Clothes and accessories may not be purchased with the idea they’ll last forever. But there are some best practices for caring for - and organizing - your items to help extend their shelf life and create a beautifully organized closet that may just be worthy of an Instagram post.
We’ve put together simple yet effective solutions to prevent shrinkage, combat fading, get your closet organized and, best of all, create a space for your wardrobe that looks more like a boutique than a closet.
Care starts with your laundry techniques
The first step in preventing fading, wrinkles and stretching begins with your laundry habits. Start by selecting the proper water temperature depending on the type of fabric and level of cleaning needed. For delicates, items prone to shrinking or stretching and dark colors, set the water temperature to cold. For clothes that need extra cleaning power and are less delicate, use warm water.
Before hitting the start button, sort out dark clothing and turn the pieces inside out to avoid fading.
As soon as the clothes are done drying, remove them from the dryer and fold or hang immediately to prevent wrinkles. For wrinkles that have already set in, iron or steam the clothes before putting them away.
Hang or fold clothes immediately after drying to help prevent wrinkles. To make the task easier, add a Ventilated Shelf and hang rod to the laundry room.
Organize like the pros
The key to organizing your closet - and keeping it tidy - is to create a system that’s easy to follow. A general rule of thumb is to hang as many clothes as possible rather than fold, with the exception of sweaters and some athletic wear.
To prevent stretching, sweaters are best stored folded on a shelf or in a drawer. And for athletic wear, thin, moisture-wicking material can make the fabrics slippery and difficult to keep tidy when folded and stacked. Solve this challenge by folding and ‘filing’ the tops in a drawer lengthwise for easy searching and removal.
‘File’ rather than stack sweaters to easily remove, as seen in our SpaceCreations system.
Shoes deserve special attention. Start with any tall boots and line them up on the floor of the closet. To help maintain shape, stuff tall boots with a rolled up magazine and neatly arrange the rest of your shoe collection by category. Put your most commonly worn shoes at eye level.
Bags are also a source of closet clutter, so make a plan for how to organize them. We most commonly see three tactics for storing bags: installing a Wall and Door Rack and stashing wallets and small bags in the wire baskets, standing them on a shelf with dividers or hanging them. Depending on the number and types of bags you have, a combination of the three options may be ideal.
Finally, jewelry is best kept in a closet where you can easily pair accessories with your outfit. Add a jewelry tray to your closet drawer to prevent tangled necklaces and bracelets. Find one that also includes ring slots, like our jewelry tray.
Go from closet to boutique
Inspire ongoing organization with simple upgrades that make your closet feel more like a luxury boutique than a closet.
Fashion influencer Lexie Pyfrom organized this closet zone with jackets on top and mid-length skirts on the bottom. Velvet hangers provide an elevated look.
First, purge any clothes that do not currently fit, haven’t been worn in one year and anything that’s out of style. Then, take inventory of everything that’s left and remove off-season clothes. Off-season clothes belong in deep storage. The final result will be a pared-down inventory of clothing that allows breathing room in your closet when all items are put back in the closet.
After you’re happy with the clothes remaining in the closet, switch your hangers to matching, non-slip hangers. This simple upgrade instantly provides an elevated and organized look to the closet.
When you’re ready to move your items back into the closet, organize by clothing zone, then by color. For example, shirts will be organized by sleeve length, dresses will have a separate zone and bottoms will be organized by pant length. Then, all items are sorted by color with like items together.
When re-hanging clothes, leave at least an inch of space between items. Clothes need breathing room and this will allow you to more easily find the items you need and, after laundry day, replace them.
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