How to organize underwear?

Yup, we’re going there. If you’ve been following along on our KonMari challenge, we just finished up our socks and now it’s time to fold and organize our underwear drawer– bras, underwear, panties, and other lingerie. Storing them properly not only looks great, it makes finding what you need a cinch. Also, properly storing bras allows them to keep their shape which is REALLY important when they’re the foundation of your wardrobe, am I right?!

I’m going to jump right in before I lose my nerve. In my sock and lingerie drawer, I use these plastic hexagon organizers to store my rolled socks and unmentionables.

The hexagon organizer is not needed but I love how it looks and it makes me happy each morning while I reach for my undergarments. Yes, I’m pretending it’s 1942 and they are called unmentionables and undergarments. I’m too modest to demonstrate the way I fold and roll my panties (unlike here where I demonstrated how to fold socks) but here’s how to do it, in words:

  • fold in each side
  • roll
  • place stacked next to each other or in the hexagon organizer as pictured above

I do this with my socks, too. Those big ones are my absolute favorite over-the-knee boot socks (they are currently on sale for 50% off, get all of them!!! I have three pairs!)

I’d share my method for folding boxers but my husband drew the line there. Socks are one thing, his boxers and briefs are another. Here’s my method: I fold them in half and then roll them so their bands are towards the top. Looks much neater and makes things easier to find!

As for bras, they need to be stored flat to keep their shape. I learned this lesson while shopping at Soma and the sales person yelled at me when I went to fold my purchase at the register. She schooled me in bra storage– always store them flat and stacked on one another. Think about how they look in the store, laid out of tables. This way, the cups always stay in shape and nothing gets bent, stretched or puckered. Which means your silhouette when wearing them doesn’t get bent, stretched, or puckered, either. 😉

Yes, I paid a stock image service for this photo since I didn’t want to put my bras on the internet. Rolled underwear is one thing, my ridiculously sized bras are another. 😉 Still, it demonstrates how to best store your bras. They take up more room but I’ve found it works well to simply stack them on top of one another and tuck the back closure underneath. Remember too that if you’ve properly discarded your old and outdated bras, you probably only have a few great ones left which saves space too. Plus now my dresser drawers feel like a fancy store and my bras last way longer!

Speaking of bras, I highly recommend getting professionally fitted. If you are looking for a sports bra recommendation, as someone with a large chest I HAVE to give a shout-out to the Panache Wireless Sports Bra. These are the only ones that seem to work for me and are well worth the investment to workout comfortably.

There you have it, how to organize panties, bras, and underwear– oh my! I tried to include several ‘pinnable’ images to best match your needs so you can save them and come back if needed. See you next week when we move onto BOOKS (dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnnn).

If you’re just getting started, here’s the rest of the KonMari series in order to get your tidying and organizing on track:

  1. How This Little Book will Change Your Life (Plus a KonMari Method Cheat Sheet)
  2. Free Printable KonMari Decluttering Checklist
  3. 10 Steps to Declutter Your Clothing Once and For All
  4. How to Fold & Organize Your Socks
  5. How to Organize Your Underwear Drawer (you are here)

Next: Declutter Your Books the Easy Way

This post is sponsored by my Young Living business! Check out my essential oils page for more information on how you can get these amazing oils in your hands too along with helpful freebies, a gift from me, and tons of support:

5 Tips to Organize Your Underwear Drawer

These 5 quick tips to organize your underthings is all you will ever need to keep in mind in order to look like that classy diva you see in all those old Hollywood movies…or at least feel like one! Sitting glamorously at her vanity getting ready to strut through the day where everyone falls at her feet. Drama gives way to her demand, success on the horizon, and love is her mistress. I suppose in order to look like one we all need an ostrich feather dressing gown and some matching kitten dressing heels! But I digress….

Carroll Baker c. 1965 at her vanity table Hollywood

Follow my tips to ensure reaching for the perfect pair is easy every time!

