Inside my wardrobe – how I organise my vintage collection!

A question I notice get asked a lot is “how on earth do I organise and store my pinup collection!?” … which for many of us fashion loving ladies is a real dilemma! As well as frocks for every occasion, a pair of shoes or 100, gloves, hats, bangles, jewelry and more jewelry, petticoats …. the list goes on! For those of us not blessed with a customised dream walk in ward-room (you can just go away now please haha), clever storage and display solutions are needed! So here are my particular problems and solutions, some tips and a little video of my bedroom so you can see for yourself!

For me, having a husband and 2 kids in a small 3 bedroom house means storage for anything is difficult, let alone my huge vintage and pinup wardrobe! And no, just “getting rid of some stuff” is NOT a solution thank you very much … everything is much loved, carefully collected and necessary haha! Yes that includes at least 100 dresses, a rainbow of petticoats and oodles of accessories! So much thinking, trial and error and a little investment were needed so that we can all happily co-exist … happy wife, happy life, right!?

First problem… clearly I don’t get a separate room for my things! So everything must fit in to our medium sized bedroom with it’s king sized bed. Also, alas, my husband needs closet space too!

Solution – we decided to create a giant floor to ceiling wardrobe by expanding┬áthe old fashioned existing wardrobe and taking over the closet from the adjacent bedroom to make a 3m wide space that takes up the entire end wall of the bedroom. This was done on a budget of only around $1000, with my lovely hubby doing the renovation work, using mostly leftover building materials and paint from previous projects and ordering a flatpack modular closet system that I designed the layout for. We got ours from EzyNeezy and was much cheaper and of better quality than similar systems at Mitre10 and Bunnings. Eventually we will have sliding wardrobe doors but and interim budget friendly solution was bright curtains from the bargain bin at Spotlight!

Having this generous space (half his and hers!) meant we could free up floor space by not having an free standing drawers or cupboards. I keep all of my clothes in the wardrobe except for an industrial clothes rack on one wall where I hang all of my dresses! There is a bit of room underneath for some shoes, bags etc.

Not having a dressing table meant I had to think a little about how to store accessories! I found a few inexpensive drawer and shelving units from Kmart which work well and take up very little room.

I highly recommend this awesome jewelry organiser from Amazon also! Not very pretty but so very practical, and putting things away in the little pockets is so easy, even I will actually do it!

Gloves and hats are stored in pretty hat boxes that I stash around the room wherever they will fit. Petticoats fit well into a vertical hanging sweater organiser that hangs from my clothing rack. A sock drying rack with pegs from the $2 store is great for clipping scarves too and also hangs up on the rack. I use various hanging belt organisers to store these! Most of my shoes live on a rack I found secondhand at Surplus Traders, it was used to store industrial paper rolls! I use “S” hooks from the hardware store to hang bags off it as well!

Miscellaneous items are stored under the bed in rolling organisers!

Just a few general tips for making the most out of a small space and budget…

  • Make the most of vertical area! Use baskets, old suitcases etc underneath hanging items, hang things from hooks in the ceiling, attach high shelves above closets or racks for items like hats.
  • Use ALL the spaces! Bins under the bed, hooks behind the door, a basket or box in a gap under a table or dresser.
  • Explore the storage solutions at places like Kmart! There are tons of cheap and clever bits and bobs – over the door hooks, shelving, hanging organisers, pretty boxes and bins
  • Re-purpose what you have and look through op shops and junk stores. Old suitcases, wooden boxes, hat boxes, old shop shelving, vintage sewing boxes and storage ottomans… there are so many ways to make storing and displaying your collections interesting and pretty … and that don’t cost much or anything at all!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some of my ideas useful!

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