It’s a new year and 2016 is a fresh start for some; a time to make changes. I, on the other hand, have never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. I never stick to them, and why should I? 2015 was fabulous so let’s carry on as we are! That said; at the start of each January, I have a yearly ritual: a massive wardrobe clear out. This usually stems from the fact that I need to make way for the dozens of vintage/pinup goodies I have received over the festive period. So at the start of this year… spring cleaning began in the residence of Flo!
Firstly, let me tell you a little about my home…it is my absolute pride and joy. I bought my two bed place three years ago and I am incredibly proud of how I have put my own stamp on it. The theme running throughout is old school Hollywood! Pictures of the great legends line the walls. The colour theme is very much black, white and red. Damask and polka dot prints also feature heavily. I am a self-confessed tidy-freak, preferring a minimalist look and everything has to be in its place. Over the past three years of developing my pad into the home I love, it is also safe to say that my vintage wardrobe has probably quadrupled in size (quite an achievement). So how, I hear you ask, do I store all of this, yet maintain calm Zen? While completing my annual de-clutter, I thought it would be a great idea to share with you how I solve this problem of my wardrobe!
I am not going to lie, one of the things that drew me to my property when I first saw it was the floor to ceiling sliding mirrored wardrobes in the master bedroom. Now here was something I could work with. The previous owners shared this space between the two of them. For me, however…this baby is all mine!
I have three hanging rails, the largest of which houses ALL of my vintage style dresses, circle skirts, pencil skirts and blouses. And when I say this rail is big…I mean it is BIG! Papa Flounce has had to re-enforce it on several occasions for me! I know some people like to store summer dresses away in winter and vice versa. Others may store away more dressier clothing and only get them out for special occasions (Cacao is a big fan of vacuum storage bags for this reason). In my wardrobe, however, everything is together on this rail, regardless of season or style. This is exactly how I like it because I can easily accessorize outfits differently, dressing them up or down for seperate occasions, or taking a summer dress and wrapping up in extra layers for the winter.
During my recent New Year mission, I decided to reorganise the clothing on this large rail slightly. Up until January this rail was spilt into two sections; work clothes on one side and everything else on the other. I have now put everything together and in colour order. This is for one reason and one reason only: To make the most of my wardrobe! I wanted to stop myself from repeatedly going to the same section day in day out. I am now forced to peruse the rail on a daily basis. I rediscover things I had forgotten were even there! I have even been able to work some of my everyday wardrobe into what I wear as a pharmacist, hence getting even more wear out of some of the things I had barely touched up until this point.
I have a further two smaller hanging rails at the opposite end of my wardrobe; one for large winter coats, the other for smaller blazers and capes. This way I am able to keep outerwear separate from my other clothes.
My wardrobe is also made up of a series of shelving units to separate the rails. These were purchased from B&Q and are a great way to store other items inside your wardrobe. I use mine to store clothing that can be folded such as jumpers, cardigans, vest tops and pyjamas, but also hats, gloves, scarves, underwear, pumps, sandals, hair styling equipment, hair products, and my vintage books and magazines.
One of my first investments when I moved in to my pad was a double ottoman bed. This additional storage space has proved highly useful for little extras such as hair scarves, belts, swim suits, handbags, petticoats and costume jewellery. Not only is this completely out of sight but it is also dust free. I opted for one that has an easy open hydraulic mechanism, so all you have to do is simply lightly pull the chord in the open direction and then the bed kicks in and does most of the work for you. Should you have to nip in and out a few times to make a final decision on which hair scarf perfectly matches your outfit…no bother at all! It is just as easy as opening a wardrobe door!
Despite all of this organisation, I must be honest, it is a daily struggle to prevent myself from turning my second bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe. Do I continue to play good host and allow my guests their own bedroom when they stay? Or do I give my wardrobe the chance to grow even further? At present I have opted for a slight compromise; my guests shall continue to have their own bedroom as opposed to the couch…however they must share this room with some more sneaky storage solutions. This time not in the form of an ottoman, but narrow plastic storage boxes that slide perfectly under the bed and out of sight. Once again they are dust free and currently house my boots, heels and yet more handbags.
And THAT is how you solve a problem like Flo when it comes to her wardrobe! Everything is out of sight, but still easy to find. And I do promise you, after Christmas I really did get rid of bin liners and bin liners of unwanted clothes on friends and charity shops.
If anybody has any other great storage solutions for vintage hoarders like Cacao and myself, please drop us a line. We would love to hear your ideas!
On another note, I would like to take this opportinity to thank Cacao’s other half for his ninja skills in lifting and removing massive mirrored wardrobe doors to make this post possible! So, thank you Nick!