There is no one way to store your wardrobe items, and we have to make the best of the space that is available to us. That said, try to keep your wardrobe items in one place, and your closet as tidy as possible. That way you know what you have at a glance, and your items look nicer for longer.
In this post I’m making some general suggestions on how to store wardrobe items. Personally, I like to hang most my of items because it keeps them wrinkle-free and looking lovely. I share a small walk-in closet with Greg, and have the lion’s share of the hanging space, whereas Greg has most of the folding space. My items are colour coded, and hung or folded per category. I do not swap out seasonal merchandise.
Hang outerwear in a separate coat closet close to the door for easy access. If you don’t have a coat closet, use a coat rack that’s close to the door. Failing that, keep your outerwear in another closet in the house. We have a very well used coat closet.
Special Occasion Wear
Some of my clients keep their occasion wear in a separate closet because it’s worn very infrequently and takes up too much space. I keep mine with the rest of my wardrobe so that I remember what I have. I hang special occasion items with the rest of the items in that category.
Jackets that are NOT outerwear should be hung in the closet with the rest of your clothes. You tend to forget about them if you keep them in the coat closet with your outerwear because that’s not where you get dressed. I keep my leather jackets, blazers, equestrian jackets, tweed jackets and denim jackets in our main walk-in closet.
Dresses, no matter what the style and fabric, need to be hung with enough room so that the hems do not drag on the floor and crease. Maxi dresses and jumpsuits that are very long can be folded onto a hanger and hung in the same place.
Skirts should be hung on clip hangers. Maxi skirts can be folded over regular hangers and hung in the same area, so that the hems don’t drag on the floor. That way you can utilize the space at the bottom of the closet.
Some of my clients hang their jeans vertically on clip hangers like skirts and trousers. Some fold them over hangers to prevent the hems from creasing in smaller hanging spaces. Others fold their jeans and store them in piles on closet shelving. And some store them folded in drawers. I fold my jeans over hangers and hang them with the rest of my trousers.
Trousers, like jeans, can be folded over hangers, or hung vertically on clip hangers like skirts. I hang dressy trousers vertically on clip hangers and next to my skirts. I fold casual trousers over hangers and hang them with my jeans.
I have three suits: Two trouser suits, and a dress suit. Although I do wear the suit items as separates, I hang them together in the dress area. Some of my clients prefer to separate the items of the suit and hang each piece in the category area.
These are best folded and stored in piles on shelving or in drawers. Storing shorts in piles means you can see all of them at a glance, which is very handy.
Blouses & Shirts
Hang them up. I can’t think of an instance when a blouse or shirt should be folded, unless you don’t have the hanging space.
Knitwear storage runs the gamut. Some knitwear can be hung on special knitwear hangers to keep the shape of the garment. Some knitwear can be folded and stored in piles on closet shelving or in an armoire. And some knitwear can be stored folded in drawers. If you store knitwear in drawers, fold them so that you can see them all at once, and not in piles that hide most of them away. I hang some of my fancy knitwear and fold the rest, storing them in piles on open closet shelves.
Knitted Tops & T-shirts
Like knitwear, some knitted tops can be hung like blouses and shirts, whereas others can be folded and piled onto open shelves. T-shirts are best folded, and if you keep them in drawers, fold them so that you can see them all at once instead of stacking them in piles.
Workout Wear & Loungewear
Keep workout wear and loungewear in drawers to save valuable closet space. But by all means fold the items and create piles on closet shelves when you have lots of space. I keep my yoga gear in a drawer and my loungewear folded in piles in our closet.
Underwear, Sleepwear, Socks & Hosiery
These work well sectioned and folded in drawers, either in your walk-in closet or in a separate armoire. Some of my clients keep their basics in bins in their closet, which might work for you too.
You can store scarves on scarf hangers, keeping them hung in your main closet or coat closet. You can also store scarves folded in drawers, making sure you can see all of them at once (either rolled or stashed into separate compartments). Some of my clients keep their scarves in bins, which is not a good idea because you have to rustle through the bin every time you want a scarf, and you tend to forget about them when they are out of sight. I have several scarves, which I fold and store in piles in our walk-in closet, thereby keeping them very visible.
Store belts on a belt hanger and hang them in your closet. Or hang them on hooks in your closet.
There are many ways to store bags, and the more you have, the more space you’ll need. Ideally, most bags should be stuffed and placed on shelves in a closet or armoire to keep them shaped and pristine. Clutches tend to pile up quite nicely on a shelf because they are flat. You can section off a shelf into compartments, thereby placing a few bags into a compartment so that they don’t fall over. You can also hang handbags on the back of a closet door with hooks. I store my bags on shelves in the walk-in closet, and on hooks behind the closet door. Apart from three handbags, I store all my bags uncovered so that I can see them more easily. They also look more decorative that way.
Some of my clients store their handbags in bins that they keep stacked in their closet. It’s one way to utilize the space, but you have to be vigilant about remembering them and making the effort to use the bags that are less easily accessible.
There are many ways to store jewellery. Try to keep your pieces as visible and as easily accessible as possible because you’ll forget to wear them when they are hidden away. Many of my clients store their jewellery in pretty boxes that they never open, which is a shame. Some of my clients store their jewellery in jewellery drawers in their closets, which works quite well. Others have very elaborate jewellery storing cabinets, racks and stands. I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but what I have is very accessible. I store my pearl necklaces on hooks in our closet. I keep my wedding rings and watches in a jewellery box by our bed.
Store casual soft hats on shelves or in bins in the coat closet. Straw and felt hats work best stored on hooks or left flat on a shelf. Fancy and delicate hats can be stored in hat boxes in your closet, or in an armoire.
There are many ways to store footwear. Ideally it should be easily accessible and very visible. Out of sight, out of mind! Storing footwear on shoe racks at the bottom of your closet can work well, although some prefer to store shoes on racks closer to the door. Some closets have footwear compartments that store shoes, or you can keep lightweight shoes in shoe pockets that are hung against the closet door. You can also store footwear in see-through boxes that stack more easily at the bottom of the closet. This works well when space is at a premium. But don’t keep your same season footwear in different places around the house because you’ll invariably stick to wearing the ones that are closest to the door and forget about the rest. I store my footwear on shoe racks at the bottom of our closet.
Some people store their clothing on clothing racks in a room and don’t have a closet at all. This can look quite decorative, and of course, keeps things brilliantly visible. Others find very creative ways to store their accessories so that they become part of the decor. Please share how you store your wardrobe items in the comments section.