items are relegated to the back of the wardrobe, and jumpers, cardigans, coats and other warm garments make their appearance.
Added to this, recent research by the sustainability charity WRAP found that people in the UK disposed of a massive 67 million items of clothing as the UK came out of lockdown, with one-third of citizens having a lockdown clear-out. An estimated 11 items of clothing were disposed of. However, the charity also found that 57% of the items people intend to get rid of, remain at home in storage post-lockdown, leaving less than half of the items actually been thrown away or donated.
So, how can you store and organise your clothes effectively, so that they aren’t taking up a lot of space in your home?
Deal with your summer clothes first
Before you move on to organising your winter clothes, it’s important to work out how you’re going to store your summer items so that they don’t get creased or lost. If you do this first, your job will become much easier. First, decide which items are classed as summer garments, as some things such as T-shirts and shirts don’t need to be retired, they will simply be layered with warmer clothes.
Organise your summer wardrobe
Take all of your summer items out of the wardrobe, chest of draws, or off the clothes rack, and then organise the garments into categories. The categories can be whatever works best for you, but most people either go for sorting by item (tops, jeans, skirts etc), or formality (casual items, pyjamas, workwear, and formal attire). Then, make sure all the clothes are clean — they should be laundered and dry before they go in storage. Once this is done, you’re ready to begin packing.
Pick a storage solution
Choose how to store your items. Many people opt to roll up their summer clothes, rather than folding them, and then putting them into storage boxes. Rolling is less likely than folding to cause hard creases, and putting the clothes in boxes as opposed to compression bags, means they won’t be pressed into creasing either.
However, if you are very short on space, you may need compression storage bags. These bags work by compressing the oxygen to really press the clothes down. This significantly reduces the space that you need to store everything and can be a great choice if you need summer items to fit underneath a bed or at the bottom of a wardrobe. Lastly, things like jackets, formal dresses, and shirts should not be folded or rolled. Instead, you should store these hung up inside protective bags — using a corner of your wardrobe or clothes rack for these items can keep things looking neat.
Bring out the winter clothes
Once the summer items are packed away, you should have plenty of space where you can think about arranging the things you’ll need for winter. So, take out your winter wardrobe, and like with the previous season’s garments, make sure everything is clean and dry. Storing things that are musty can lead to all your clothes smelling off, so allow time for this stage.
Arrange items by type and use frequency
Keeping your clothes organised according to what type of garment is where, and how often you’re going to be needing them, is the best way to maintain a functional and flexible wardrobe. So, place all the coats and jackets together at one end of your wardrobe, and then arrange other items in sections. Using trouser hangers for trousers and skirts can really make a difference in keeping things neat and tidy.
Place things that you are going to need more often at the front of your wardrobe and at the top of your draws. This will ensure that you are able to reach these items easily when you need them.
Change up your storage accessories
As well as keeping things tidy, it’s important that your storage arrangements keep your clothes looking nice, and make you enjoy picking out an outfit in the morning. So, try swapping your hangers for ones that match the other décor in your room — for example, wooden hangers go well with a rustic theme, and slim metal ones work nicely for a minimalist aesthetic.
Buy storage boxes that fit with the décor too. Choose plastic, cardboard or wicker depending on how well they complement furniture and decorations. You can even decorate your storage boxes or label them to make them more individual.
Find a place to keep shoes
While in summer, you might have just walked inside and stored your shoes in the bottom of a wardrobe or underneath a clothes rail, in winter this is likely to result in a muddy carpet or dirty clothes. So, find an alternative place to put these items. If you have a porch or hallway, this can be an ideal place for a stack of storage boxes or some shelves, and these can be useful places to put visitors’ shoes when they take them off too.
It can feel like a time-consuming task to organise all your clothes, especially when there are so many items that you need to put into storage. But, using these tips, you can set aside an afternoon to make sure that your winter wardrobe is accessible, stylish and organised.
How can a professional organiser help with storage and organisation?
Having an organised wardrobe is the dream however not everyone has the time or the mental space to tackle this alone. If you would like to find out more about how a professional organiser can help transform your wardrobe from calm to chaos, contact us. Free consultations are available.