Your underwear is the foundation of every outfit for every occasion in your life. It is the first thing you reach for and it can make or break your mood and your day. I suppose all we really want to feel these days is simplicity. Organized, put together, and able to do that with minimal clutter and little effort. Follow my tips to ensure reaching for the perfect pair is easy every time!

  1. The Purge

Instill some order! Throw out tattered, torn, threadbare, stretched out, ill-fitting, and uncomfortable bras & undies. And be honest with yourself…you know you hate those undies that roll down all day and that bra you call “Old Pokey”

  1. Give Them All a Designated Space

Divide your underthings into categories. Break your undies down into briefs, thongs, high-waisted, seamless (whatever you need). Fold or roll undies and use dividers or small storage baskets to sort them by style and color. Place one cup inside the other for cut-n-sew styled bras to save space and protect any delicate fabrics. Moulded cups should lay flat tucked into each other. Separate athletic garments, shapewear, and hosiery into their own area. Keep hosiery in hosiery bags to keep them snag free! Hang babydolls, chemises, peignoirs, etc. Display your pieces so that you are excited to search them out every time!

  1. Treat with Care

They don’t call them delicates for nothing! Always use a lingerie specific wash. Always hand wash bras. Reshape bras after washing and lay flat to air dry, or hang by the gore (centermost point of the bra) to air dry. Most daily wear undies can be washed in a lingerie wash bag on the delicate cycle. This minimizes your need to hoard misshapen and tattered underthings…see #1.

To store moulded cup bras lay nest the cups inside each other

  1. Ditch the scented add-ons

Toss out scented drawer liners and sachets. The oils can stain and discolor your lingerie. If you love for your lingerie to have an alluring scent try a naturally scented lingerie wash!

  1. Give Up the Worn Out Bras

How can you tell they are finis? The straps will not stay up no matter what you do and/or the band is loose on the tightest hook. Still aren’t sure…visit The Perky Lady for a fitting and donate those old bras to us to help local women!

So whether you are building the foundations of an old Hollywood diva or trying to live life more simply, start and end with these 5 simple ways to keep your unmentionables organized. You simply just can’t start your day off wrong when you no matter what you grab you know it’ll always be your favorite pair!

Bonus tip: Get creative in what you actually store your goodies in. Make it special. You want to actually get excited about walking over to it and getting dressed in the morning. Am I right? So whether it is a $4 score from the local flea market (like a rad antique lingerie chest you refinished) or a brightly painted non-traditional piece of kitchen furniture you are re-purposing from your trip to Bali or even a plastic Wal-Mart container – make sure its smooth inside and you make it special for yourself!

Never quite had a favorite bra or pair of panties? Not to worry! Visit the ladies at The Perky Lady today where they will fit you into your new favorite bra and panties today. We can help you build your perfect lingerie wardrobe where no matter what you pick up in the morning you’ll rock your day!

Stay Perky!

Xoxo,

April

How to fold a thong: A straight man working at Victoria’s Secret

“You are the first man I have ever seen working at Victoria’s Secret,” said a customer walking up to the cash register. I’d hear this a lot over the next year. For a while, I’d tell customers that I was, in fact, the first man to work at Victoria’s Secret, adding that GQ had recently named me “The Ponce de Leon of Panties.” But seeing as this was my first day on the job, I didn’t have that kind of confidence yet. That would come later.

As a college senior with plans to attend dental school, I never imagined my life would end up this way. I figured I’d graduate college, take the summer to prep for the Dental Admission Test, get into schools, then begin my trek toward normal, civilized life. That’s what everyone else was doing in the biology department.

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But I had no idea of the turmoil that lay in store. I ended up at Victoria’s Secret the same way most men end up on daytime talk shows: I got dumped by my girlfriend; I couldn’t get a new girlfriend to save my life; and, to top it all off, I began growing breasts. I now believe my boobs were the result of eating too much soy, which has a high amount of estrogen in it, and has been known to cause such reactions in prepubescent girls. But at the time I didn’t realize this as I was simply too busy freaking-the-hell-out. It’s one thing, as a man, to feel like you don’t understand women; it is another to feel like you’re becoming one.

