12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 18 Comments

How to organise your wardrobe is a topic that I’ll never stop discussing here on Styling You.

If you do nothing else at the start of each fashion season, this task alone will be enough to make the process of getting dressed each morning so much easier and less fraught with stress.

You know that stress I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s usually time-induced. Under pressure and with minimal time at our disposal, we don’t make considered choices in anything.

But choosing to make a considered choice about what you wear each day can actually make that day roll a little better for you.

A considered choice equals a more confident outlook.

It’s something that we talk a lot about in my Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style program.

At the core of the program is a 30-piece capsule wardrobe but before we got stuck into creating our outfits based on the capsule, we got stuck into our wardrobes. We edited them and organised them.

I thought I’d share with you 12 tips for organising your wardrobe – my tips and the awesome hacks I’ve learned from the clever women in my online program.

Keep scrolling for a photo gallery that gives you a look at how I store my clothes (one of my most frequently asked questions).

12 tips for organising your wardrobe

12 tips for organising your wardrobe

1. Start with a thorough edit of your wardrobe. This a process I do at least twice a year – usually at the start of each season – it sets me up for knowing what’s there and what I need. I absolutely don’t let any item stay if it makes me feel anything less than fabulous. This is the process I follow.

2. Give the types of clothes you wear most often the best real estate in your wardrobe. If you work in an office from Monday to Friday, those clothes should be front and centre. If your weekdays are more on the casual side, these are the clothes you need to give prime position. Remember it’s all about saving time on busy mornings.

3. Organise your clothes in types and colours. I find this is great for identifying possible obsessive buying tendencies (me? stripes and white tops!) so you can potentially save yourself from a future “must buy”. It also eases the outfit creation stress. You might want to anchor the outfit for a particular day to a certain top or skirt. Start with that piece and then go immediately to the pieces you know will work back with that piece.

4. Store your scarves where you can see them and use them. It’s no secret that I love a scarf or two … I use an IKEA scarf hanger on the back of my door. I’ve got one threaded with summer scarves; one with winter scarves and only have hanging out the season I’m currently dressing for. I do also love this suggestion:

I’ve tried many different ways over the years, including folding and layering in a huge glass vase. But currently set them out in a drawer – folded and stacked upright so I can see the edges. Bulkier ones folded and are layered flat. Small ones are curled up. Michelle

scarf storage | 12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

5. Store accessories where you can see them and use them. The same principle as with scarves applies. If you don’t have your accessories easily accessible, then you won’t be motivated or prompted to wear them. I store mine in a side cabinet that is a fun furniture piece and acts as my bedside table. Within that – and on top – I’ve got smaller storage pieces and trays for different types of my accessories. You’d find similar at Howard’s Storage World.

6. Protect your shoe-robe. I’m lucky enough to have a display cupboard dedicated to shoes (see gallery below). This not only protects the shoes from dust but it also means I can see at a glance what options are open to me. I also store my clutch bags in this cupboard – an adapted Billy bookcase from IKEA.

Here are some other ideas from my program members:

The long ones have removable dividers so great for boots and formal dress heels. Then I use a pack of 10 singles for day to day! Might curb my shoe purchases too if I don’t have a box free. – Jacinta, who uses shoe boxes from Howard’s Storage World.

shoe and accessories storage | 12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

I use garage-style storage from Bunnings and Officeworks storage for my dress jewellery (also sorted my colour). – Bernadette

shoe and accessories storage | 12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

7. Organise your wardrobe electronically. As you buy something either take a photo of it on a hanger or find a photo of it online and save it to an album or albums in your phone.  This will then help with what version of planning you’d like to take on (read on for ways that our community does this).

Whenever I purchase an item, I always find the store’s online image for it and save a copy. That way I can store them all on my phone and when I am shopping I can see if a purchase goes with other items. I also don’t buy duplicates that way. – Liane

save photos on phone and create powerpoint documents of outfits | 12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

8. Plan out your outfits in advance. In the style program, we’ve got 42 days of outfit suggestions, which we’re adapting to fit what each of our days holds. You don’t need to work that far ahead but spending time each Sunday to plan out the week is a great way to approach this. Use the weather app to give you a guide as to what temperature it will be and then create outfits based on what each of your days in the week holds for you. Personally, I write down all my outfits for the week in the Notes section of my phone but you might prefer to adopt some of the suggestions below from members in our group.

9. Hang all those outfits on a separate rack. A simple rack, like this one from Kmart, could be positioned in your bedroom or spare room and, each Sunday, you hang your chosen outfits for the week on it, with shoes at the bottom. This makes it a no-brainer each morning to get dressed. Or add a hook on the wall near your wardrobe so you can make an easy to transition out of work clothes like Lia has done.

I have two chrome command adhesive hooks on my wall for my daily after work outfit and PT outfit. I select them the evening before for the following day, which also helps keep my dressing room clean at all times. – Lia

Hang items out ready for wear | 12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

10. Create an excel spreadsheet. You either LOVE an spreadsheet or you don’t. We have a couple of spreadsheet lovers in the group and I bow down at their level of organisation.

