Your mum was right – you shouldn’t leave your clothes on the floor. Putting them away properly doesn’t just make your home tidier, it also means your clothes last longer because they don’t get damaged. You'll even find it easier to get dressed, because it’s simpler to find the right thing. But you shouldn’t just bung everything into drawers. Different items need to be stored in different ways, to protect their fabric or their shape. Here’s your cheat sheet to what goes where.
Most things that hang from your shoulders should also hang in your wardrobe. But beware of cramming them in. The reason you hang clothes is to stop them creasing, but they won’t stay crisp if you stuff them in. Ideally, you’ll have a couple of inches of space between each item.
Suits: Ironing and dry cleaning destroy suit fabric; gravity is the better way to avoid creases. Look for chunky hangers – they should be at least a quarter-inch wide in the body and an inch at the shoulders – then hang your suit outside your wardrobe for a couple of hours to air before you put it away. That way, your suit stays fresh for longer.
Shirts: Don’t undo all your hard work ironing your shirts. They’ll crease if they’re packed away. If you’re tight on space, hang the shirts you wear most often and fold any spares, then steam them and hang them up the night before you wear them.
Formal trousers: Look for hangers with clips – folding trousers over a horizontal bar can leave lines across the fabric. Attach by the waistband and the hem.
Coats: The more tailored the coat, the more important it is to hang it up. Overcoats particularly need the same treatment – and hangers – as suits. In summer, place them in vacuum bags and seal, then store in unused suitcases. You’ll create wardrobe space and prevent moth damage.
Knitwear: Knitwear loses its shape when it’s hung up. Fold and store in deep drawers – if you cram them in, you’ll pull and bobble the fabric.
Underwear: Fold and stack after each wash so you can keep on top of how much you’ve got and when it needs replacing.
Socks: If you ball socks up, you stretch out the elastic. Instead, tuck one sock into the toe of the other.
T-shirts: Most men have too many t-shirts. Stacking them in a drawer makes the right one hard to find. Instead, roll them up, then store them in drawers in single layers, so you can easily grab the one you want.
Casual trousers: Folding trousers creates creases in unexpected places. If you don’t want to re-iron them, just roll them up, then store them in the same way as your tees.
Shoes: Shoe trees are a must for leather. Without them, your expensive footwear can dry out and crack. Look for cedar, which will absorb sweat (and smells).
Belts: Roll up and store in your sock drawer. Don’t leave them in your trousers or the buckles can damage the fabric (and you’ll forget where you left them).
Ties: If you wear a tie every day, invest in a tie hanger. If you've only got a couple, roll them up so the fat end is on the outside, which protects the rest of the fabric.