Desperate to regain my swagger, I decided I needed to study women, to go somewhere I could immerse myself in them. The first place that came to mind was a brothel. The only problem was: Where was I going to find a brothel in Nashville? With a semester of college still to go, I wasn’t about to leave town for Bangkok either. Thus, with “temporary, purely educational prostitution” out of the question, as well as the very real possibility I might need a bra, I applied to Victoria’s Secret.

What I failed to realize was just how difficult this would be. After getting up the nerve to walk into the store and ask a manager for an application, I spent the next month trying to get an interview. Persistence was the key here. Talk to anyone who’s successful in the arts, business or convincing women to have anal sex, and they’ll tell you, aside from skill and plenty of lube, it boils down to one thing: persistence.

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But persistence in regards to getting a job at Victoria’s Secret is a delicate matter — one that, if you’re not careful, can result in registering yourself as a sex offender for the rest of your life. I got the application, returned it a few days later, then returned to the store two weeks after that to check on it. When they said they weren’t hiring at the moment, I returned two weeks later only to hear the same thing. It was discouraging, to say the least, but I have never been so determined to do anything in my life. So I kept going back, and finally, on my third return trip, they scheduled an interview.

This turned out to be pretty basic. The hiring manager led me to a bench just outside the store and proceeded to ask me the same question 37 times: Could I handle doing floor sets?

While I had no clue what a floor set was, this was retail. As long as “floor sets” didn’t involve building a Jarvik artificial heart from clothes hangers, bra straps and adhesive, I could handle it. I told her I was a fast learner.

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Then came the big question: How comfortable was I working with women shopping for bras and panties?

For this, I explained I’d been raised in a family full of women — a mother, a sister, a slew of aunts, and two girl cousins who basically acted as sisters — and had, for years, subsequently removed their underwear from the dryer. I was not only comfortable in their company, but also with their undergarments.

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“Comfortable handling women’s undergarments,” she jotted on my application. She seemed pleased with this.

It came as a surprise, then, when I hadn’t heard anything from them almost three weeks after the interview. I began to panic. Had I done something wrong? Was I too forward about handling my mother’s panties? Should I have worn a little less purple? I couldn’t think of any glaring mistakes. The only thing it might have been was a bad review from one of my references.

This is one of those things you overlook when you apply for a job at Victoria’s Secret. Like putting large, steel testicles on the hitch of your Silverado, then realizing you have to drive to church with it, you don’t realize you’re applying for a job at Victoria’s Secret until the hiring manager says they’re going to call all the people you’ve listed as references. It became very real for me then. In a matter of seconds, my life had gone from telling people, “I’ll be applying to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, where my mother went to school,” to “I’m applying for a job at Victoria’s Secret right now, where my mother occasionally shops for high leg briefs.”

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Holy crap, I thought, How am I going to face these people now?

I found out pretty quickly. I was working at my university’s student life center when I heard my boss yell from behind me.

“WHY DO YOU WANT TO SELL WOMEN’S UNDERWEAR?” he said, glaring.

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In the heart-stopping silence that followed, I nearly crapped myself. What do you say here? Do you tell the truth — about the heartbreak, the frustration and the nipple buds poking out through your shirt? Or do you lie through your teeth, saying it was some kind of bet you had with your friend and there was $200 riding on it?

I, instead, opted for something else. While recession is something you never wish upon a nation or someone’s hairline I was, in this situation, grateful for it. I explained to him that jobs were scarce, and this was one. And seeing as I was graduating with a degree in English, it was as good a job as any.

He laughed at this.

“Well, I guess so,” he said. “Just don’t end up in prison, OK? I don’t want to know what they’d do to you in there for sniffing panties.”

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I was at home for Easter break when the call finally came. The store manager delivered the good news: A job working the cash wrap for $8/hour.

“We’ll see you in here next week for training,” she said. “Just bring your driver’s license and a pad of paper, then we’ll get you situated. And Chris?”

She paused.

“Welcome to Victoria’s Secret.”

