Secrets of a “Smart” Wardrobe
How to Store Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories to Maintain Order and Keep Everything Beloved.
Copyright: Artem Beliaikin: Pexels
Imagine how amazing it is when your wardrobe is so “smart” that it sometimes thinks for you. It's wonderful when every sock has its pair, your favorite t-shirt never disappears under a pile of old sweaters, belts are neatly stored in one place, and jackets always maintain their proper posture.

Great news: achieving this is easy if you organize your storage correctly. In this article, I have prepared simple principles for you that are easy to remember and implement. As a result, you won't just create order, but also save your sanity.
Storing Clothes on Hangers
Storing clothes by hanging them (in a closet or on an open rail) is one of the best solutions. It's convenient because you can easily see all your items at once and quickly put together an outfit.
Copyright: Liza Summer, Pexels
Rules for Hanging
Tips for Hanging Clothes Storage:

1. If your closet space is limited, consider getting a separate clothing rack (floor-standing hanger with a crossbar). Many of them are affordable and stylish, fitting perfectly into any interior. You can choose a model with wheels for easy mobility or a more sturdy rack capable of holding heavy and bulky outerwear.

2. Hang your clothes by color from left to right, going from dark to light. This will help you quickly locate the desired item, especially when you're in a rush during the mornings.

3. Avoid overcrowding your clothes on the hangers, as it won't be beneficial. Leave enough space between hangers to allow for proper air circulation and prevent your ironed clothes from getting wrinkled again.

Pro Tip: You can maximize the space in any closet by using multi-level hangers. These can be purchased or made by connecting several identical hangers together.
Instructions for Hanging
Categories of Clothing That Prefer Hanging:

✔️ Formal Suits (Jacket + Skirt or Trousers)
Formal suits should be stored by hanging, even if they are rarely worn. It's important to use special hangers that replicate the shoulder line and have an extended, rounded edge. These hangers may be slightly more expensive, but it's a justified investment. They ensure that expensive jackets don't stretch or deform in unexpected places and maintain their pristine appearance.

Ideally, these hangers should have clips for skirts or trousers. However, if the skirt or trousers are wrinkle-resistant, they can be hung directly on the rail.

✔️ Skirts and Classic Trousers
For wrinkle-prone fabrics like skirts and classic trousers, hanging them on a rail is not suitable. In this case, it's recommended to use hangers with clips. Skirts should be hung by clasping the waist, while classic trousers should be folded in half along the crease line and hung by the bottom.

Purchase high-quality hangers with silicone padding on the clips. Metal clips can leave unsightly marks on the fabric or, worse, create snag marks.

Important! Avoid hanging skirts or trousers by their loops on the hooks of the hangers (as often done in stores). Items stored this way will sag in the middle and develop unsightly folds on the sides.

✔️ Cotton Shirts
Unlike jackets, lightweight and flat wooden or metal hangers are suitable for cotton shirts. If space is limited in the wardrobe, consider using multi-tiered hangers. They save space while keeping each shirt visible.

Important! Many people make the mistake of hanging multiple shirts on one hanger. Avoid doing so. Firstly, the fabric of the lower shirt will get crushed in undesirable places. Secondly, imagine how many unnecessary actions you'll need to take to find and retrieve the desired shirt.

✔️ Dresses, Sundresses, and Delicate Blouses
When hanging dresses, sundresses, and delicate blouses made of lightweight fabrics, delicacy is crucial. While there's no need to apologize or curtsy to the hanger, it's significant to remember the rules of storage. Neglecting this can lead to silk and chiffon garments acquiring snags, while thin viscose may become deformed by the sharp edges of the hanger.

To protect these delicate items, it's recommended to use special soft hangers covered in satin or flocking. Ensure that the hangers are appropriately sized – a small hanger will cause a blouse or dress to sag, creating unsightly folds, while an oversized hanger will cause the garment to bulge around the shoulder area.

Important! If a dress or blouse has a collar, remember to fasten at least the top button to avoid creases.

✔️ Evening Dresses
Evening gowns that are worn only on special occasions should be stored in breathable garment bags made of non-woven material. This prevents them from collecting dust and rubbing against other clothing. For complex evening dresses that are difficult to iron, voluminous hanging garment cases are suitable. Your dresses will feel their best in their own “homes”.

