This is a collaborative post
The first step in solving any problem is figuring out what’s causing it. If your wardrobe’s full to bursting, you could say the problem is you’ve got too many winter clothes, but that doesn’t dig quite deep enough. It’s most likely not how many possessions you have, but how you’re storing them.
When cupboards and closets are packed to bursting with stuff that isn’t being used, there’s no space for the things you do use regularly.
- Items get dumped in piles on chairs or table.
- You can’t find anything.
- What you can find is crumpled and creased.
The result can be a vague sense of pressure or frustration, and that causes dissatisfaction in other areas of life too. And it’s entirely possible you’re aware of the feeling but haven’t yet nailed the cause.
If sorting out storage sounds too simplistic a solution, consider how maddening it is when you can’t find your car keys and you need to leave for work. Then imagine the relief if you have a little peg where you always hang them, and they’re always there when you need to leave. Simple. But it works.
Remove Items You’re Not Using
If your winter wear is fighting for space (and losing the battle), how much more room could you make if all the summer stuff was elsewhere?
Start by going through your wardrobe and tossing onto the bed everything you know you won’t wear again until next summer. You could be super-organised and pack those things up neatly as you go, but sometimes making a big pile forces you to carry on till the job’s done because you can’t go to bed till you finish!
Once all the summer gear is out of the way, there’ll be much more room to hang or fold winter wear. There are some ideas for maximising wardrobe space later on.
As for all the summer wear, there are a couple of different options for storage:
- Make sure everything is freshly laundered, then fold things and place them either in a suitcase or in a storage box.
- Don’t cram them in too tightly as you want them to come out ready to wear in a few months time
- Try to have different boxes for different categories of clothing, such as one for t-shirts and another for skirts or dresses. When we hit the in-between seasons, it’s good to mix and match summer and winter wear rather than making a sudden transition that doesn’t take changing temperatures into account.
- Self storage in London, where I am, is plentiful, and readily available all over the country. A small storage unit or locker will provide all the space you need to store whatever you want. You can also install freestanding shelves or drawers to make finding things easier.
- The loft or basement is another option, providing access is safe and the space is damp-free and secure.
Re-organise Your Wardrobe Space for Winter Clothes
Standard wardrobes come with a hanging rail and nothing else, unless you’re lucky and have a few shelves or a drawer or two beneath. Use your space most effectively by:
- Adding an extra rail under the fitted one to double your hanging space. This may not work if you have longer hanging clothes (coats, long dresses etc.) but is great for shirts, trousers, jackets or skirts.
- Installing a hobby chest tower (from homeware stores) in the bottom if you need drawers more than hanging space,. It’s handy for underwear, knitwear or accessories like hats and scarves.
- Fitting a rail inside the door to hang ties, necklaces, small scarves or belts.
- Investing in some hanger extenders. You can get hangers with slots to hang more hangers from, or collapsing hangers for a cascade of clothes. A cheap and cheerful alternative is a humble ring pull off a drinks can. Slide it over the hanger loop and you can hang another hanger off that.
Good storage, whether it’s at home or a mixture of home and self storage locations, is a more eco-friendly option than constantly throwing away and replacing items. And it really does help to clear your head and create a calmer lifestyle when your possessions are under control and easy to find.