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We asked an expert: this is how to organise your wardrobe the *right* way

how to organise your wardrobe
14 top tips on how to best organise your wardrobeGetty Images

Ahh a New Year, what better time to introduce a little organisation into your life? Be it a New Year's Resolution or simply wanting to start 2024 with a clean (and tidy) slate, decluttering your wardrobe is a great chore to cross off the list, early doors. Although, if you ask us, any day is a great day for a wardrobe tidy. Especially if the mountain of clothes on your clothes chair has grown out of control.

Whether they admit it or not, everyone has a clothes chair. It might not actually be a chair, it could be a stool or even just a corner of your room, but it's a place where you dump clothes if you're too lazy or tired to put them away properly. To fully banish this bad habit, you need to know how to organise your wardrobe the *right* way.

We know what you're thinking, surely there is no correct way to organise your clothes? Guess again. We consulted a decluttering expert to make the whole process muchhh less stressful. Elika Gibbs of Practical Princess and Virginia Feacey, Country Manager UK at second-hand designer resale site Rebelle have shared their top tips to help us all lead less cluttered lives.

The results will see not just your wardrobe tidy, but your room too. Plus, it makes a huge difference when it comes to actually getting dressed. When you can actually see all your blazers, dresses, jeans and skirts clearly, styling up outfits will be a dream.

How to organise your wardrobe

1. Start with one big clear-out

Virginia suggests going through every item in your wardrobe and adding it to the following categories:

  • Sell

  • Maybe

  • Customise

  • Toss

Side note: this actually works.

If you're not sure which pile something should go on, try it on! "You may have forgotten about a missing gem that's been sitting in your wardrobe that you normally bypass. You might be able to alter it to make it more current," Elika says.

2. Make some money with your unwanted bits

Struggling for motivation? That sell pile is a great place to start as you can make some money from your old clothes. "Just because you might not like it anymore, doesn't mean someone else won't," Virginia says. "It’ll also make you feel better if you want to purchase something new if you're making money from the old".

Use sites like Ebay, Depop and Vinted for your high street purchases, and for more high-end pieces, Rebelle is your go-to. If you have a designer piece you don't want to part with but don't wear very often, you could also try listing it on a fashion rental site as a great money earner.

3. Continuously edit your wardrobe

Once you've edited your wardrobe down, Virginia recommends starting a one-in-one-out policy to avoid clutter building back up again. She says: "For every new item you purchase, an old one needs to go. Or, if you really want to test yourself, try two".

Why? "If you don't edit your wardrobe, you might think you have loads of clothes but actually, it's just that you have a volume of things that no longer fit or are dated", Elika tells us.

"By clearing out your wardrobe you prevent that, and you'll find getting dressed in the mornings so much easier". Okay, we're convinced.

4. Organise your closet by item type and then by colour

If you don't have multiple categories, you're missing out on peak level organisation. We like to organise first by item – so all the tops in one section, all the blazers together, all our jeans in the same place etc. – and then by colour within that category.

"It’ll make everything look much neater and will save you time in the mornings when you need to get dressed in a hurry", Virginia advises.

Plus, there's not much prettier than a rainbow!

5. Invest in the right equipment

"I like matching hangers because then you're not distracted by a messy wardrobe", Elika says. Virginia agrees: "Get some good hangers with rounded corners and use boxes to keep drawers organised. This is especially great for belts, underwear, and socks".

If you don't have time to fold things, throwing them in a basket helps things feel organised if really they're not. Just don't forget to come back and sort it out, later!

6. Separate the seasons

"If wardrobe space is an issue," Virginia says, "divide your things into summer and winter clothing and keep the other season packed up out of the way when not in use."

Elika agrees that this can be handy regardless: "It's no good if it's the middle of winter and you're going through your closet and you have summer dresses hanging there that you won't be able to wear".

7. Store everything in the right place

Part of wardrobe organisation is wardrobe maintenance. The point here is to make your life easier, and looking after your clothes properly will help that.

"Keep knitwear folded and flat. Also, dry it flat to avoid pulling and deformation", Virginia advises.

8. Don't forget your shoes

"If you have a lot of shoes in boxes", Virginia says, "tape pictures of them to the outside of the box, so you know what’s inside without having to go through several boxes."

Elika adds: "Boxes are ideal because they prevent dust, and cardboard works well because then they can breathe".

It also means you can stack boxes on top of each other to use up valuable wasted space without damaging your shows and ending up with a messy pile.

9. Look after more expensive items

"If you've spent all that money on something fancy, you better make sure you take proper care of it", Virginia says. "Keep designer bags in their dust bags and stuff them from the inside to avoid deforming."

Change how you shop:

10. Invest in good quality wardrobe staples

"These will be the backbone of your wardrobe", Virginia tells us. "You’ll get great cost per wear out of them, so choose pieces that are of good quality, versatile, easily combinable and perhaps a bit pricier, so they’ll last longer".

"Think – a good trench or coat, a basic white shirt, a basic cotton Tee, a black blazer, dark blue denim, a cashmere sweater, white trainers, black heels, black flats, etc". For more inspo, read our winter wardrobe essentials now.

11. Buy into trends with easy-to-combine and less pricey pieces

Love the ruffle trend? Don't splash a load of money on a jumper you'll wear for one season and then throw away. Instead, use the high street for easy trend updates. "That way it won’t hurt you too much when you stop wearing these pieces", Virginia says.

12. Take your time before you buy

Before you spend any money on something new, Virginia says it's important to consider the purchase first.

"Think of three ways to combine the new piece with existing things in your wardrobe", she suggests. "If you don’t come up with three, rethink the purchase".

13. Always sleep on it

"To avoid impulse buys", Virginia says, "research the pieces you need/like, put them on your wish list, and then sleep on it. If you still want the pieces the next day, then go ahead and buy them".

14. Find a great tailor

Can't afford to buy high-end but want your clothes to look more expensive? Virginia says it's all in the way your clothes fit you.

"This means hemming trousers and sleeves, and making sure shoulders fit in blazers/ jackets, etc", she says. "Just make sure you always think about the additional cost of tailoring a piece before you purchase it".

Think you can do it? We know you can!

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