What To Put In A Closet Vs A Dresser

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Organizing your clothing in a way that works for you can make a huge difference in how your day goes. If it’s simple to get ready, find what you need, and your things stay nice, you save time and money. Typical clothing storage in your bedroom is usually a dresser and closet, but what should you keep in them?

It’s best to keep clothing that wrinkles easily in your closet. Hang dresses, blouses, jackets, blazers, outerwear, skirts, and dress pants. Store easy-to-fold items in your dresser, like pajamas, workout clothes, T-shirts, underwear, and socks. Jeans and sweaters are other good contenders for your dresser. If space allows, you can also keep purses, hats, scarves, and shoes in your closet.

Ultimately, what you decide to put where is up to you. It’s your bedroom, your storage space, and your clothing. But these tips will help ensure your clothes stay in good shape, which makes you feel better, too.

What Clothing Should Go In The Closet?

Professional organizers recommend the clothing in your closet be anything that is better off hanging up than folded. If clothing is too difficult to fold, or folding will create wrinkles and creases, hang them. Here’s a list of the clothing that is typically better off in your closet than in your dresser.

  • Outerwear, like winter coats and jackets
  • Blazers
  • Suits
  • Dress shirts
  • Blouses
  • Dress pants
  • Casual slacks
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Formal Gowns
  • Vests
  • Dressy and casual shorts
  • Robes (unless you prefer to hang them on the back of your bedroom door or a bathroom hook)

In some cases, you can choose to store certain items in your closet or dresser. For example, if you have silk scarves, you can roll them and place them in a drawer. Or you can choose to hang them on a regular hanger or a special scarf hanger.

The same goes for belts and neckties. You can roll these items and keep them in a drawer or hang them on a tie or belt rack in your closet. When it comes to choosing the best place for items like these, it depends on your unique situation.

Consider how much closet space vs dresser space you have. For example, if you have more clothes that you need to hang, you might carve out extra drawer space for neutral items. In this case, storing your belts, scarves, or ties in your dresser makes more sense.

A Few Tips For Organizing Your Closet

When organizing your closet, take everything out and sort it into piles of similar categories. Go through your items and get rid of anything you don’t love, wear, or want. You can donate or sell these pieces.

If items are damaged, get rid of them. You don’t want anything you don’t value taking up precious space in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be a restful retreat, after all.

Assess your available closet space and decide how you will keep your items. You might need to rearrange some shelves, add shelves, remove some, add a double closet rod, or get various bins and baskets. If you have the budget for it, you may want to splurge on a closet organizing system.

Hang longer items to the back of the closet (like long dresses, coats, and pants). Focus items you wear the most often front and center. Hang the items listed above, and try to keep your floor space clear. If you plan to store shoes in your closet, get a shoe shelf or organizer of some kind. In other words, don’t just place shoes directly on the floor.

To maximize your closet space, go vertical and find hidden storage on the sides and back wall of your closet. Perhaps you can add shelves to the side of a reach-in closet for shoes or purses. Another option for extra space is the back of the closet door.

The wall behind your hanging clothes can be the perfect spot for a rarely worn formal gown or coat. Simply install a cup hook and hang the items flat against the wall. (If items are heavy, make sure to install the hook in a stud or use an anchor.

What Clothing Goes In A Dresser?

The best items to keep in a dresser are things you can fold without getting them messed up and wrinkled. Here’s a list of items that do well in a dresser.

  • T-shirts
  • Work-out clothes
  • Jeans (including jean shorts)
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bras
  • Slips and other undergarments
  • Sweatshirts
  • Bathing suits

Similar to the above note about questionable clothing that can go either way, you can also opt to store ties, belts, or scarves in your dresser. Decide which area has the most space for these items.

A Note About Storing Sweaters

It’s up to you if you store sweaters in your dresser or closet, but no matter where you keep them, fold them. Hanging sweaters tends to mess them up, giving them shoulder wings and ruining their shape. (Use this trick if you must hang your sweaters.)

If you don’t have room in your dresser for bulkier sweaters, fold them and store them on closet shelves. Use shelf dividers to help sweaters stay in neat stacks. Another option is to keep them in a bin under your bed if you’re short on storage space.

Tips For Organizing Your Dresser

As with your closet, take everything out of the dresser and sort it into similar piles. Go through your items and purge anything that’s not making your life better. Once you know what you’re keeping in your dresser, you can start to put it back how you prefer.

A popular way to organize clothing in your dresser is to store them bottom up. For example, jeans and workout pants might go in the bottom drawer, then T-shirts and workout tops, then PJs and undergarments in the top drawer.

If you have a double dresser, you might keep undergarments, PJs, and workout gear on one side and sweaters, shirts, and jeans on the other. Where you decide to put the clothing depends on what makes the most sense to you.

However, folding it precisely will go a long way to maximizing your drawer space. Even if you don’t pretend to be Marie Kondo, the KonMari method of folding makes it super easy to find what you need in a drawer. It allows you to line up folded items vertically, so you see everything at once.

Making The Most Of Closet And Dresser Storage

Whether you have a ton of clothes storage or only a small dresser and a tiny closet, the right organization makes all the difference. Storing your items in a way that makes sense to you is important, and proper storage will also protect your clothing. Isn’t it so much nicer when you take out the blouse you want to wear, and it isn’t full of wrinkles?

Hanging something you can fold, like T-shirts, takes up valuable space in your closet. Fold anything you can and keep it in your dresser to maximize hanging space for other items. Dressier items, long pieces, and things that wrinkle easily are best in a closet. Things like t-shirts, PJs, undergarments, and workout wear are better suited for a dresser.

Of course, if you’re still struggling to fit all of your stuff, it might be time to do a little decluttering. Make sure whatever clothing you keep makes you feel your best.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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