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* * *

In the beginning, the customers were my primary interest. I figured if I learned anything about women, it was going to come from watching and interacting with them. I was also curious to see how they’d react to a grown man bagging their thongs. I assumed they would think I was one of three things: a gay man, a pervert or a perverted gay man. Whichever they felt was most apt for the moment.

It came as a surprise that most female customers were not only receptive to my help, but also my opinion. They wanted to know what a straight guy thought about things. Lingerie, swimsuits, panties: The question I constantly received was, “Which do you like best?” I followed that with by my timeworn response, “Well, which would look best on the ground?” Because, really, that’s where it was going to end up anyway.

I was also surprised to find how forward they were. One customer came to the cash wrap to exchange a bra for a bigger size due to the fact that she’d just gotten, and I quote, “new boobies.”

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“Before the surgery,” she said, looking down and pushing them together, “I was about a 34A. But now, thanks to Dr. Schulman over on Wedgewood, I’m a solid 34C. Aren’t they just great?”

It was like watching a mother hold her baby for the first time, mixed with a 6-year-old girl getting a pony for her birthday. I’ve never seen a person look upon anything with such pride before. She was overjoyed, and had the doctor not advised her to avoid any activities that required jumping, slip ‘n’ slides or extreme gravitational forces, she probably would have skipped out of the store.

Another woman told me she couldn’t wear any of our panties because they all, one way or another, got stuck in her butt. That was her exact phrasing: stuck in her butt. I like to think that had my life been an ongoing musical, and not the banal sequence of pointless events that it actually is, this would have been the moment in which I, the heroic loser, would have broken out into a parodied version of Usher’s “Love in This Club.”

“These panties get stuck in her butt … in her butt … in her butt … in her…”

But, instead, I just apologized and handed her the receipt.

The customers taught me how to assert myself with women, but it was my co-workers who taught the most important lesson about their sex: Girls talk. And when they talk, they talk in explicit detail.

I was folding panties one evening, when I overheard two of the girls discussing a recent hookup one of them had had.

“He had this vein,” one of them said, “that wrapped around his penis like a …”

“A blue vine?” said the other girl.

“No, no … Oh, what’s the word?”

“A string of blue Christmas lights?”

“No,” she said. “No, it’s a kind of staircase …”

“A spiral staircase?” I said.

“YES! Thank you. A SPIRAL STAIRCASE!”

If it was possible for humans, like snakes, to dislocate their jaws and lay them on the floor, this is precisely what I would have done. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. As a man, you naively assume that every interaction you have with a woman is going to remain in a vacuum. Sure, they might give their friends the outlined version of their experience. Roman numeral I: “We had dinner.” Letter A: “I had fish.” Roman numeral II: “We watched a movie at his place.”

I assumed this, because that’s how men communicate — in swaths. But women, when left alone, get down to the nitty-gritty. I’d seen this before, actually. An ex-girlfriend once told me, after coming home from a sex toy party, that the dominant topic of conversation had been uncircumcised penises: What do they look like? Apparently most of them had never seen one; most of them, that is, except one girl, who had briefly dated a guy with a foreskin. The description she gave, and was later relayed to me, reminded me of a great poem title, right up there with T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” To her, an uncircumcised penis looked not like an earthworm, but “A Pink Anteater in a Turtleneck Sweater.”

In the end, working at Victoria’s Secret didn’t necessarily make me better with women, it simply brought my image of them into a more realistic and startling focus. They were no longer the Cult of True Womanhood; they didn’t sit around sipping tea and speaking in hushed tones about community fundraisers or the best way to knit a sock. They were what I came to call the Female Tribe, a highly sophisticated group of skilled communicators who love nothing more than knowing everything they can about another person. All the way down to the veins.

