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How To Organise Your Wardrobe Using Merchandising Tips

Suzanne is a qualified beautician with experience as a freelance makeup artist.

Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Albert Einstein

The Shambles


Where To Begin Organising -

What is it about wardrobe or closet space that no matter what size we have, it never seems big enough or tidy enough because we have no order to speak of?

We may well fool ourselves into believing our wardrobes are neat, tidy and have a logical flow but that just is not the case, am I right girls or am I right?? The men are not excluded in this and could equally avail of these tips of the trade to make finding garments less stressful.

Having recently inspected our own shambles of a wardrobe, I thought how lazy am I? Considering I have the tools of the trade from time spent in the fashion merchandising world. As a retailer, displaying and merchandising garments is fundamental to the business. Many principles and disciplines used are equally beneficial in the organisation of the home wardrobe.

Even though your clothing colours, shapes and styles will change, good basic merchandising standards and principles will not, regardless of if you have a fitted wardrobe, a walk in wardrobe or a freestanding one. With a bit of creative planning, some merchandising tips and a bit of common sense, your wardrobe will once again have order restored.

Plastic Containers


Start Getting Organised -

First thing is first; designate some time to do the organising. For me, I wanted to do the entire wardrobe so I spent 3-4 hours sorting, tidying and re-arranging the chaos. Start by having a look at the offending clutter that is your wardrobe.

You may want to grab yourself some plastic box containers to use on shelving you may have, which will free space and make life easier all around. If you have some already in the home, give them a quick clean before starting. They are a practical storage solution and are ideal for socks, underwear, belts, bags and shoes. Depending on your own wardrobe needs, you can utilize the boxes whatever way is best. For our needs I wanted 6 boxes to cover a his and hers for socks, undies and light weight shoes.

Where To Begin Organising -

Make 3 piles of clothing marked “keeping” “maybe” and “tossing”.

The tossing pile put aside in a box or black sack. You can decide later on if they are destined for the charity shop, pass on to family/friends or maybe you could sell them at a car boot sale.

The keeping pile sort into winter and summer and put aside the season you definitely will not need. We all probably hold onto a few items that are classed as all year round as we may not have clear distinctive seasons, often the case in Ireland!

The maybe pile should not be overly big so put to one side and come back to it. Be ruthless, if you cannot remember the last time you wore a garment or fitted in to it, toss it. If you really want to hang on to it, put it in storage with your seasonal destined for storage.

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Best Hangers To Use


Where to find Clothes Hangers

Some Ideas:

Thrift Shops, Charity Shops, Discount Stores, Yard Sales, Car Boot Sales, Markets, Fashion Wholesalers, D.I.Y. Stores, House Clearance, Warehouse Clearance, Department Stores, Fashion Shops, Ebay and Craigslist.

Hanger Discipline –

Put aside any wire dry cleaning hangers. They do your clothes no favours and unless you are really stuck, I would recommend finding another use for them or get rid of them.

Wooden, plastic and trouser hangers are all your top options.

Think of what you wish to hang and match an appropriate hanger. In other words, do not use a thin plastic hanger for a heavy winter coat. A jacket hanger is a waste on a t-shirt.

If you are buying any clothes in a store, ask if you can keep the hanger. Most stores are happy to oblige as they can be inundated with hangers and will often throw them out.

Hanging garments –

Trousers – hang on “clip hangers” you have two options - side hung (ideal for smart, formal trousers with pleats) or front facing (ideal for casual trousers such as jeans and chinos). Alternatively you should side hang and fold over the bar of a wooden or plastic hanger.

Coats – These should be hung with wide Jacket Hangers or wooden hangers. Thin hangers will just break under the weight.

Shirts – All light tops with sleeves may be hung on either the wooden or plastic hangers and it is up to you if you choose to hang t-shirts (space permitting) or fold then into a box on your shelves.

Before - Shelves Disorganised


Maximising Shelf Space –

Decide what you need to have on the shelves, assign boxes for appropriate items and label boxes.

Woollen jumpers may need to be folded on to the shelf or can be hung, depending on the weight.

If hanging, make sure to use the right hangers or you will end up with misshaped jumpers.

