The new Netflix documentary Beckham has revealed a lot about the British footballer's life and his marriage to Spice Girls star Victoria, but one thing that really caught our eye was his fastidious organization. A glimpse into his impressive closet showed just how meticulous his attention to detail is, and housemaid or not, we've been inspired to adopt a few of his tricks.
It's only right that a successful footballer like David has a closet full of luxury threads and designer labels, but we were more impressed with the level of organization than any showy garments. Lines of beautifully arranged shirts span his rails, seriously satisfying underwear drawers are arranged by color, and his outfits for the week hang from a separate forward-planned clothes rail. It's the stuff of professional organizers' dreams.
With so much to learn from David's closet organization, we asked some experts to talk us through the main takeaways, including one very nifty trick for arranging your T-shirts inside a drawer. Here are six lessons we'll be applying to our own clothes storage.
1. Make sure every item has a home
'The first thing you notice in David Beckham's closet is that every item has a designated home,' explains professional organizer Di Ter Avest, founder of Di is Organized. 'It's clear to him where everything goes, and which categories are in each drawer and hanging area.'
Of course, not all of us are blessed with David's enormous walk-in closet, but even if you only have a fraction of the space, the same rule applies. In order to stay on top of your clothes storage, it's vital that everything has its designated spot with enough space relative to the amount you own. 'If you take a close look in his sock drawer, you'll count about 17 pairs and none of the spaces are overflowing with an enormous amount of the same item,' notes Di.
Even if you're forced to contain all your clothes in one small wardrobe and a chest of drawers, Di says it's all about curating your storage to fit your current lifestyle. 'Optimize the space within your closet to make it more functional and efficient,' she says. 'A well-organized closet can save you time, reduce clutter, and help you find what you need more easily.'
2. Use uniform hangers
Closet organization is functional first and foremost, but there's also an aesthetic beauty that comes with well-arranged clothes. As California-based organizer Melissa Gugni notes, this isn't about the quality or appearance of the clothes themselves, but more so about the accessories they're organized with.
'My first thought about his closet is that it looks incredibly easy to pull off assuming you have millions of dollars to spend on beautiful clothes!' she says. 'But, I actually think there are takeaways from his closet that anyone can implement. For example, it's striking that he's using a uniform hanger which is an inexpensive upgrade to any closet.'
Di also recommends using uniform hangers to make for a more put-together appearance. 'Invest in matching hangers to create a neater look,' she says. 'Velvet hangers are popular because they save space and prevent clothing from slipping off.' Even though your clothes are typically stored behind closed closet doors, it makes all the difference when the inside of your closet is just as aesthetically pleasing as the outside.
To really draw the eye and create a luxury closet, consider some lights, too. 'David's closet is very well-lit,' says Melissa. 'This is another cheap and easy idea you can do yourself by adding adhesive LED lighting strips like this one, from Amazon (I have them in my own closet).'
3. Section your clothing
Even in a small closet, it's a good idea to section your clothing items like David does. On his sweeping clothes rail, he orders his by jackets, jean shirts, jumpers, cardigans, and T-shirts, with underwear and other foldable shirts inside the drawers.
'Putting different clothing types into "sections" of your closet is practical and looks nice, since different clothing types have similar lengths (think, folded pants on a hanger) which can feel balanced to the eye,' Melissa explains. From there, Di advises an ever more granular level of organization. 'Within those categories, you can further organize by color or season,' she says.
These sections should be clearly laid out with your closet itself. For example, you could have shirts and trousers on different hangers. 'If you like the double hang that David's closet has but don't want to install a second level, consider a rod that hangs from the top rail like this one, from Amazon. 'They're so cheap and easy to install, and you too will feel like an international superstar while picking out your clothes!'
4. Arrange your drawers with visibility in mind
One particular organizational trick that caught our eye is the way David folds and stores his T-shirts inside his drawers. 'I put them at an angle so that I can see what's under them,' he says in his documentary, revealing the neatly stacked, color-coded tops in his built-in wardrobe. He overlays them so that the bottom inch of each one is visible so he knows how to find exactly what he's looking for.
Drawers can be notoriously difficult to organize, so it's certainly worth keeping this element of visibility in mind when arranging your own clothes, but Di isn't a fan of David's method. 'The only item I would organize differently is the t-shirts in the drawer,' she says. 'Piling (even when they are at an angle) can get messy very quickly since you would need to remove the ones on top to get to the ones on the bottom. In that case, I would file the t-shirts instead.'
5. Color code
It might be a step too far for some, but color-coding your items within the individual categorized sections can make it loads easier to find the garment you're after, while also creating a pretty display that's seriously satisfying. David organizes his socks, shirts, T-shirts, and pants by color, and while it might be a waste of time for some, others could find it beneficial. 'Some people find it helpful to organize clothing by color,' Di notes. 'It can make assembling outfits easier and mean you can quickly find what you're looking for.'
6. Forward plan your weekly (or daily) outfits
Last but not least, one of David's most revealing (and obsessive) organizational habits is the free-standing clothes rail in his bedroom that's used to hang his outfits for the entire week ahead. Preparing clothes for the next seven days might be a bit extreme for the more free-spirited among us, but forward-planning in this way can save you tonnes of time when getting ready in the morning.
'In my digital book Organize Yourself Healthy, I recommend that readers create routines to make their lives easier,' Di says. 'One of them is picking your outfit for the next day, the night before, but Beckham takes it to the next level by planning it a week in advance. Choosing your clothes in advance is a simple yet effective way to reduce stress, save time, and enhance your daily routine. It can also positively impact your confidence and style choices, making it a habit worth considering, especially if your mornings tend to be rushed and stressful.'
Will you be applying any of David's closet organization tricks? For anyone who's a creature of habit and takes comfort in an organized life, they're certainly worth a try!
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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