Organizing Chaos: Wardrobe
The first transformation in me was when I decided to de-clutter my life. The second one which also took place in the recent years is that I turned into a shopaholic.
Gone the days when I wasn’t interested in buying anything for myself and didn’t know how retail therapy could actually make a person feel so much better. Living in London where every one is always decked up with false eye lashes and party clothes even while grocery shopping, one has to have a trendy wardrobe in order to blend in. So I guess once you start earning a lot and you tire yourself from the physical and mental work strain, you decide to give yourself a break and start spoiling yourself, hoping those things will buy you happiness, but they seldom do; until you find yourself really excited by those yellow wedges that you bought yourself in sale.
Whether or not, our clothes and shoes buy us happiness, we can not live without them.
Ready to wear
That is why it is a good idea to keep only washed and ironed clothes in there.
Unfortunately, there is a specific moment when the realization takes place in every person. My mom used to be after me for years to pull up my socks, but I was never inspired enough. I thank Allah for my moment which came years later, in 2008 when I moved abroad and I’m so much happier now. I realized that folding or putting a shirt back on the hanger, the moment I take it off doesn’t take more than a minute, but it makes all the difference.
I am proud to say that there is not a thing in my closet now which I can’t wear right now.
There has to be a system. Like all clothes for washing go straight in the laundry bucket, wash anything that gets a stain immediately, all clothes for ironing go straight into the ironing basket, and anything torn or with missing buttons goes straight into a bag for tailor chores or sewing work. Perks of living in Pakistan that you can ask your maid to wash stains (or iron) for you, otherwise have your cleaning gloves and your massi-mode ready.
I realized that little things like keeping all hangers in one direction and all clothes facing one way inside the cupboard is important, as it saves the time finding them and it looks good as well.
Luckily I had the experience of working with JD Sports which has the highest level of standards on Oxford Street. We were taught not only how to fold clothes but also how to measure the folding using boards to make sure its good enough. That experience gave me a lot of tips on managing your garments using minimum space.
1. Just a little trick I learned there to fit jeans in a drawer is to fold them length wise once, then roll them up, as shown in the picture. This way they take lesser space and won’t get wrinkled either.
2. It is best to keep similar clothing items together in the closet. All sweaters of each color in one place, all tops together and so on. Just suit your need, in the UK, I kept my kurtas in my attic as they were almost never used. It is a good idea to keep off-season shoes and clothes away from the easy access cupboards.
3. Eye level
I had the experience of learning the art of merchandising in retail. The eye level racks are the ones that have the most value. The best sellers are always kept at such prime locations; they are never kept at a shelf where customers can’t access them without help. Hard to access, really high, or really low shelves are kept for unpopular clothing lines which are not doing well sales wise. So basically our popular clothing line (for example night suits) should be placed around eye level and easy to access shelf in our cupboard for our own convenience. Formals or wedding clothes may be inconveniently placed as we won’t need them for months, if not years.
4. As far as clothes are concerned, I remember mama used to say that one should have six sets of casual clothes and three formal clothes in total. They should be fully planned from head to toe. That would make life so much easier. But of course that would be in an ideal world. We all want to mix and match and have a lot of choice. Which is not bad, as long as we make sure we are taking care of our things (not throwing them around, keeping them organized) and giving some clothes for charity on a routine basis.
We should always keep in mind that if we haven’t used anything in a year, we have to give that away so we only keep the items that we use, nothing else.
Following is a little tip I gathered from an amazing article called ’53 Seriously Life-Changing Clothing Organization Tips’.
I always thought shopping is a waste of time. It really is. The best thing is to stick to the rule that before we buy something, we have to think of what we’re replacing it with.
We buy one new piece of clothing, and so we have to give something of ours for charity.
That is the only way forward. Many of us have a problem of not being able to part with our things. We get too emotionally attached to our stuff. It is important to realize two factors. Ultimately we will be leaving everything behind and have to part with all our worldly items that we love to collect. Secondly, we are depriving a poor person the right of wearing the clothes we could have given for charity as we don’t wear them. One can’t possibly collect everything unless we want the directors of ‘Hoarders’ or ‘How Clean is Your House’ to come looking for us for their next episode.
I enjoy using organizers such as trouser, tie, belt and scarf hangers and canvas folding shelves. They make it so easy to pick up the color of trousers, scarf or belt you are going to wear for work. It also saves time in the morning. The best part is that it gives you the leisure for that last snooze on your alarm clock, that to me means more than anything else in the world. In Islamabad, I am using normal hangers for my scarves as shown in the following picture:
If you can follow 80% of these tips, you won’t have to go on a hunt every time you need to dress up on a short notice. Life is too short to miss out on spontaneous parties, spur-of-the-moment hangouts, and last minute get-together plans. I think its these impulsive and unplanned times in life that we recall the most. Those moments in life that we didn’t quite expect or plan. Nowadays there is a bigger pressure to look presentable than before. We will never understand why people only tag us when we are looking our worst and our acquaintances come to greet us only when we are dressed like a clown.
Following is a link to a lovely blog post by Shehar Bano Rizvi where she discusses how different types of clothes can be sorted. Check it out by clicking on the image below:
Are you also into organizing wardrobes? I would love your feedback.
For all of us girls who can’t resist buying sexy boots and pretty heels, ‘footwear’ will be sorted next. Enjoy the rest of the day.