Important! Avoid using polyethylene garment covers (commonly used by dry cleaners). Such covers restrict airflow, which can damage the fabric or cause unpleasant odors during extended storage.
Storing Clothes Folded
You don't have to master the art of origami to neatly and beautifully store folded clothing. It's enough to understand the basic principles of organization and train yourself to fold only what is necessary.
Copyright: Getty Images
Rules for Folding
General tips for organizing folded storage:

When it comes to storing items in a folded manner, you don't have to limit yourself to using only drawers in your wardrobe. If you don't have enough drawers, you can purchase a small chest of drawers specifically for a particular category of items or utilize alcoves and the space under the bed, which are often underrated and cluttered with miscellaneous items.

On the shelves of your wardrobe or hanging modules, it's better to store items in horizontal stacks, allowing you to see what is on top.

In the drawers of a chest or containers, on the contrary, it's better to store clothing vertically rather than in stacks. This way, you can easily find the item you need, take it out, and put it back without disturbing its neighbors. When folding items for vertical storage using the KonMari method, aim to create a small, stable rectangle.

Detailed diagrams and instructional videos on folding items can be found in the following section.
Instructions for Folding
✔️ T-shirts, long-sleeves, sweatshirts, hoodies
I've been noticing more and more people hanging their knitwear on hangers. However, personally, I don't support this method. Firstly, knitwear stretches out and deforms when hung. Secondly, t-shirts and sweatshirts are usually abundant, and hanging them on a rail is an inefficient use of valuable space in the wardrobe. Therefore, it's wiser to fold them.

When folding a t-shirt, it's preferable to position the collar in the middle. This way, you can avoid an unsightly crease in the center that forms from improper storage.

In the video located below, you can watch recommendations on folding clothes by Marie Kondo, the author of the KonMari method.
Speaking of t-shirts, would you like me to tell you how store employees neatly fold numerous t-shirts into uniformly beautiful and neat stacks? Here's the secret: they use a special clothing folding board, just like Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”. You can find such a clothing folding board on any major online marketplace, and it is quite affordable.
Folding hoodies is also not difficult at all. Just practice a few times, and you'll be doing it like a true pro at folding clothes!

You can check out the folding recommendations by Marie Kondo, the creator of the KonMari method, in the video below.
✔️ Warm Shirts
Warm flannel, fleece, or knitted shirts, pajamas, and loungewear are not prone to wrinkling, so you can confidently fold them, roll them up, and store them just like T-shirts.

Fold flannel shirts using the same method as T-shirts, ensuring that the collar is in the center. To give folded shirts a “store-like” appearance, you can use a folding board. As for pajamas, make sure the pants and the top are kept together and stored side by side.

✔️ Jeans, Sweatpants, Leggings
Contrary to popular belief, it is better to fold jeans instead of hanging them. The main reason is that jeans do not wrinkle, but they take up too much space on hangers. The same goes for sweatpants and leggings.

When folding jeans, straighten the legs along the seams rather than following the creases. Then fold them in quarters and create a stack. Make sure all jeans are facing with the pockets outward, making it easier to identify them in the stack. Jeans, like knitted items, can be rolled into a cylinder shape and stored vertically in a drawer, box, or soft case.

In the video below, Marie Kondo demonstrates various methods:
✔️ Knitted and Knitwear Items
Sweaters, turtlenecks, and cardigans are also best placed in a drawer or on a shelf. Yes, they are often hung on hangers in stores, but it's not the most suitable solution for long-term storage. When hung, knitted garments, like anything subjected to relentless gravity, can stretch. And I'm sure you don't want the sleeves of your favorite sweater to reach your knees, do you?

Another point to consider is that when tightly squeezed among other hanging clothes, knitted items lose their airiness and fluffiness. Have I convinced you? Well, then, let's proceed to folding.

When creating stacks of knitted items, avoid making them too tall. Ideally, each stack should contain no more than two or three items. Place them, following the principle of heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top. Alternatively, store them vertically.

Important! Items containing natural wool should be protected from moths. Purchase sachets with a lavender scent, which not only provide a pleasant aroma but also repel pests.

✔️ Underwear, Socks, Tights
Here's my advice: invest in specialized organizers for storing underwear, socks, tights, and bras. These organizers can be placed inside drawers or cabinets, helping you keep the smallest wardrobe items in perfect order.

