Either you are recently struck by Marie Kondo, the queen of folding and storage boxes, and declared war against all the clutter in your house, aka your wardrobe, or it just dawned on you that you cannot find anything you want to wear in your closet and the age-old feeling of “I have nothing to wear” started to crawl back, we’re here to help!
If you are blind or have low vision, sometimes it becomes challenging to organize and match clothing, and asking for someone else’s help is no fun! Don’t worry; with some time, effort, and a little investment in tags, tactile pens, storage boxes, and safety pins, you will be good to go. Before diving deep into your pile of fabric, here are the five tried and tested methods for organizing your closet.
Whatever you are trying to organize, your clothes, kitchen cupboards, documents, or even your phone or personal computer, the first step is always decluttering. We all know this by heart; however, only a few of us actually take action in getting rid of the things we don’t use; it’s hard! Make a decluttering checklist and don’t keep anything in your wardrobe that you don’t want to wear, or you cannot combine with any other piece of clothing.
You can sell or donate them, or give them to a friend or a family member who can find a better use for them. Just find them a home, and don’t let them gather dust at the back of your closet. Also, giving them to someone who will use them will make you feel better as well.
And to keep the clutter at a minimum, be conscious when you’re shopping. Don’t buy anything that you’re not sure if you’ll wear or not. And there is a method for that as well. If you cannot think of three combinations that you can make with that particular piece of clothing, don’t buy it.
Organizing is the central part of this short journey you took in the depths of your wardrobe. It will take some time, but it will reduce your morning anxiety by half. Now that you got rid of your clutter, it’s time to make some piles. Divide and Conquer! This is the most tried and tested method when you’re at war, especially with your closet. If you like, you can get a sighted friend on board who has similar tastes and make this process as much fun as possible.
When you’re organizing your clothes, you should think of your style choices, your daily needs, and your closet space. If you go to work every morning, you might want to put your work clothes somewhere in easy reach and find a way to keep them together. For better closet organization hangers are great tools. You can use a combination hanger and the ones with a horizontal piece in the middle are good for hanging shirts and pants or skirts together. This way, your favorite combination or your two-piece suit will always be ready to wear, and you don’t have to search for separate pieces every time you want to wear it.
Alternatively, you can make piles according to color, pattern, whether they are long or short-sleeved, etc. Make separate piles for each of them, and make sure you put them on different shelves, drawers, or boxes with labels on them. Decluttering and organizing your wardrobe is something you will do once or twice a year, so don’t fret; this won’t be an add-on to your weekly to-do list.
Use shoeboxes, storage boxes, food containers, cookie boxes to organize your items. Label every shelf, drawer, and box. If you have space and think you can afford it, get one of the customized chest of drawers available on the market. Some of these firms also give personalized service.
Keep your socks and shoes together by, well, tying them together. That’s right. If you have more than one pair of sneakers lying around the house, it’s easy to mismatch them if they feel similar, and wearing mismatched shoes is so last year Sarah Jesica Parker. Tie them together whenever you take them off, and you are good to go.
For the laceless shoes, you can use, handheld embossing label makers, Touch to See Labels, or Bump Dots to label them. You can either put them inside of the shoes where it won’t bother you or, better, on the shoe boxes. Don’t forget, these stickers are not suitable to use directly on fabrics!
For your socks, you can either use sock locks or simply pin them together with safety pins. This way, they won’t get lost inside of the mysterious world of the washing machine, where once a sock is gone, it’s gone forever.
If your piles are ready, let’s start labeling them. Safety pins are cheap and an excellent tool for keeping things together, like your zipper after a large meal, and for labeling them. Stock on safety pins of different shapes and sizes, and you can thank me later.
You can use safety pins for attaching labels to your clothing items or attach different numbers of safety pins to identify bigger pieces like jackets or coats. You can also use them to separate your most flattering pair of jeans from the rest of them.
If you are blind or low vision, labeling your stuff is one of the safest ways to re-find them on your own. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of small designers, fashion clothing brands are mostly ignoring their blind or low vision customers while labeling clothes, so for now, creating your own labels is the best way to go. Whenever you get a new piece of clothing either by using braille tags, or index cards and tactile pens, label them according to your needs. You can come up with your customized sign system, make some custom stickers with old school label makers or you can simply write what they are. Striped, long sleeve jersey. Navy high waist skirt. And you’re done.
Remember the safety pins? You can use some plastic or metal charms or craft beads for different colors or textures. Here is a good way to use them. Safety pins are also great to use in the washing machine. They don’t melt like paper labels or easily get lost. They stay put where you pin them.
The last and most crucial step is putting your clothes back in their designated places whenever you’re done with them and also after laundry day. Don’t let them hang around your room for days. Your grandmother was probably right about this: a place for everything and everything in its place. Because clutter has its ways to come back, and before you know it, you are at square one.
We’d love to have a conversation. If you are a part of the blind and visually impaired community, you’d like to be part of our mission, or share your ideas and collaborate with us, get in touch with us.
We are based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Fill out the form below to reach us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org