After - Shelves Organised


Order Restored Once More

I found the boxes a great idea and having his and hers boxes, vital! We are challenged with space in the bedroom so this is definitely well worth doing. I even managed to end up with a spare shelf so I put a Quilt there which was temporarily in need of a home!

Our wardrobe should be used for clothes we are wearing and not be full to capacity of stuff we don't wear and don't need.

Not only does it make it a nightmare finding things, it also does your clothing no favours whatsoever. I am just as guilty of this as the next person . . . . but no more!

Category Organisation


Merchandising Tips -

Have all your clothes in category i.e. put all shirts together, all coats, all trousers, all suits or whatever garment groups you have.

If you have two bars in your wardrobe ( like us) I suggest you hang trousers on the bottom along with short tops. Longer items to the top.See what works best for you.

Make sure you hang your clothes in the same direction and the hanger heads are all facing into the back of the wardrobe. It not only looks tidier but it makes it easier for removing garments.

Colour blocking your clothes is also a good idea; it makes it much easier for you to see at a glance what you want and where to put recently ironed or washed clothes.

If you have very specific work clothes, it is a good idea to keep these together in one section. Equally gentlemen if you wear ties frequently why not hang them with the appropriate shirt or sort into designs or colours e.g. all striped ties, all spotted ties, all patterned and all plain ones.

Organised With Merchandising Tips


How To Stay Organised -

Making the time to organise your wardrobe does not have to be an ordeal if we were to just keep it in check on a daily basis. Some are masters at this, but the majority of us have the best intentions or get it "kinda organised looking". By implementing these few tips of the merchandising trade, your clothes and your stress levels will thank you!

Quickie Quiz -

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What are the 3 piles of clothes you should make?
    • tossing, cutting up and burning
    • keeping, tossing and maybe
    • keeping, double keeping and no maybe about it!
  2. Which hangers are best to use?
    • aeroplane
    • wooden, plastic and trouser
    • wire
  3. Should woolen jumpers be hung?
    • Only if hung on appropriate hanger and will not be stretched out of shape
    • Never
    • Always

Answer Key

  1. keeping, tossing and maybe
  2. wooden, plastic and trouser
  3. Only if hung on appropriate hanger and will not be stretched out of shape

Organising Quotes -

Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

-A. A Milne

How many things are there that I do not want


If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

-Mary Englebreit

Fail to plan, plan to fail

-Winston Churchill

A place for everything and everything in its place

-Mrs Beeton

Information on the author, her bio and to see a full body of works check out @ Suzie HQ

© 2012 Suzanne Ridgeway

How To Organise Your Wardrobe Using Merchandising Tips - Comments

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on January 08, 2013:

Hi nikkiwikki,

Many thanks for visiting and great comments. I know that maybe pile can go a bit astray but be ruthless! lol

Appreciate your pinning greatly!! Many thanks again :-)

Nikki Wiks from Ireland on January 08, 2013:

Great Hub!

This is one of my new years resolutions and I've been dreading it - okay I'm gonna follow this to the letter at the weekend - and I know my "maybe" piles gonna be massive!

Pinned this to my DIY board by the way :)

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 14, 2012:

Hi vespa,

Great to see you here and if it helps you for your organising - great stuff! Wish it were spring here and not autumn, although I love the colour changes in nature and the roar of a log fire, I love heat and sunshine more!

Hope all the tidying goes well, your talents are needed in the kitchen A.S.A.P!!! More delicious recipes!!!

Thanks as always my friend :-)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on October 14, 2012:

What appropriate quotes to complement this hub! Boy, do I need to organize our closets. I appreciate the merchandising tips for grouping clothing by color, type, etc. Spring is starting in Peru so I need to sort through and give away clothes i didn't use throughout the season. Will follow your advice and set aside a few hours to get it done right. Thanks so much!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 14, 2012:

Hi Kimberly,

Thanks for the feedback and comments, glad you enjoyed the quotes!