It’s a humbling realization as a man, and exactly the reason why, when I wrote a letter to an ex-girlfriend confessing that I still loved her, I prefaced it by saying, “This is perhaps the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done. Not because of what I’m about to say, or how I feel, but because I know, after folding thongs at Victoria’s Secret, that nothing told to a woman is told in confidence. There is a 100 percent chance that the contents of this letter will be divulged to any number of people, male or female, and that they will largely be scoffed at and/or laughed at. I’m fully aware of this, yet I’ll say them anyways, as the burden of silence has come to far outweigh the fear of ridicule.”

Her response was short and to the point. She said nothing, then got engaged.

In the end, I’d gone into my job hoping to learn about women and regain my confidence; two things I can confidently say I succeeded in doing. There is no medicine in the world for a man distraught like being around 20 girls, and hearing on a daily basis that your butt looks good in the pants you’re wearing. I was back to my old self in two months, and dating again in three. The boobs disappeared, too — thank God. But I guess if they ever do make a comeback, I at least know how to fit them for the perfect pushup.

How To Organize Your Bra, Underwear & Sock Drawers With 8 Helpful Items & Tips

It was only until recently (like very recently), I decided that as a 25-year-old adult woman, I could no longer continue balling up laundry and throwing my clothes haphazardly into a drawer. I had to find a better way to organize my bra, underwear, and sock drawer. I’ve just always felt that doing laundry in and of itself was such a chore that I really didn’t have to spend a whole other day folding, right? But, as I’ve begun to invest in better quality underthings, it just didn’t make sense to throw them in a drawer like they were old washrags.

Instead, I’ve looked into investing in the best underwear organization tools I could find to make this task a less daunting one. When it comes to folding piles of undies, instead of giving myself carpel tunnel, I’ve looked into a handy Miracle Folder. And as an update to my usual chucking-everything-into-a-drawer, I’ve discovered dividers that make my underwear drawer look better than the freshly stocked drawers at your favorite lingerie store.

Look, pretty much all of us could probably use a little bit more organization in our lives, if only for our sanity, so if you know your underwear drawer could use a little more attention (or a lot more), read on for the best tips for organizing your bras, underwear, and socks.

1. Stop Balling Up Your Laundry

Like I said, I was the queen of throwing balled or semi-folded laundry into a drawer and calling it a day. With that practice, there’s no way I would ever have an underwear drawer I could easily navigate. Finding a specific pair of underwear always led to a mad digging search.

2. Instead, Try Folding Underwear With A Miracle Folder

Flexifoil Miracle Fold, $15, Amazon

The first step to an organized underwear drawer is a clean, crisp fold. In order to get that, I rely on this little apparatus to do most of the heavy work for me. It’s totally gratifying to have the perfect fold every time, and will make underwear fit more neatly in your drawer.

3. No More Room In The Drawer? Roll Your Socks In A Wall-Mounted Sockitumi Organizer

Sockitumi Vertical Sock Organizer and Dispenser, $15, Amazon

Everyone knows that socks are the mystery of the laundry and undergarment world — they’re always disappearing. With this vertical organizer (and dispenser!), you won’t have to keep them balled in a corner and risk losing them to the great unknown. Install it out of the way inside of your closet or behind your door to take advantage of unused space.

4. Or, Use A Modern Honeycomb Organizer For Socks And Underwear

Evelots 36 Slot Honeycomb Drawer Organizers & Dividers, White, $14, Amazon

These dividers have a unique honeycomb shape that you can cut and customize your underwear drawer. Each compartment would be perfect for storing a bra, a few pairs of socks, or even underwear — if you’ve given up on folding them.

5. If It’s Still A Crowded Mess, Consider Tossing Old Underwear

One of the main reasons I had a messy underwear drawer was because it was just too crowded to keep neat — so much underwear, so little space! To streamline, I threw away bras that were falling apart, any hole-ridden panties, and socks that had long lost their partners.

6. Keep Your Favorites All In One Place

Underwear & Bra Storage Organizer, $11, Amazon

With these compartmentalized organizers, you can store bras and underwear by type, color, or any other method you feel. You could even keep all your matching favorites in the same box, so you’re no longer rooting around for that one lacy bralette that always slips out of sight.

