Work Your Wardrobe on a budget and with young children

National Organising Week 2016 has come to end – a massive week in Professional Organising circles.  Throughout the week we explored ways in which we can ‘Work Your Wardrobe’.  The ways are endless, but what is important is that your wardrobe WORKS FOR YOU and your lifestyle.

There are some amazing things that you can add to you to your wardrobe - different height racks, shelves, valet hooks.  Every time, I walk into IKEA or a wardrobe specialist I am in awe.  I would love to fit-out my wardrobe so it looks like those you see in a showroom, but simply don’t have the means. But that’s not to say that you can’t work your wardrobe on a minimal budget, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a wardrobe that works for you. 

A key to maintaining an organised wardrobe is simplicity.  Simple to find and choose each an outfit and simple to put things away.

I’ve listed below the top 5 actions, that I have taken in my own wardrobe to improve the overall functionality. These have been done at minimal cost, are easy to implement, and have made it easy for me to find my clothing and accessories – but more importantly have made it easier for me to put items away at the end of the day or when they come out of the wash.   

Easy to see and quickly grab the item you want. Image: The Organising Bee

Easy to see and quickly grab the item you want. Image: The Organising Bee

Enjoy the beauty of jewellery and accessories by displaying them like art

I like to have my everyday jewellery out on display. I do this, because I found that as life got busier and more demanding, as happens with a growing family, I found that the few minutes it took to find the right piece of jewellery from within my jewellery box was a few minutes too long.  So I stopped wearing jewellery altogether.  Since putting my everyday jewellery out on display, I can see it all, can reach what I need quickly, plus I get to enjoy the beauty of my jewels everyday.

I custom made my display from an old picture frame, some fly wire and cup hooks, but you could achieve a similar result by using a cork board and some pins, by using belt hanger or a standard coat hanger to hang your necklaces.  My good jewels remain neatly in the jewellery box.

Just like my jewellery, I like to store frequently used hats, scarves and handbags on a wall mounted hat rack. The hooks make it super simple to remove items and put them away when you have finished with them. Just ensure that you don't overload the hooks. It's best if you can remove each item without having to move anything else.

Using baskets to store items on open shelves

Clothing folded neatly on a shelf look looks amazing whilst it is neat, but as soon as you remove an item from the pile, it can begin to look untidy and can quite quickly turn into an avalanche particularly when stored on a high shelf. You can avoid the frustration of keeping a neat pile by storing the clothing by type in separate light weight baskets.  The basket is always going to look organised on the shelf, even if it is a shambles inside.

Use coat hangers to create a smart and organised look

Using the same coat hanger immediately makes the wardrobe look more organised.  Image: The Organising Bee

Using the same coat hanger immediately makes the wardrobe look more organised.  Image: The Organising Bee

You can easily create a smart and organised look in your wardrobe by using the same coat hangers. It doesn't need to cost a lot; any style of coat hanger can achieve the same result. They just all need to be the exactly same.  I like the classic look of wooden coat hangers, and I have gradually built up my supply by purchasing a box of hangers per month with my groceries.

Store everyday shoes so that I can see and grab them quickly

I had been keeping my everyday shoes on a shelf at the base of my wardrobe which worked perfectly well until I had children.  I now have 3 young girls who LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my wearing shoes at every opportunity.  It makes it near impossible to keep them tidy without a lot of attention. A lifestyle change dictated a wardrobe change, and now I store my shoes in drawer.  This is much easier maintain and just as easy for me to find my shoes, plus it has the major advantage of less dust.  My husband’s shoes remain at the base of the wardrobe on a shoe rack, as surprise, surprise my children don’t look twice at my husband’s shoes.

Cute labeling for shoes stored up high

You only need to take a quick glance to see what is in each shoe box.  Image: The Organising Bee

You only need to take a quick glance to see what is in each shoe box.  Image: The Organising Bee

I would love to wear my party shoes more often, but with a young family these pretty ladies don’t get a work out as often as they once did. As I don’t wear them very often, I store them at top of my wardrobe in their shoe boxes to keep them from getting damaged. I have stuck photo of the shoes on the front of the shoe box, so that I know exactly what is in each shoe box without having to take down every box to find the particular pair that I’m looking for. I do love clear plastic shoe boxes, like these ones from Pink Lily but it is an unnecessary cost that I don’t need right now.

A dedicated drawer to prevent floordrobes

I try to encourage my family to re-wear clothing that is not dirty or smelly so we are kinder on our environment, whilst saving on electricity and water costs.  I often find it challenging at the end of a busy day to put my clothes away, I just don’t have the desire to fold or hang my clothing neatly and they just end up on the floor. I have developed a system that works for us.  Maybe it will work for you too?  I have dedicated a drawer for clothing that I have worn once, but intend to wear again before washing.  Placing the items directly in the drawer prevents me from dropping clothes on the floor and helps keep an organised space without any major effort.  One day I will be more motivated and actually put them away each evening, but for now this solution works well.

If you know that making some changes like these could benefit you, but have no idea where to start, I am more than happy to help. Through the The Organising Bee, I offer hands-on decluttering and professional organising support.  Feel free to contact me today.

If you are interested in finding more tips have a look at the ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ video series put together by the talented team from the Australiasian Association of Professional Organisers.  You can view via AAPO’s YouTube Channel.

Happy Organising,

Amy logo
Amy Kennedy, Professional Organiser

Amy Kennedy, Professional Organiser

Professional Organiser, Amy Kennedy from The Organising Bee supports Canberra families to organise their home and life.

We minimise clutter in the family home and puts in place organising systems to make daily tasks quicker and easier, so that you have time to enjoy life and have time to create those special memorable family moments. Contact Amy Kennedy today