The best way to organise and store your clothes in drawers (and sometimes shelves) is to 'FILE' fold aka the 'KonMari' method. The goal is to fold your clothes into compact squares or rectangles so they stand up and can be filed vertically, rather than laid flat on top of each other.
This method has been around for a long time, but has been given a name and made famous by organising guru Marie Kondo in her books 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying', 'Spark Joy' and more recently in her Netflix series. I love that she is bringing awareness to the wellbeing benefits of organising!
"The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage. It is an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle' ~ Marie Kondo.
You can fold t-shirts, tops, underwear, socks, jeans - anything to be stored in your drawers, or on shelves.
I know that seeing drawers like this is very much the epitome of OCD organisation on the surface. So I totally understand when clients initially think its too much for them, but once you give it a try, you will find that it's super easy and really satisfying when you see the end result.
It's an easy home edit to make, and there are so many benefits.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY FILE FOLDING
✔️ I love being able to see everything that's in my drawers all at once. Organisation is all about being able to see what you have, so you know what you own and where to find it. When you store your clothes piled on top of each other, you only tend to see, and so wear the things on top of the pile.
✔️ You can fit much more into a drawer. Definitely, something to consider if you are short on drawer and wardrobe space.
✔️ When you can see everything you have at a glance, you know all of your options and get more wear out of clothes that you had forgotten you had.
✔️ You can easily pull out what you need when you need it, without messing up the rest of the drawer.
✔️ It helps you to visualise what you have and be clear on what you own. Over time you can create a mental picture which you can remember each time you go shopping. It will help you to decide if you really need to buy something to add that category or not. Saving you money.
✔️Having a system in place makes it easier to stay organised.
✔️ It looks so neat, tidy and ordered.
✔️ You appreciate your clothes so much more when you take care of them.
✔️ Helps you to be more intentional about what you own and reduce clutter building up. When you have to fold and check your clothes before putting them away, you can make sure that they are still loved, needed and in good condition. If not, you can let it go and decide if you need to purchase another or not.
✔️ Saves time looking for things and reduces stress when getting dressed.
HOW TO file fold and organise your drawers
▫️ Take everything out of the drawer.
▫️ Divide into categories of like items, such as cami and vest tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, underwear...
▫️ Take each category, and then item in turn. Place each onto a flat surface. Run your hands over the fabric to smooth it out and check for wear and stains.
▫️ Start folding by creating a long rectangle down the centre of the item, by folding in the sides and sleeves. Fold in half and then in half again, or into thirds depending on the thickness of the item and the depth of the drawer.
▫️ If you have items that have delicate textures or parts, fold these so that they are protected inside of the rectangle.
▫️ Take the first folded item and see how it fits in the drawer. Adjust the folds depending on the height of the drawer. This way you will know how to fold the rest to fit. The number of folds depends on the depth of the drawer.
▫️Stack items one behind the other rather than on top so that you can see everything in the drawer in a single glance.
▫️ Arrange items in the drawer by category, and then by colour. Place light items at the front and darker items towards the back.
Don't worry about getting the folds perfect, to begin with. You don't have to fold exactly like the KonMari method. Once you have the hang of folding this way it takes the same as 'normal' folding.
STORE + CONTAIN
To help to keep your drawers organised, you can add drawer dividers if you want to. For smaller items, compartmentalising drawers with little boxes or dividers certainly helps.
They help define the rows and categories, and when you have smaller items like vest and cami tops that still don't get thick enough to stand up on their own, or you just don't have that many items to fill up an entire row, it will help keep them organised.
You don't need special drawer dividers - shoe boxes or small gift boxes work really well, but if you do want to purchase some...
My favourite drawer organising products are;
1. Ikea SKUBB Drawer Organisers - Set of 6 - £6.00
2. InterDesign Linus Deep Drawer Expandable Organisers - set of 2 - £18.95 from The Holding Company
3. Spring-loaded Dream Drawer dividers - available from Amazon
Always make sure you measure your drawer heights and depths and any products before purchasing to make sure that they are going to fit.
If you want to get really organised, you can also label the rows. This helps you to keep organised and helps others so they know where things go when putting them away.
It's actually really easy to maintain. Get into the habit of folding things in this way when you do the laundry, and you can just slot them back in, without disturbing the others.
If for any reason it does get messy again, it really easy to put back in order.
I still love going to my drawers to grab a t-shirt. My organised drawers make me feel calm each morning, and I find it really therapeutic to fold and take care of my things.
Have you tried file folding yet? If not, give it a try in one drawer to begin, and you'll see how much difference it makes!