Do you dread getting dressed in the morning because your wardrobe is a bombsite, and finding anything is near impossible? Do you often feel like you have nothing to wear even though you have a wardrobe that’s bursting at the seams? Do you sometimes come across clothes that don’t fit or make you feel frumpy or uncomfortable? And be honest, do you buy multiples of the same thing because you forget what you already own?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s probably time to organise your wardrobe.
Crammed clothing rails and overloaded hangers might not seem like a big deal, but research shows that a cluttered and disorganised wardrobe not only looks messy, but can mess with your head too. Our brains crave order, so when we’re stuck staring at chaos everyday – thanks to a cluttered wardrobe – it drains our brainpower, reduces our focus, and can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. Plus, there’s the added hassle of wasting time searching for things and wasting money on duplicates and similar items. And let’s not forget the impact on clothing longevity (tightly packed clothes are more prone to damage), the build-up of dust and allergens and the potential tripping and falling hazards.
“Your wardrobe is something you use every day and it’s extremely personal,” says Sharon Alexander, a professional organiser from O2B Organised. “Having a wardrobe that is overrun, dusty and out of control can leave you feeling overwhelmed and anything but confident. Like all clutter, it can hold you back from living your best life.”
Sharon, who has been a professional organiser for ten years, offers non-judgemental decluttering and organising assistance to busy women. She focuses on creating calm and positive spaces for her clients and shares practical, real-life processes, routines and solutions to make life easier and save money. She loves bringing calm back to her clients’ homes and the change she sees in them after a session is incredibly rewarding. Sharon says, “It’s like a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.”
The most common spaces Sharon organises are wardrobes, pantries, kitchens and home offices. Wardrobes are her favourite because they’re so closely linked to a person’s self-confidence and how they face the world. “When your wardrobe is decluttered and organised and you can see and easily find what you have, getting ready is quick, easy and fun,” says Sharon. “You can start your day feeling fabulous.”
During Sharon’s laid-back wardrobe sessions, clients get support and pressure-free guidance to let of what no longer works for them, leaving them with a pared back wardrobe that’s uniquely theirs. Clients also learn how tips on how to make their wardrobes more eco and budget friendly.
Sharon doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits all method with her clients. She’s all about tailoring simple, affordable and easy to manage organising systems that match her clients’ lifestyles, family dynamics and spaces. But of course, there are some fundamental tips that work for everyone. Here’s Sharon’s step-by-step guide on how to get your wardrobe in order:
- Consider time constraints: It’s important to think about how much time you actually have for the task. It can take hours to organise an entire wardrobe and if you don’t have the time to finish the job, you can be left with a huge disheartening mess that’ll likely be bundled up and thrown back into the wardrobe again. If time is limited, start with something small and manageable like a drawer or a specific section. This is a lot less overwhelming.
- Sort into piles: Kick off your wardrobe overhaul by pulling everything out and sorting it into the following piles:
If you've got quality items you're ready to part with, consider donating to op shops like Good Sammy; they're more than happy to take clean and well-kept clothes off your hands.
Save the Discard pile for items that are beyond fixing or cleaning. If you're creative, think about upcycling those discarded items and turning them into something new. Landfill should always be the last resort.
The Keep pile should hold items that are clean, ready to wear, and currently fitting. For those grappling with size changes, bag up those beloved items that don't quite fit, tag them, and store them separately. By all means, go through your Keep pile again, but don't go digging back into the Discard pile.
- Organise by type: Arrange your Keep clothes back in your wardrobe by grouping similar items together, such as pants with pants and tops with tops. When your clothes are organised by type, it not only looks neat and tidy, but your daily routine is made more efficient and enjoyable because you can find specific items easily. It also allows you to assess your wardrobe at a glance, which helps you to decide on outfits more efficiently and reduces the likelihood of buying duplicate items or similar pieces.
- Consider your daily choices: Thinking about how you choose your clothes each day is a key aspect of organising your wardrobe. Whether you're someone who prioritises colour coordination or leans towards specific clothing types, the goal is to make your wardrobe align seamlessly with your thought process. You might start by grouping clothes by type, then sorting them by sleeve or pant length, and finally, delving into the colour scheme. Personalise the arrangement to match your unique style, tailoring the organization to sync up with how you naturally think about and select items from your wardrobe. The aim is to create an organizational system that feels distinctly yours.
- Know your personal style: Understanding and focusing on your personal style is a key strategy to minimise and optimise your wardrobe. It prevents impulsive purchases, encourages a mix-and-match capsule wardrobe, and helps you feel confident and happy in what you wear. By having a clear style in mind, you make more intentional purchases, minimise buying mistakes, and become a more efficient shopper. Your wardrobe becomes a curated collection that reflects your unique style, simplifying your daily outfit choices and ensuring that you feel good about everything you own.
As the new year approaches, there’s never been a better time to sort your life out and there’s no better place to start than your wardrobe. Organising your wardrobe not only contributes to a more Zen home and mental state, it also promotes more mindful shopping practices and supports the circular economy when you donate preloved items to op shops.
Follow Sharon’s advice and sort your life out!