A well organised wardrobe is I believe the best secret to impeccable taste. Why? Because when you see what you have then the possibilities are endless. Not only will you get more mileage out of what you already own but you will also see at a glance the pieces that are missing.
Whenever I meet a Collector, they often ask me what is the best way to keep their treasures in pristine condition, especially in the Singapore humidity. I have given some tips in different articles about it but I think sometimes you just need to get back to the fundamentals.
A well kept wardrobe that is not overflowing with items and where everything has its place is the best way of keeping your items in pristine condition.
Hence, this time, I will solely focus on the art of folding your clothes. But before we dive into the technicalities, here are few important tips to keep in mind.
1) Know what to fold and what to hang
As a rule of thumb, I personally hang all my dresses, skirts, shirts, and fancy pants. When doing so, I also take into consideration the material for instance knits should be folded in order to avoid stretches - even if it’s a dress. All the rest of my clothes gets folded.
In other words whatever gets wrinkled easily should be hung together with long apparels.
2) Get some help
And by that I don’t mean involving your sibling or best friend, I mean use boxes, such as shoes boxes, to help you compartmentalise your clothes and, more importantly, make sure that they all stay in place after you have done the hard work of folding. So yes keep those boxes, they will come in handy not only in your closet organization but also in any drawers that needs organization - your office, your kitchen, your linen cabinet you name it, the possibilities are endless. On top of that, you are being green by re-utilising items that you already have by simply repurposing them to make your life tidier and easier.
3) Invest in hanger
When you bought yourself a gorgeous silk dress for few hundred dollars buying the adequate hanger to store it won’t break the bank. It will visually make your closet look more appealing and last but not least will keep the dress in good condition for the longest time. My favourite hangers are the simple white Ikea ones as well as the thin felt one. Sadly I don’t find them easily hence I just stick to the Ikea ones. As for more fragile items I do purchase the padded linen one.
I like my hangers to be all the same but I also banned all the wire hangers from my home or the office - one more thing ask your dry cleaner to fold not hang so you don’t feel bad throwing those wire hanger out.
4) Be smart about using the space
When hanging my clothes I always do it by type but most importantly by length from longer to shorter. This trick gives you extra space under the shorter items to store more items, in my case the small bags that I keep in original boxes.
Now that you have a good idea of what to hang and fold time to perfect the folding technics.
1) Jeans, Khakis and shorts should be folded and kept in a drawer
Why? First because jeans, casual shorts and khakis don’t get wrinkled and if hung, they take so much space. I used to hang my jeans and ended up not knowing which one was which and they utilise way too much space. So now I fold them and place them in a drawer. To be exact, I fold all my jeans in one drawer and all my khakis, coloured jeans and shorts in another. Thanks to that, I have saved tons of hanging space and I can find the pants I want to wear in a second.
How to fold your jeans, khakis and shorts?
For the longest time, I used to fold them in two and roll them, that was good enough to save some space. I also made sure I can see the brand at the back while doing. Seeing the brand on my jeans allows me to know exactly which jeans I was pulling out at a glance - that means not disturbing the rest. Came Marie Kondo and I of course went on to perfect the pants and jeans fold.
2) The best way of folding T-shirts short sleeve, long sleeve and even cardigan.
I don’t know about you but I have so many tops and among them T-shirts. I am known for being on the hunt for the perfect white T but also black T’s. I also shop twice a year at American Vintage and Majestic Filatures for coloured ones and you can easily see why I need it a method to keep them and more importantly see what I have.
Stacking simply does not work for me, I tried stacking by style and even colour and noticed that while my stack was always on the verge of falling out I end up always using the same tops and forgetting that I had others. As a result, I continued buying new ones while under-utilising the ones I had.
Here comes the lid of a box and the Marie Kondo folding methods of tops and now I can see at glance all the tops that I have, I utilise more of them and can see when I should get new white T’s because they are not white anymore.
3) Small items fold
I am mostly referring to socks, underwear and small scarfs. Nothing is more annoying then to have a drawer full of socks and not finding the ones you need when you need them, same thing for underwear. I firstly divide by colours and type as much as I can and I use the compartmentalising method thanks this time Ikea boxes that are made exactly for that. I find it easier to know where my gym socks are, my winter socks and my slip on socks are when they are divided by type. I might not save some space but I surely save some time in the morning.
4) How to fold your knits
With knits it gets a bit trickier as it depends on the thickness of the knits. Thicker the knit is and less you should be folding it. The reason is that lets say you are trying to fold a tick sweater more you fold it thicker it will get and more chance it wont stay in place. For those types of knit I fold them as as flat as possible. For the lighter ones I mix between the Kondo folding technic or just the classic method where you end up with a rectangle, and yes I do pile them up.
As for dresses and knit skirts I also fold them. If you hang them the weight will stretch them out.
5) Not a fold but more of useful hac
If you have deep shelves it can be hard to see what is stored at the back of them. So you are left with not using the space at all, or keeping things and forgetting they are there.
my solution is to elevate that space by stacking few boxes and then on top of that I place a boxe containing items that can be folded the Kondo way facing me. I personally store items that I rarely use such as evening tops or winter turtle neck.
Thanks to this hack I fully utilise the space and still remember that I have those items.