How to tidy your wardrobe: the best tips for organising
We’ve got the ultimate guide on how to achieve a decluttered, clean and tidy wardrobe, with top tips and tricks to up your home organisation skills.
Organising your wardrobe doesn’t have to be a dreaded task. It may seem a tiresome and daunting process, but we’re here to help you with handy tips and tricks on how to tidy, organise and bring order to your closet.
A well-organised wardrobe, with designated sections, shelves and hanging spots for different items, will make putting together outfits in the morning a much quicker, easier, and hassle-free experience. We’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to clear out and organise your wardrobe in the most practical way and transform your cluttered space into a tidy haven.
We’ve also included top tips and storage solutions to make the most efficient use of your space and touched on how to maintain your tidy wardrobe for speedy outfit selections and access to your favourite items.
Step-by-step guide on tidying your wardrobe
Follow these easy-to-follow steps to achieve a decluttered, clean and tidy wardrobe in no time.
1. Empty and clean your wardrobe
Begin with a clean slate to work with by emptying out your wardrobe of all its contents and giving it a good clean. Wipe down the shelves, drawers, compartments and flooring with a damp cloth and cleaning product to remove any dust or dirt and prevent it from building up on your clothes.
2. Assess and declutter
Next up is taking stock of what you have and starting the process of decluttering. For the full lowdown on decluttering, check out our ultimate guide on how to declutter your home: a step-by-step guide with tips from experts.
Assess which items you want to keep and those which you can let go of. During this step, it’s really important to be honest with yourself about what you actually wear and need. Ask yourself if you still like it, ‘does it fit?’, ‘is it still in good condition?’ and ‘have I worn this in the last year?’ If you can’t make up your mind, try the clothes on. Hanging onto clothes that no longer serve a purpose will only take up unnecessary space.
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Depending on the clothes’ conditions, you can donate your unwanted clothes to charity shops, host clothing swap events or sell items online for a little extra cash while giving them a new life and saving them from landfill.
3. Sort and categorise
Once you decide which clothes you’re keeping, it’s time to sort through them and group items into categories. This will help you create a more organised space to make outfit selections easier, speedier and more visual. There are several ways to sort your clothing. Here we’ve suggested a few options:
- Sort by clothing type: Separate clothes into categories grouping your trousers, skirts, t-shirts etc., together to make it easier to find specific items when putting an outfit together.
- Sort by season: Keep off-season clothes in a separate section to make it easier to find clothes each day and not waste your time with inappropriate clothing. Check out our guide to the best underbed storage if you're low on storage space for your off-season items.
- Sort by occasion: Divide your clothes by occasion; for example, you could have a whole section of your wardrobe dedicated to workwear, or formal wear, separately from your more casual clothes.
- Sort by colours: Arrange each category by colour for easy visualisation and colour functionality. This works particularly well when organising clothes that have already been sorted by type, season or occasion.
- Sort by frequency: Keep frequently worn items at eye level for easy access and convenience.
Tips and tricks for organising your wardrobe
These useful tips and tricks can help to get your wardrobe in tip-top shape.
Maximise storage space
There are plenty of storage options to help organise your wardrobe - here, we’ve got the lowdown on the different types and what to use them for most effectively.
- Drawer organisers: Use drawer organisers and dividers to maximise drawer space and keep smaller items tidy, like underwear, socks and accessories. Check out our guide to the best drawer organisers for some of our favourite variations, from a set of six collapsible boxes to a four-pack of adjustable dividers.
- Hanging shelves: Add some hanging shelves to your wardrobe for additional storage space. John Lewis offers a handy six-shelf unit, which easily hangs over your wardrobe rail to store all sorts of accessories, clothing, or even shoes.
- Storage bins and baskets: Available in various sizes and materials, bins and baskets are great for storing accessories and can be lined up neatly on the floor of your wardrobe for smaller items and accessories. They’re great for storing bags as they let them maintain their shapes. We like H&M’s cotton storage basket for a useful yet chic solution.
- Shoe organisers: Store your shoes on shoe racks or shelves to keep them neatly arranged. These can be placed on the flooring of your wardrobe to utilise the space most efficiently. We’ve selected some of our favourites in our guide to the best shoe racks for a clutter-free home. Alternatively, attach hanging shoe organisers on the back of your wardrobe doors to save floor space and get the most out of every corner.
Label your sections
Label the different sections in your wardrobe, from the hanging space and shelves to the drawers and any storage boxes. This will help you find lesser-used items faster while maintaining order.
Should you fold or hang your clothes?
Properly folding and hanging your clothes will not only keep your items in good condition and wrinkle and crease-free but will also save space and ensure a neat and tidy wardrobe. Certain items benefit from being hung, while others are better folded. Here are some simple tips on how to store clothing based on their category:
- T-shirts: Best folded and stacked on top of each other, fold t-shirts into thirds vertically and then in half horizontally to create a compact rectangle shape.
- Jumpers: Jumpers are best folded similarly to t-shirts, tucking onto sleeves.
- Trousers: Most trousers should be folded along the creases and stacked on the shelves of your wardrobe neatly for best storage.
- Dresses and skirts: These items should be hung to avoid creases and maintain their shapes.
- Underwear and socks: Fold these items into neat rectangles to save space in your wardrobe.
- Bulky items: Items such as hoodies and sweatshirts should be folded in your wardrobe to take up as little space as possible.
Choose the right hangers
Using the right hangers is important for storing and preserving your clothes correctly as well as maximising wardrobe space - we’ve rounded up some of our favourites in our guide to the best clothes hangers, recommended by organisation experts.
When choosing your hangers, it’s worth considering the following:
- Material: Wooden padded or velvet hangers are best to prevent creasing or over-stretching your clothing. Look for velvet or rubber-coated ones to avoid clothes from slipping off, and steer clear of wire hangers if possible, as these can misshapen fabrics.
- Size: Try and choose slimline hangers to maximise hanging space.
- Consistency: It’s worth using the same type of hangers throughout your wardrobe for a uniform look and to optimise space.
How to organise accessories
Use the floor space of your wardrobe to store shoes for an effective use of space. Accessories such as belts and scarves can be stored on hangers or on hooks attached to the inside of the wardrobe doors for easy visibility. Ikea offers an intelligent multi-use hanger, perfect for storing scarves, belts and ties in order without taking up extra space. Or try out using a hanging hook on the back of your wardrobe door - super versatile and easy to use for a selection of different items.
How to maintain your tidy wardrobe
Once you have sorted through your wardrobe space, make sure to sustain the order you’ve established to keep things organised over time. We’ve included a few maintenance tips to help you out:
- Spend a few minutes each day returning items to their designated spots, whether after being washed or worn.
- At the start of each season, declutter again. Reassess your wardrobe and donate or discard anything you no longer need.
- Try the ‘one in, one out’ rule to prevent your wardrobe from becoming overcrowded.
- Deep clean your wardrobe ever so often to remove any dust or dirt.
If you would like to read more expert-recommended round-ups, check out our household page, where you’ll find more home recommendations, including our declutter your home checklist, and round-ups of the best shoe racks, the best shower caddies, and the best drawer organisers.
Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.