When it comes to wardrobe organization, you may have your clothing under control. But what if everything else—the pieces that round out your outfits—is a different story? I’ve found that many women’s shoes tend to end up in a pile on the floor while their socks, scarves, jewelry, and more are crammed into various drawers. And that’s a problem! Not only is this storage “system” disorganized (which can tend to frustrate you), it’s also inefficient. You’ll end up wearing the same accessories over and over again, and you’ll also run the risk of buying a new pair of earrings, for example, that closely resembles a pair you already own—all because you couldn’t see the first pair and forgot about it!
Most of my clients don’t hire me just to organize their accessories, but that usually ends up happening whenever I do a wardrobe analysis. Women (and even men!) are always surprised by how much of a difference smart organization makes. The fact is, you bought all of your accessories because you liked them—so make the most of them with a new storage system that allows you to see what you own. I promise, it’s an easy fix! Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you get organized:
Shoes. First, realize that your shoes will need to be changed out twice a year unless you live somewhere that’s warm for all four seasons. This will keep temperature-appropriate footwear—whether it’s sandals or boots—in the front of your closet and fresh on your mind. (In many areas of the country, April and September are good times for this task.) And make sure that the pile-on-the-floor storage method becomes a thing of the past. Invest in stackable shelves or a shoe rack that hangs from your closet door or clothes rod so that you can see all of your choices. Lastly, make sure that you’re storing your out-of-season footwear properly. I recommend stuffing shoes, especially boots, with plastic bags, tissue paper, or “shoe or boot inserts” made expressly for this purpose. You’ll lengthen the life of your purchases, because they’ll hold their shape in storage even if there is weight on top of them.
Handbags. Like shoes, it’s usually a good idea to change out handbags semi-annually. After all, you’re not going to carry your straw bag or white purse in the winter, or your suede or calf-hair purse in the blazing heat. (That said, there are many bags that are appropriate year-round.) And again, as with shoes, there’s a smart way to store the purses you’re not carrying. I often suggest that clients stuff handbags with other smaller purses or plastic bags.
Accessories. The most important thing to remember when storing accessories is to make sure they’re visible! If possible, clear a space on your closet wall so that you can hang necklaces or put in a belt rack. (Tie racks also work well for this purpose.) Hanging pieces individually is crucial to being able to see what you own. If that isn’t possible, try storing belts, gloves, hats, and scarves in clear bins and stacking them according to color or function. Similarly, break your jewelry into categories and store it within drawers in clear trays (I love Lucite) that you can see to the bottom of.
Socks and stockings. Yes, you may already have a drawer set aside for socks and pantyhose, but I promise you can organize a lot more effectively than that! Sort your stockings and tights by color, and then put each group into an individual, labeled Ziploc bag. Presto—squinting to distinguish between black and navy on dark mornings is a thing of the past! Plus, your hose will also be protected from snags. You can also use this baggie method with trouser or athletic socks.
It won’t take much time or money to make these organizing solutions a part of your closet, but they’ll make a huge difference in how effectively—and quickly—you’re able to accessorize.