How to Organise A Messy Wardrobe

publication date: May 13, 2020
author/source: Gill Hasson

Messy wardrobe by Shutterstock - verandahPhoto ©Shuttlecock-verandah

Most of us wear 20 per cent of our clothes 80 per cent of the time. To help you choose, what to keep and to get rid of, the two most important questions to ask are: Do I love it? and Do I need it?


Top Tip: Start by getting 10 items you are sure to keep – then make all other decisions against those by considering the following:

  • Do I feel good when I wear it?
  • Do I look good when I wear it?
  • Am I comfortable in it?
  • Is it out of fashion and not coming back?  And even if it did, am I likely to want the updated version?
  • Has my lifestyle changed? Maybe you used to work in an office but now work freelance from home, so you don’t need "office clothes".
  • Does it hold any sentimental value?
  • Does it need cleaning or altering?

Break it down

  • If you own a lot of clothes, compartmentalising the process or throwing away and organising again will make it less overwhelming.
  • One way to do this is by type. Going through all the pairs of trousers you own first, followed by shirts and T-shirts and so on, will help you to track the progress you’re making
  • Throwing and then organising by colour also makes it enjoyable. Not only do you manage to throw away items that no longer serve you, you can already start creating outfits.
  • Break it down by season and genre. Create work, casual, formal outfits and more to identify what you do and don’t need. Additionally, at the end of one season and start of another, identify any pieces that didn’t come out of the closet over the past three months and sell/donate them.
  • If the task seems too big to conquer, tell yourself you will do it for just 10 minutes. You may well find that once you get going, you end up continuing well past the ten-minute mark you had decided on.

Enlist a friend

Challenges done with friends often don’t feel like challenges – set-up a video call with a pal or two and allow them to support you through it. It could be a friend who will challenge you and ask questions like “Are you really going t…?” or “What on earth are you still doing with?” It could be one who encourages and supports you to let go of sentimental things. Or they could simply make the process much more fun – grab a glass of wine and get going!


Other top tips for organising:

  1. Use the clothes hanger principle - hang all your clothes facing one direction. As you wear and wash them, flip the hangers. At the end of six months, anything hanging the wrong way can be thrown. This trick can also be applied to books or records.
  2. Organise drawers and cupboards in the order of how you get dressed – this will shave valuable minutes off ‘decision fatigue’ in a morning.
  3. Take clothes out of the bedroom. Sometimes being in a different room can provide an objective angle, allowing you to part with clothes more easily.
  4. Create a sense of continuity by using one style of hanger. It will make everything look tidier and therefore more spacious.
  5. Use acrylic drawer organisers to organise makeup, underwear and other casual items.

This article was sponsored by Showerstoyou.