→ When selecting an organizer, make sure the compartment for bras is at least 30-40 cm long to avoid folding them in half, which is undesirable for certain styles.

→ When folding panties, fold the right and left sides in a way that they overlap, and then fold the lower part to create a rectangle or square shape.

This way, you can store them vertically, quickly find what you need, and easily access them without disrupting the order.

→ The most popular way to fold socks is to pair them by folding one inside the other, with the top folded out to secure the pair. However, personally, I don't prefer this method. Firstly, it can stretch the elastic and damage the socks. Secondly, this type of storage doesn't look very neat. It's much more convenient and visually appealing to fold sock pairs into tidy rectangles, as shown in the photo.

In the video provided below, you can find folding recommendations for clothes by Marie Kondo.
How to Store Shoes
For storing off-season footwear, it's best to use boxes. However, the original boxes from the store are not the most suitable option.

Don't hesitate to invest in identical shoe boxes or containers that will serve you faithfully for many years. They can be completely transparent or have transparent windows at the front. Such containers look beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, while allowing you to see exactly which pair of shoes is inside. This is especially convenient when storing out-of-season shoes on upper shelves or in attics.

If you store off-season footwear in cardboard boxes, it's better to label them or attach photos of the pair inside.

As for the footwear that you and your household currently wear, it's best to keep them visible:

  • In hanging organizers
  • On shelves or in drawers of a wardrobe or dresser
  • In under-bed drawers
  • In specialized shoe cabinets

By the way! If you have a lot of footwear but limited space, arrange shoe pairs so that one shoe faces forward and the other faces backward. This way, they will fit more tightly and take up less space in the box, drawer, or on the shelf.
How to Store Off-Season Clothing
Off-season clothing can be stored hanging or folded. The key principle to remember is that items that can wrinkle or lose their shape (such as coats) are better stored on hangers, while everything else is best kept folded.
Copyright: Amanda Vick, Unsplash
  • Items that will be stored hanging for an entire season should be placed in a trunk or garment bag to protect them from dust. Choose a garment bag made of breathable material with a zipper.

  • Get creative! For items, you don't intend to wear in the upcoming months, you can utilize top shelves, attics, boxes under sofas, and beds.

  • If you don't have under-bed storage boxes, you can neatly fold the items into a low-height organizer bag and slide it under the bed.

  • Make use of deep shelves in your wardrobe. Place containers with off-season items farther back, and keep the items you or your family members currently wear closer to the edge.

  • Vacuum-sealed bags save up to 80% of space. They allow you to compress various items, from down jackets and coats to sweaters and thermal wear. These flat packages stack well and can be stored in attics or placed under the bed.

Important! When storing clothing on hangers for a whole season, ensure their protection. Hang or place special moth repellent sachets or fabric pouches filled with dried lavender alongside the clothing.
How to Store Accessories and Jewelry
The perfect way to keep accessories and jewelry organized is by placing them in a drawer along with special dividers or shallow organizers. These can be made of plastic, wood, or cardboard. The key is to ensure they fit optimally in terms of width and height within the drawer of a dresser or wardrobe.
Copyright: Jess @ Harper Sunday, Unsplash
Belts are best twisted into a spiral to avoid deforming them or leaving creases.

Lightweight scarves can be rolled into “little rolls”. To achieve this, gently twist the scarf into a loose roll to prevent stretching the fabric, then wrap it up like a snail. This way, they will take up very little space, and you'll always be able to see what's inside.

Bags that you currently use are best stored by hanging them. Install convenient hooks inside your closet or in the hallway. For seasonal bags, be sure to stuff them with crumpled paper and place them in a dust bag—a fabric pouch that usually comes with the bag.

And now, let me share with you my top recommendations for storing jewelry and accessories:

  • Purchase stylish wall hooks from a hardware store and attach them to the wall or inside a closet door. These hooks are perfect for organizing bracelets and necklaces.

  • A wooden pegboard or a regular corkboard with pins can serve as an excellent home for chains and necklaces.

  • Make use of a multi-tiered tray in a new way: the smaller upper tiers are ideal for rings and earrings, while the lower ones are perfect for bracelets.

Oh… I could talk about storing things for much longer. But it seems like I've already tried you a bit. I'll share more life hacks on organizing items in my upcoming articles.

Until next time,
Your Clea.

Your personal clean-up coach
Clea N.