Practice makes perfect, and this is no truer than when pulling your closet into shape. Wardrobe organisation is a topic I have spoken about a lot over the years; however, I’ve found that there is always more to learn and new, better ways of storing favourite pieces. Plus, I can’t help it – I just love sorting!
With its sense of fresh starts and renewal, January is the perfect time to blow away the cobwebs and get organising. In this part of the world, where wardrobes have to swing from snow to sun and back again, accommodating an array of seasonal pieces can be a challenge – especially if space is tight. So, I wanted to dedicate this feature specifically to those chunkier, bulkier winter items that often prove tricky to house neatly. From coats to boots, here’s how to get your cold-weather wardrobe in line for the year ahead.
“During the winter months, a coat is an integral part of your outfit. I always recommend keeping them in a dedicated section within your wardrobe or dressing space, so you can easily factor them in when building a look. Hang them on shouldered hangers to maintain their shape, and order them by colour to make it simple to see your entire collection and find which style you’re after. At the end of the season, have them cleaned, place them in protective bags and store away for the following winter.”
“I get asked about storing winter boots a lot, and can honestly say that creating a proper space to keep them neat will make getting dressed much easier. I’ve found the best way is to slot a shaping insert inside and line them next to each other, either in a shoe cupboard or your wardrobe. If you have a small closet, consider raising the hanging bar of your dresses and placing them underneath. When summer comes around, clean and re-heel styles, then pack them into long shoe boxes and stack on top of each other.”
“I always gravitate towards larger bags in winter to fit in hats, gloves, scarves etc, so keeping them tidy is top priority. My tip is to place them along high shelves just above eye level, so they don’t dominate your dressing space but can still be easily seen and reached. Stuff soft, slouchy styles with a small pillow to help keep their shape, and don’t forget to give them a little dust every now and again. When the season switches, pack them away in their dust bags and replace with summery baskets.”
“Knitwear is a cornerstone of many winter wardrobes, but can be hard to organise. I suggest stacking jumpers in piles of four on open shelves. (Any more than that and your pile will topple when reaching for the bottom one.) Use a folding board to keep piles the same width and maximise space. I then organise them into colour (putting all the grey knits together, for example), then further divide them into neckline category. Chunky knits are better folded in two without a board, so they don’t end up being too thick. Keep the styles you wear more regularly at eye level and scatter lavender sachets or cedar balls to stop moths attacking. For delicate wools, be sure to use a gentle wash with caring ingredients, such as Kair. You can use the code WARDROBEICONS at checkout to receive a 15% discount on all Kair products.”
TIGHTS & SOCKS
“When putting away tights, I always keep a clever trick from Racil in mind. The designer keeps her hosiery in the original packets and stacks them into a drawer in order of denier. That way she can always find exactly the right pair. For socks, I like to tuck pairs neatly together and keep them on a separate side of my hosiery drawer or, if there’s room, in a separate drawer entirely. Every January, I’ll do a stocktake of my hosiery and recycle any laddered tights or socks with long-lost other halves, then replenish where necessary.”
“I discovered this trick from our good friend and former cover star, Skye McAlpine. When putting away pairs of flat shoes, place one on top of the other, one with the toe facing forward, and the other with the heel to the front. Not only does this allow the shoes to slot together more tightly and save space (which is especially useful with chunky-soled styles), it also means you can see the entire shoe at once, making it easier to pick the perfect pair for your outfit. Line up pairs on tilted display shelves for easy viewing.”
“Thick fabrication and statement sleeves mean winter dresses are often much bulkier than their summery counterparts so need to be stored a little differently. My first tip is to hang them on thin, flocked hangers which will save a lot of wardrobe space. I fold and hang knitted pieces on trouser bars to avoid stretching, then group items by colour and style – putting mid-lengths, maxis and jumpsuits together, for example. I repeatedly wear knitted dresses and co-ords during the winter, so I like to carve out a specific area just for these that I can quickly reach in the morning. Personalising your wardrobe like this makes dressing much more straightforward.”
“My ultimate closet-organisation tip is: the more you see, the more you wear. Even statement jewellery can get lost in boxes, so I like to keep pieces in clear stacking trays that can be slipped inside a shallow drawer or placed on a dressing table. I reach for chunkier jewels during the winter months, so will have these on top, with my summery pieces kept in compartments underneath. It’s also a good idea to invest in an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Not only is it deeply satisfying, it will make metal and stones sparkle.”
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