7. Store Bras In Special Bags To Keep Their Shape

Protect Bra Underwear Organizer Bag, $8, Amazon

Figuring out how to fold padded or molded cup bras without damaging their shape is tricky, so skip folding altogether and keep them in these bags. One fan said she kept her embellished swimsuit happily stored inside when traveling.

8. Organize Underwear With Space-Saving Bands

ZOOM LIVING ® Space Saver band 10 Bands pack , $24, Amazon

If you still find your drawer becoming a mess a few days after proudly folding your laundry, use these bands. Not only do they compress to save space, they keep everything folded in a neat stack, no matter what.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

Images: Amazon (6); GIPHY (2)

The Absolute Best Ways to Clean Out & Organize Your Bra & Underwear Drawer

Take a second to picture your dresser drawer that houses all your bras and underwear. Is it messy? Overflowing? All mixed up? If you’re nodding your head, you’re about to live a different life, girl. And it’s going to be so much more fabulous and convenient.
Just as much as you should expect your lingerie to take super good care of you, you’ve got to take excellent care of them. Not only will cleaning out and organizing your bra and underwear drawer help your pieces last longer and support you better, your morning routine will speed up and you’ll get more bang for your buck. In other words, you’ll actually wear everything you buy. Ready to dive in?

We asked the pros to give us their best tips.

  1. Scrutinize your undergarments for wear.

    “Anything that is getting stretched or worn needs to be replaced,” says Patty Soltis, founder & CEO of STYLEdge®, image consultants for alpha professionals. “When your undergarments become worn, they are no longer effective. It is a well known statistic that 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. When all of sudden, they are in the right size, their posture improves and they feel better. That happiness and feeling of comfort radiates outward. After being fitted in the correct size, people may even ask if you have been working out or lost weight, or try to figure out what is different.” That goes for undies too—nothing is more annoying than panties that don’t fit, move around, or pinch, she says.

  1. Get rid of what you just don’t like.

    Dump all your underwear and bras onto your bed, and toss out anything you do not wear. “We all have at least one pair we would be mortified to be caught wearing,” says Felice Cohen, professional organizer, speaker, author of 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (…or more). “We do this to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff.’ Getting rid of what we don’t wear, need, or want makes room for the things we do like and makes it easier to keep our drawer neater.”

  1. Go shopping.

    “When it comes to underwear, I say ‘do laundry less often, own more underwear,” Felice told us. “Ask yourself how often you actually see the bottom of your underwear drawer. If never, then chances are good you have too many, or maybe you do laundry too often.” Just make you have different underwear for different occasions—sexy, thong, no seams, etc., she says. As for bras, think about your wardrobe. “Wear a lot of white shirts? Then you’ll need more beige bras. A few sexy ones are good, one or two in colors you need is fine. Do you really need more than a dozen?” Sports bras are a separate category and that depends on how often you work out, she adds. “They can lose their support if you wash them enough, and when that happens, toss ASAP. No support is no good.”

  1. Categorize like a champ.

    Like all of your attire, sort them by category then by color and store them that way, advises Patty. “For example, separate briefs from thongs, then colorize them. Do the same thing with your bras. For the multi-color bras, stack them with the lightest at the bottom and the darker colors on top. The reason for this is that the darker colors will blend in to the depth of the drawer.”

  1. Store them the right way.

    Both of our pros agreed: yes, you can store your bras and undies in the same wide flat drawer, as long as they fit nicely and aren’t squished together. Patty suggests storing all bras flat to add longevity. “Dividers can work wonders in drawers and help keep everything separated and neat. We wear what we see, not what we do not.” she adds.

One last tip

Clean out that drawer as often as that drawer gets messy. “Every day we are in that drawer removing items,” says Felice. “We may put bras back at night, but underwear usually goes back all together after laundry. If you take the few seconds to fold and put it away neatly after laundry, then you might not have to clean out the drawer that often. And if you’re too tired to put your bras and underwear away neatly, don’t do it. Wait until you’ve got the few seconds to do it right.”

Who’s up for some underwear shopping? Every organized drawer needs these pairs.