I keep spreadsheets with what I own, when worn, etc and also photos in (outfit) sets in powerpoint. – Michelle

I also record the year and price I paid! This is really helpful because I have a shopping addiction and can analyse how much I spend on things I don’t wear! – Dana

11. Use Polyvore to create and store outfit suggestions. Polyvore is a web and phone app that allows you to “clip” clothes and accessories images from a web page, store them in types and then you can create outfits from those stores images and save them in your sets. It sounds complicated but once you get the hang of it, it’s super simple to use.

12. Use the Stylebook app. A few of the members in the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe community have been using the Stylebook app. It takes a little bit of work and time at the beginning but if you’re prepared to put in this by loading images of everything in your wardrobe, then you’ll be set with organising outfits for the every day, for occasions and for travel.

A little tip to plan and keep track of outfits – I’ve just saved all the pics of the outfits to the ‘inspiration’ section of my Stylebook app and I drag the outfit into the calendar to plan my wardrobe. I can also sub in my own wardrobe items and I’m set to go! – Kimberley 

Stylebook App | 12 tips for organising your wardrobe for stress-free daily dressing

I’ve added about 100 items to this baby and have now got my packing list sorted for a four-day trip next week. Just need to select my fave SY-inspired looks and it tells me which clothes I need to bring. Winning! – Leonie

A look into how I store my clothes and accessories

Check out the photos below – click on for each caption – for a look at how I store and organise my clothes and accessories. I don’t have big spaces but I do have the luxury of using my office as my “lady room” for storage of shoes, bags and off-season clothes.

So, it’s over to you. Share your best wardrobe organisational tips and hacks with us in the comments below.


Join the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style challenge

Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe AW17Looking for care and support to craft a wardrobe that works for you? Want to learn how to create outfits that make you feel fabulous – and fit your lifestyle? 

The concept of my Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style challenge is a simple one. I’ve choose 30 spring-summer clothing and accessories pieces and show you 42 different ways to wear those 30 pieces. That’s right – six weeks’ worth of outfits sorted for you to make getting dressed each day a no-brainer.

The idea behind this concept is that I help you get organised so that you make the most of what’s already in your wardrobe. You may choose to buy new items but I know you have great substitutes sitting there ready and waiting in your wardrobe right now.

The six-week plan is your blueprint for the entire season. 

We hang out in a super supportive closed Facebook group – the magic really does happen there as we get sorted and find our style mojo for the season ahead. The group is where we share our outfits to inspire others – and where you can ask me any burning style questions you might have.

Our members range in age from their 30s through to 60s and beyond. We dress for our attitude, not our age because why should style come with a use-by-date?

Comments 18

  1. I recently moved to a new apartment and I want to make sure that I keep the clothes and shoes in my new wardrobe as neat and organized as possible, so I appreciate the tips you give in this article. You make a great point that I should figure out which clothes and accessories I wear the most and put them at the front of my wardrobe so they will be easy to find. Also, it makes sense that I should organize my clothes in types and colors because this way I can easily find what I need when I am in a rush in the morning!

  2. Thanks for adding my pic to your blog! Being a little OCD I realised after I posted it, it looked funny with 2 spots empty, so of course back to the shop to purchase another 2 shoe boxes to make it more uniform..now the fun part…search for the shoes to fill them!

  3. I thought that I had been reasonably well organised when it came to the layout of my wardrobe. But after reading your comments a week or so ago, about these amazingly organised ladies & the tools they used to manage their wardrobes. I decided it was time to lift my game a little at look for a wardrobe app that would suit me, and came across an app called Smart Closet. This is an android app that is similar to the Style Book app, that i’m sure will be very useful once the huge job of taking all the item pics is complete.

  4. So many great hints + tips, you can never have too many when you want to be organised. Or is that just me Nikki?

    Thanks for adding my phone and quote to your post today, I’m honoured to say the least.

    Lia xxx

  5. Totally in awe of the spreadsheet ladies’ wardrobe organisation! I dipped my toe in the water by trying a free app called “Pureple” which allows you to upload your own or stock pics, even pics from Pinterest – then create, categorise and save outfits. xx

  6. in awe of organisation! … thankyou nikki guru!
    I say perfection!
    i’m not close but improving! … at least I gravitate to it now!
    have a good one! love m:)X

  7. Thank you Nikki there is some very clever wardrobe organisation tips here today!
    I am lucky to have 2 built in robes in my room and store winter and transeasonal in one and summer in the other and store my scarves on the IKEA hangers so I can see them all.I like to do little edits every couple of months to make sure things are being worn and get rid of anything I don’t love or don’t wear.I actually going to do a dress edit today!
    I’m also a fan of planning and the weather app I think I’m addicted to it Xx

  8. Wow some seriously organised ladies! Made me realise how simple my wardrobe is. I wear a uniform each weekday, it’s not stylish but it’s practical for my job. I keep my work pants and shirts together, first lined up in my wardrobe. Then depending on the season, so jackets etc for winter or dresses for summer. I did a huge cull a few weeks ago, pared my clothes down by about half. I love walking into the wardrobe and seeing it all tidy and organised. I keep my scarves folded and stored in a cheap bookcase, clutches on one shelf and tshirts on another. It works for me, simple but easy 🙂

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