Organizing Q & A: How should I handle pre-worn clothes?
A really popular question in my online workshops—particularly Quick + Simple Clutter Control and Organize Your Closet—has to do with pre-worn clothes. Here's an example:
I need a place to store clothes that I have worn, but don't yet need to go in the hamper. I have a fair number of these. I don't like to put them back with all-the-way clean clothes, but piling them on a shelf is not a good solution either.
My approach to pre-worn clothes is to store them with the completely clean clothes. My thinking is that if the clothes are clean enough to wear again, then they should be okay living with the completely clean clothes. If they're an option for wearing when you get dressed in the morning, then keeping your pre-worn clothes with the rest of your clothes will simplify the process of getting dressed in the morning.
As with other organizing topics, this approach doesn’t work for everyone. So here are some other ideas compiled from the online workshop community:
- Fold your pre-worn items and put them in a designated spot such as on a shelf in your closet.
- Hang pre-worn clothes on a hanger and hang the hanger on a hook.
- Hang pre-worn clothes and establish a section in your closet for these items.
- Use a different color hanger for items that have been worn already. Or designate pre-worn items with a ribbon on the hanger, or by using a butterfly clip.
Here’s what works for other online workshop participants…
- I have a wide chair in the bedroom where we put worn but clean clothes. As we occasionally get outbreaks of clothes moths in the UK I don't ever put worn clothes back in the closet ~ it helps to deter them.
- I added some 3M hooks (some of the nice brushed metal hooks, so they're a bit decorative) in the master bathroom to hang these types of clothes along with pj's. They hang near the hamper.
- I think a shallow basket for the bureau or in the closet where "gently worn but not ready for laundry items" could live might be the best solution. They would be readily available but not looking cluttery.
- I drape my clothing I change into after work over the hamper - that way I wear the same outfit a couple of days, wash it and move to another outfit.
- I do something similar with my worn clothes, although I drape them over the railing in my hall overnight. My idea is to air them out a bit & deal with wrinkles. I like that this minimizes my washing (I think I save a couple of loads a week by this—we all re-wear clothes in my family), but also that my clothes look better, longer (less fading etc).
What works for you? Are pre-worn clothes a source of clutter in your home? If not…how do you handle them? Thanks so much for sharing! I look forward to hearing from you!