How to break the floordrobe habit – according to an expert

how to break the floordrobe habit
How to break a floordrobe habitmixetto - Getty Images

‘Floordrobes’ are more common than you’d think. If you’re not familiar with the term, a ‘floordrobe’ occurs when you toss clothes onto the bedroom floor rather than putting them away in the wardrobe. It's something a huge 44 % of us admit to doing at the end of the day, a poll by Lenor has shown.

This could be because you're too busy or too tired, or because your actual wardrobe is too full, but whatever the reason, if you're keen to break this habit, we've got the tips you need to help you. However, if the floordrobe in question belongs to someone else in your household who doesn't see it as a problem, one of your children perhaps, you might have to resort to bribery to clear it!

Don't ruin your clothes




Why shouldn’t you leave clothing on the floor?

Aside from the fact that a clothing-strewn floor isn't conducive to creating the kind of calm, relaxing atmosphere you might aspire to in your bedroom, there are other very good reasons why floordrobing – if we can use the term as a verb – isn't ideal. For starters:

  • If you're tossing clothes that could be worn again onto the floor instead of folding them or hanging them up, the odds are they're going to get so creased it will put you off wearing them again.

  • If you have pets, a stack of crumpled clothing is an appealing make-shift bed. The most likely outcome in this scenario is that you'll end up with shed fur, pet-smells and stains all over your garments. Again, you're unlikely to wear clothes again in this state.

  • If there's a mixture of clothes that need washing and clothes that can be worn again on the floor, you're unlikely to remember which is which as time goes on. The odds are, you'll end up sticking the whole lot in the washing machine, which means more time spent doing laundry and more energy and water used washing clothes unnecessarily – and who wants that?

  • A floordrobe is is rife with trip hazards, especially if you’re trying to find your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

  • Finally, this habit makes it difficult to clean and vacuum your bedroom.

All in all, this is a habit worth breaking. Here's how...

how to break the floordrobe habit
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1. Assess the situation

Before you do anything, take a moment to reflect on the root cause of the problem by assessing what clothing ends up on the bedroom floor. Is it a mixture of dirty clothes and things that can be worn again? Or only clothes that need washing? Or just garments that could have a second outing before they need an appointment with the washing machine? Once you know this, it's easier to take action.

If you find it's...

Mostly dirty clothes

You potentially need a larger laundry bin; check out our list of the best laundry baskets for inspiration. Alternatively, you may need to look at repositioning your laundry bin so it can't be ignored, perhaps by moving it closer to your bed.

If your laundry bin is already overflowing, this could be the root cause of the problem and you might need to dedicate some time to work through the pile. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to put a wash on every few days so there's always room in your laundry bin.

Mostly wearable clothes

If it's just clean clothes on the floor (maybe because you're too tired to put them away each evening), perhaps a nearby chair or basket could help to keep things better contained moving forward? Just make sure you keep on top of emptying and sorting through the pile routinely; for example, the following morning when you're more awake. If you can take the time to fold the items when you take them off, they're less liable to crease as well.

Give your wardrobe a quick once over as well to work out if you need to free up more storage space (more on this later).

A mix of dirty and still-wearable clothes

If you're guilty of dumping clean and dirty garments on the floor, it's likely you'll need a combination of the actions above to get things in order.

Once you've got this far, you should have a good idea of which of the next steps you need to focus on the most.

how to break the floordrobe habit
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2. Sort clothing into categories

Start by collecting any dirty washing and putting it in the laundry basket. Add any garments to the laundry basket you know have been worn multiple times, even if they're not visibly dirty, advises Julia Dee, founder of Total Wardrobe Care: "Even if you can’t see any stains, microscopic food splats, and hair and skin particles build up on clothing. This is a dream for moths, especially when these garments are at the back of a dark and undisturbed wardrobe."

Next, sort through clothes left on the floor that can be worn again and organise them into piles by category – for example, jeans and trousers, jumpers, dresses, skirts and jackets. Look at the size of each pile. If some are much bigger than others, this might give you a clue that you need to free up more storage for this type of garment.

As you go, weed out anything that you think you'll no longer wear and put it in a separate pile to donate or sell, once you've laundered it.

3. Fold or hang

If a lot of the clothes you've now sorted into piles are very badly creased, iron or steam them before folding them or putting them on clothes hangers ready to put away – or use a crease remover such as Lenor's Crease Release Spray or Lakeland Crease Release Spray
to spruce them up more speedily.

If you opt to iron them, Dr. Beckmann's Starch and Easy Iron Spray can help speed up the process.

how to break the floordrobe habit
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4. Free up storage space

If a lack of storage space is fuelling your floordrobing, take time to create more of it by decluttering and tidying your wardrobe and chest of drawers. This could be a larger project but there are some golden rules for decluttering your wardrobe that you can follow to simplify the process.

Whatever you do, don't be tempted to just gather and load the garments that were on the floor straight back into your wardrobe; stuffing things back into an overcrowded wardrobe means you're more likely to revert to the floor again the second you run out of space. You need a system in place so you know what you have and where to find it.

Organisational experts the Style Sisters advise adding hooks to the back of wardrobe doors and using slim-line velvet hangers to create more space in your wardrobe.

5. Rehome your clothes

Once your wardrobe is in order, or if there was plenty of space in there already, you can go ahead and put all your clothing away where it belongs. Make sure you can see and access everything once it’s where it should be.

how to break the floordrobe habit
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6. Keep up the good work

Now that your bedroom floor is clear, you’ll want to keep it that way. When you realise you’re about to toss an item on the floor, take a moment to remind yourself that what takes a few seconds now would take a lot longer when you’re dealing with a pile of clothes at the weekend, and it makes the room look like a mess in the meantime.

Having a 'to-deal-with-later' pile for those moments where you're really pushed for time, could help you stay on the straight and narrow – just as long as that place isn't the floor! One option is to place garments you've changed out of on the bed; that way, you'll have to sort through them before going to bed.

Alternatively, the Style Sisters suggest using a decorative basket to collect garments you're about the throw on the floor. Empty it as and when required and watch it doesn’t overflow.

An exception to the rule
The only type of item you should never put away immediately after wearing is knitwear, but even so, this shouldn’t be left the floor. According to Rachel Carvell-Spedding, Founder of Navygrey; "I recommend wearing a knit for one day, then leaving it out in the light (moths don't like the light) for two days, draped over a chair as opposed to folded away." Once you've aired your knitwear, just remember to put it away again.

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