Wardrobe planning can either be fun or a complete drag, but the time, effort and sanity you’ll save in the process is worth it all.

Why does wardrobe planning matter? Well, when that 20 minutes you spend in the morning locating, ironing, tossing and re-choosing your outfit can be avoided, that’s a start. It’s also amazing how many gems you’ll miss out on seeing if only the most recently washed or worn items are in front of your eyes.

I see wardrobe planning and wardrobe organisation as two separate things, and the best way to get the two right is to organise first – that way you can see what you’re working with, and what’s missing. A recent mission through my own uncovered the fact I was heavy on dresses, skirts, pants and jackets but a bit lacking for tops. Clarity like this tells me a) – don’t buy any more dresses, but b) – if some great tops cross my path they get the green light.

Howards Storage and Ikea are favourites for organisation. You can go crazy with gadgets, hangers, stands and boxes, but even getting some boxes to store winter things on top of the wardrobe or under the bed can be a huge step towards organisation and clarity, and plastic or fabric shoe boxes will keep your winter boots and shoes dust-free and well maintained while they’re not in use.

Other tips include:

– Hang similar items together. You’ll find those pants more easily if they’re hanging with your jeans

– Fold scarves and hang or loop belts around into a draw. These are the things that, when thrown in haphazardly, make a wardrobe look very untidy, very fast

– If you’re super organised, store all your shoes in boxes either with clear fronts (Ikea have these) or with a photo or the shoes on the front so you can see what you have at a glance

– Store jewellery well. There are some great ideas on Pinterest including using cutlery draws for compartmentalisation or adding hooks to the inside of frames

– When packing things away at the change of season, make sure everything is clean and ironed so they will store well and when it comes time to unpack again you don’t need to do much sorting

The next step is building a wardrobe of functionality for you. I wrote a few weeks ago onĀ wardrobe must-haves, but with very little effort you’ll find a lot of advice on the perfect wardrobe, and wardrobe basics. A lot of the time I find the advice all too general. A white shirt, good jeans, these things are great for most people, but a trench coat, little black dress and black jacket, maybe not so much for the creative in a casual workplace or the stay-at-home mum. My advice is to think about those things you live in, the items you pull from your cupboards most days – it might be a pair of casual pants and a print top – if these are your staples, buy more of those.

So many people I style will say to me, “I have my work wardrobe sorted but I don’t have any casual clothes”. You need to feel just as great on your own time as you do for work, so address this and remedy it – it’s a great time now actually, as a lot of summer is already on sale, right when we need it.

Have a wardrobe dilemma? Let me know in the comments below or email me any time at fashion@bmag.com.au