Kimberly Vaughn from Midwest on October 13, 2012:

Beautiful hub, as always, Suzie! I especially like the quotes that you set up like book ends at the beginning and end of the hub.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 13, 2012:

Hi rcrumple,

Ah thoes skinny jeans . . . . love them!! Take up less space in the wardrobe too! So you store old stereo gear and DVD recorders, well its better than finding car parts like some closets I could mention!!! LOL

Thanks for great comments and input, always great to read your humour and get your support! :-)

Rich from Kentucky on October 13, 2012:

How did you get into my wife's closet? I think she still has clothes from the disco days as she never tosses anything. Most women have skinny jeans the hope to get back into. My wife has a skinny closet full. I usually throw mine to the Salvation Army or Goodwill as suits and jackets age quickly when worn all the time. Besides, if I didn't have the top and bottom to keep old stereo gear and broken DVD recorders in, what would I do with them? Some really great ideas you've given. Great Job!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 13, 2012:

Hi Daisy!

Good to see you and delighted you enjoyed! I know the feeling of hanging onto gear knowing it will be in fashion - I have my prized cowboy boots from the 80's still in my attic and my much loved doc martin's as they are so unusual, I couldn't bear to throw them out or give away!!! Appreciate your comments!

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on October 13, 2012:

Very helpful hub, I always start out organised then it all manages to get messed up again. I am the worst for throwing items, as I know fashion always comes around again and Ill be annoyed if I have to buy something I had before. But all top ideas!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 11, 2012:


Glad you enjoyed this little piece on wardrobe 101! So you've a few skeletons in the closet ...LOL What a surprise!!

I can just see you and the "skelos" having a great ol chin wag into the wee hours. Life is never boring when TT is in the house!!! Thanks so much for all your comments votes and shares :-)

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on October 11, 2012:

Great info, Suzie! I really need to tackle my closet...and evict the monsters that live in there. The skeletons make for interesting conversation late at night tho, so they'll probably stick around. :) Voted up and shared.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 08, 2012:

Hi tirelesstraveler,

Thanks for stopping by,glad to hear you enjoyed. Like the advice on when to buy and the nothing comes in unless something goes out rule! Appreciate your comments!

Judy Specht from California on October 07, 2012:

Nice work.

I am finding more and more people who are cluttered and the clutter inhibits their thinking.

Purge Junk, my hero she has taught me to not buy it unless: I love it, it is pretty or there is a need.

Nothing comes into the house unless something goes out.

Love your quotes especially the one by AA Milne

I get organized when I swap the winter and summer clothes.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 07, 2012:

Hi Bill,

Happy Sunday, although technically its Monday morning here! Thanks for your comments! No doubt it's something that rears its ugly head every so often in homes!!

I pinned a good few of your fab hubs today and want to do your birds too. Thanks for your loyalty and friendship my friend :-)

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on October 07, 2012:

Great Hub Suzie. I'm willing to bet most of us could use a few tips when it comes to our closets.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 06, 2012:

Hi Effer!

Wow, am I impressed or what! You should have written this instead of me! Matching hangers, See through covers, I gotta see those! If you email me a pic I'l use in the hub, if you like!! Seriously impressed but I am getting to know you and you are a lady who would want to have order, I suspect as you have a busy and full life and were brought up to respect what you have. Appreciate your comments, great personal experience you shared! Thanks my friend!! :-)

Suzie from Carson City on October 06, 2012:

Suzie...I love your mind, girl! This hub rocks and most people I know could stand to read it and DO THE WORK!! Closets can get out of control!! LOL.......

Would you be proud of me if I told you my closets are in near-perfect order? I want you to know that my clothes are hung in color coding, on hangers to match the same color.....and I made see-through covers to hang across the entire closet bar, to protect my clothes from dust....Yes, yes, I am a very good girl. Plus, I learned a long time ago, to take care of my clothes so I'd not have to constantly buy more.....I'm a tightwad, as just about everyone should know by now...

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 06, 2012:

Hi Sam,

Thanks very much, it was something that needed sorting A.S.A.P! Cheers for your positive comments!

Samantha Harris from New York on October 06, 2012:

Thank you so much! I really needed this is my life D:

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on October 06, 2012:

Ha!! Thanks for that but I don't know about neat but hopefully it better stay that way!!

Dianna Mendez on October 06, 2012:

I missed the first answer on your quiz... I tend to toss, tear or junk anything that is not worn within a year (by junk I mean donate to charity). Great hub post and like your neatly organized closets. I am sorry that I cannot show you mine! Voted up.

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