Ask Belle: Storing Your Clothes & Accessories

Jun 8, 2015

Hi, Belle,

I really love your blog.  I was wondering how you store things: jewelry, scarves, shoes, hats, sweaters, etc.

I’m thinking it’s time to set aside the old “shove it in a drawer” method, and figured you’d have some insight into how to properly store these types of items that are used (but maybe not every day) to keep them safe and nice-looking for years to come.

Thanks so much! A Reader

I’m lucky to have a good size closet in my home, but that wasn’t always the case.  For six years, I lived in a 400-sq-ft condo.  It was there that I learned the importance of good organizational skills.  Here’s how I store some of my items.

Hangers. Not to get all Joan Crawford on you, but can we talk about hangers for a minute?  If you love your clothes (and I assume if you’re reading here, you do) and you want to take care of them, why would you hang them on a cheap wire hanger?

I like the thin, flocked hangers from Real Simple ($30 for 50).  They maximize space without damaging my clothes.  Also, if you’re petite, stop stretching your clothes with regular size hangers.  What you want is a juniors size hanger.  I even keep a few on hand for my sweaters to keep those unsightly shoulder bumps away.

More storage tips after the jump…

Scarves and Belts. If you shove your scarves and belts in a drawer, you’ll never wear them.  Luckily, they make a hanger specifically for scarves and belts.  Just be sure not to overload it or the damn thing will snap. (Trust me, buy more than you think you’ll need.)

Sweaters. I fold most of my sweaters, though a few of the drapey cardigans I’ll hang.  To keep them out of my dresser, I bought a shelf from Real Simple that hangs from my closet rod.  It keeps everything neatly organized, and right where I can see it.

Shoes. I keep my high heels and nicer shoes on two shelves in my closet.  If you’re piling your shoes on the floor or wedging them into a tiny organizer, you’re shortening their life span.  If you don’t have room for a shelf, I recommend this over-the-door shoe rack.  It’s a space saver that won’t crush your heels or smush your flats.

Jewelry. When a friend gave up her Stella & Dot business, I bought all of her jewelry display pieces.  Now, I hunt them on eBay when I need to add a ring tray or a bracelet stand, but they’re not easy to find.  Bed, Bath, and Beyond sells similar storage products in linen.

Another good options are jewelry trays designed to fit inside a drawer.  These stackable trays have ring, earring, and necklace storage.

So how do you store your favorite shoes, clothes, scarves, and baubles?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Brandi says:

    I love these ideas! I need some serious organizational help, but I think it’s just going to wait until we move in the fall. Right now, our closet is practically bursting between my clothes and my BF’s large collection of suits and shirts. Last summer, I tried to create some jewelry organization and made this: https://instagram.com/p/q5kBgwu48t/, but it’s been decreasing in functionality since then.

    Those shelves are going to be on my wishlist for our next place though! Right now, my BF has the wire shoe rack in the closet, and all of my shoes that aren’t on the rack in the living room are in a bucket in the closet :/

  2. SNP says:

    My friends who wear hijab introduced me to this hanger for storing scarves. It is very sturdy unlike the Real Simple one which Belle identified as snapping easily… probably the sturdiest thing ever produced by Ikea. I keep mine in my coat closet and arrange the scarves in columns according to color. https://www.amazon.com/701-089-12-Komplement-Multi-use-hanger-white/dp/B00QNR92YE

  3. Sara says:

    Thanks– I’m about to downgrade from 600 sq ft to 471 sq ft, and I was wondering how I’d pull it off.

  4. Addie says:

    I just went from 1,000 sq feet to 715 so I could live closer to work and school. I don’t mind the loss of living space but going from 4 closets to 2 was killer. I put an over the door hook on my bedroom door for hats. Bed Bath & Beyond sells a hanger with holes in it for storing scarves. I have one in my coat closet for winter scarves and another in my bedroom closet for fashion scarves. I also found a hanger for belts at the Container Store back when I was in college. My washer & dryer are behind double doors so both of those doors plus my closet door all have over the door shoe organizers on them. Out of season shoes go in drawers under my bed.

  5. Sarah says:

    Juniors’ hangers for petite ladies’ clothes…that is GENIUS! Thank you!

  6. Helena says:

    If you have space on top of a dresser or on your vanity, a necklace stand is a great way to display and store your necklaces. They get far less tangled hanging than they do laying in a tray or drawer.

  7. Shelley says:

    SNP- I use the exact same Ikea hanger for hanging my work out tanks and Lululemon Vinayasa scarves. I love it and it barely takes up any space in my small-ish walk in closet. I really need shoes and jewellery storage ideas, so I am going to check out some of the suggestions here.

  8. Lauren says:

    I agree with the necklace stand. I use a large metal “tree” that looks nice and functional. For smaller pieces like earrings and rings, fishing tackle boxes or even small craft organizers are great to fit in a drawer or on a shelf hidden away.

  9. NR says:

    I bought a yard of fabric and hot glued it to a bulletin board, then put clear thumbtacks in the board and hung necklaces from them. I actually use that board as a wall decoration.

  10. I store all my jewellery in silk obi clutches, you can read the post here

  11. E says:

    My husband bought me a mirrored, jewelry armoire for christmas a few years ago, and it’s one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It stores all my jewelry safely, and visibly so I wear all of my pieces now. Here’s an example on amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Mirrored-Jewelry-Cabinet-Necklaces-Bracelets/dp/B00HP1NG8K/ref=pd_sim_sbs_196_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0YS0R7438Y5BP5ET8VAS

  12. SB says:

    Belle, do you have any tips for boot storage? Most of the boot trees that I’ve seen are pretty pricey. To save space, I’ve been storing my boots in their original boxes on the shelf, but that’s a pain.

  13. I actually store my necklaces on a belt hanger from the container store. Doesn’t take up much room, prevents tangling and is completely portable! Full post here: https://studiostyleblog.com/2015/02/24/suprisingly-easy-necklace-storage/

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