A master bedroom wardrobe with clutter is often a secret shame.
It’s a place where hopes and dreams go to die, where you toss things at the end of the day when you’re tired, and where you make daily decisions about how you represent yourself to the world.
It can be an emotionally loaded part of our homes.
The thing is that there are common barriers to an organised wardrobe, so keep that in mind and stop beating yourself up.
We can all have times where housekeeping takes a back seat.
It’s important to keep the big picture in mind and focus on what you can do to improve the situation, and what you might need to do to work around your limitations.
Everyone has priorities, just be aware of when you’re bumped yourself down the list and take the time to check in with what you’ve put on hold.
It’s time for a top 10 list! Here are some of the common barriers I see in clients’ homes.
1. The structure of the wardrobe is badly designed. Hanging space at 90 degree angles means someone's clothes are hard to see and hard to get to.
2. There's hanging space but not enough drawers or shelves. Hanging your clothes takes up a lot more room than folding, and often isn't the best way to care for your clothes. Knitwear and delicate items are better off folded to ensure they don’t stretch out.
3. Something is broken and it's letting the team down. A door that doesn't open/close properly, a drawer that is stuck or doesn't slide back where it belongs. It means you either can't use the space, or that clothes in there aren't visible or accessible and get ignored.
4. Stuff is being stored there that would be better suited elsewhere. What am I talking about? Bedding, toilet paper, photo albums… You can’t wear those things, and your clothes need somewhere to belong.
5. Someone's wardrobe keeps expanding and squeezes out their partner's clothes. Options here are to embrace your clothes horse status and transform another room into a dressing room, or option 2, to thoroughly review your wardrobe and make everything earn its space, and look at capsule wardrobes to keep within your space.
6. Clothes without homes. You don’t have enough hangers so doubling up on hangers (ie. putting two tops on one hanger), winding scarves or belts on top of a hanger being used for something else.
7. It's all dark and you can't see anything in there. For hanging space, you need lighting my friend. Some LED push lights will brighten your life.
This also applies to drawers, where you can have a dark base and if you have dark clothes in there, they will blend in.
Brighten it up with drawer liners in light or bright colours. Most drawer liners in Australia seem to be for the kitchen rather than the wardrobe, but look for self-adhesive felt and you can find that at Spotlight and Lincraft for plain ones, and online (check Etsy) for prints and patterns.
8. Signs of no air flow. Dust. Mould. Need I say more?
9. Hanging up clothes anywhere. When you just put something where there's space, rather than with other shirts, or other dresses. Pretty soon, it’s all mixed up and you can’t find what you’re looking for anymore.
10. Overdue for decluttering. More has come in than has gone out. You know when you are deciding what to wear that there are problems with what you have, but you haven't had the chance to have a proper look at what's there.
Have I talked about ones you recognise?
I know there are others, but these are 10 common ones leading to a cluttered wardrobe.
Now I don’t want to overwhelm you and make it feel like it’s impossible to resolve all these issues.
As I say, this is pretty normal and this doesn’t mean that your wardrobe would be the worst one I’ve ever seen.
Signs that you need change
At what point do you make resolving these issues a priority? Good question. There are signs letting you know that it’s time for change.
- When going in or even opening your wardrobe makes you feel bad about yourself,
- When you either take a long time to decide what to wear or you wear essentially the same outfit every day because you don’t like your clothes or how they fit,
- When you’re arguing with your partner about how you’re using the space,
- When you go shopping not because you need to fill a gap in your wardrobe but to give you a lift after having a bad day,
- When your clothes don’t fit in the space and are overflowing in piles in the bedroom, and
- When you can’t keep up with the laundry and you choose your outfit from piles rather than the wardrobe.
Sound fair? Unfortunately these issues don’t go away by themselves.
You have to put in the time to make changes. You can do it. I believe in you.