SWABS & Wigs: An Exploration on How to Organize Anything

Every now and then I run into something new at a client’s home where I wonder to myself, how do I organize this? Then I quickly remember that our SWABS process helps to organize EVERYTHING. I recently helped a client organize her wig collection. My experience with wigs before this point was minimal; I had handled a wig or two during Halloween but that was about it. Now I had to expertly guide the client to better storage for her twenty plus wigs and hair pieces. How did we start?

Sort

We first gathered all her wigs and hairpieces (including tools and accessories such as caps and netting) together in one space so she could see her entire collection. Since her collection was larger than a handful of wigs, we discussed sorting her wigs into possible subcategories such as: sythetic vs. human hair, color, length, and type (full wig vs. hair piece like a pony tail). 

Weed

After sorting, we began discarding those pieces that were beyond repair. With the remaining collection, we looked at what wigs were her favorite versus not so favorite.The difficult part for my client was getting rid of wigs she had invested in but never wore because they were uncomfortable, not the right style, and/or the right color. However, once I explained she could donate the wigs to a great place like the Dana Farber Institute’s Friends Place, who give wigs to cancer patients and others who have lost their hair due to illness, she felt better letting them go.

Assign Homes

To figure out how we were going to store her wigs, we needed to answer a few questions: 

 

  • How accessible did she want her wigs? Did she wear them often or were they an infrequently used fashion statement?
  • Did they need to be discreetly stored away or did she want them displayed for easy access?
  • How much space did she have to store them and were there any special storage requirements?

 

For the last question, we had to do some quick research. We discovered that the wigs need to be stored away from moisture, dust, and direct sunlight. They needed to be cleaned and brushed before storage, ideally with some tissue paper put into the cap and a hair net put around the wig to maintain the shape.

Buy/Locate Containers

As is often the case, my client did not need to buy/locate new containers. After we weeded down her wig collection, we realized she had enough space in her closet to store her wigs in a few bins. She chose to keep her wigs in their original packaging (some websites recommend storing the wigs in ziploc bags or mesh bags stored in plastic containers if space is an issue.)

Setup & Label

Since my client saved her wigs in their original packaging, she didn’t have to create labels for what type of wig was in the packaging or who the manufacturer was. Something she could do in the future is take a picture of herself wearing the wig and putting it in the package to remind her how it looks on her (vs. the model on the package). 

Once we had gone through each step of the SWABS process, my client was happier (her favorite wigs were stored in an easily accessible place), had more time (previously lost searching for a wig), and more money (she was no longer buying duplicates because she knew exactly what she owned). I left my client’s home feeling satisfied that the SWABS process had once again left someone living in peace.

About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela's mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

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