Jun 24, 2011 - guest blogs    5 Comments

Hijab Organizing Tips (special guest blog)

A big jazaks to Zarina for this awesome guest blog post!!! I definitely learned a lot!! *off to color code my Hijabs ;)

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Hijab Organizing Tips

 
by Zarina

Life was simple when I first started wearing hijab.  I had three— 2 black and 1 white (which I seldom wore!).  I kept them folded neatly at the top of my dresser, and once a week, when I did my laundry, I tossed them in the basket to get washed, and then quickly returned them to their throne atop my dresser.

However, as time went on, I began to accumulate more. . . gifts from returning hajjis, souvenirs from my own hajj, convention bazaar finds ect.,  my collection has grown exponentially. As a result, I no longer store my hijabs at the top of my dresser, over the years my organizational methods have evolved.  When my collection hovered around 10, I linked shower curtain rings together and then threaded my hijabs through the rings.  When my collection grew to 20, I delegated a dresser drawer to my hijab collection, and haphazardly threw them in to the drawers.  Around 35, I started having trouble fitting all my hijabs into my dresser drawer. So, I purchased a pair of plastic drawers, I sorted the hijabs by color and just threw them into their respective drawer.

This method continued, about 2 years ago, when I sent my husband upstairs to retrieve a “dressy” black hijab (we were late for a party).  I instructed him to look in the top right hand drawer because that is where all of my grey/black hijabs lived. He came back in due time, and we were off to our party; but that night I came home to this on the floor of my closet:

I was FURIOUS at my husband for making that mess.  I may have shed some tears, but in the end I came to realize that sorting by color doesn’t really make for an organized collection.  It was still really hard to find the exact hijab I wanted, and I often times didn’t wear the one that matched perfectly because I was too lazy to iron it.

So I started to ask around, many of my friends were hijabi, a lot of them had sisters, moms and relatives that were also hijabi.  Surely, someone had some magic method to organize hijabs.  But as I asked around, I came to realization, that most people followed my method.  The plastic drawers, sorted by color, stuffed drawers, wrinkly messy hijabs that must be ironed.  All of us at some point had folded our hijabs neatly, and stack them in drawers, but within a few months the collection just became messy again.

After thinking about my hijab dilemma for a few days, I decided to try my hand at organizing hijabs again.  This time I’d fold them, but I was determined to keep them neat, and organized forever.   While, I can’t say for sure how long my method will last, I do know that I have been able to maintain it for the past 2 years, and it’s really pretty simple.

Four Simple Steps to an Organized Hijab Collection

 
Step 1: Make a mess.

Have you ever heard of the saying “from chaos comes order”?  When it comes to cleaning things and organizing things, and for my hijabs—chaos definitely helped bring about order. The very first thing I did was dump all of my hijabs onto my closet floor. From there— I studied my collection.  This may seem ludicrous, but you have to decide for yourself what the best way to organize your collection is.  I chose color, this method is pretty self explanatory. However, you may find that you only wear one or two hijabs regularly—in which case you may choose to organize by occasion (work, home, parties, masjid).  Another way to organize your hijab is by season, leaving heavier hijabs in the winter drawer, and lighter linen-y hijabs in the summer drawer.  I am a very visual person, so it helped me to look at all of my hijabs to choose an organizational method, you might be able to do this step in your head.

Step 2: Folding your Hijabs.

Unless you’re extremely particular when it comes to hijabs, it is likely you have several different shapes and sized hijabs. A huge part of staying organized is to have them all folded to about the same size and shape. If you fold them to be all different sizes, it’s really easy to look over a hijab once they are put away.  Consistency is key here, and you may need to resort to folding in thirds or fourths, to get your folded product down to the right size for your space.   Folding triangular shaped hijabs can be a little tricky, you can fold the two ends into the back corner of the hijab to create a square, and then fold from there.  It will be handy to keep a fold along the long portion of your folded hijab (see picture below).  Also, be sure to fold so that any tassles/strings/decoration get tucked inside.

Step 3: Choose an apparatus.

The most important step in this process is choosing where you will be storing your hijabs.  You know that I use plastic drawers, but you need to take three important factors into consideration when you’re making that decision.

  1. Space: Where are you planning on storing your hijabs?  Look around your space, do you have drawers that are being unused in your dresser?  If you’re choosing a closet, then you can probably get away with plastic drawers, but if you’re planning on keeping it in your room, you may want to “invest” in a set of drawers that look more like furniture.  Keep in mind that you’ll be wearing hijab for the rest of your life (insha Allah), so try to avoid choices that you’ll want to change in a few years (think neon colored drawers!!).   You can also use a shelf with baskets.
  2. Drawers/dividers: If you’re going to buy a set of drawers, try and pick one with drawers that are just a touch larger than the size you fold your hijabs.  If you’re going to use an existing space to store your hijabs, create dividers just a little wider than the size of your folded hijabs.  Dividers can be purchased, or you can make them yourself.
  3. Growth: Make sure to account for future growth in your collection by having extra drawers, or extra space in drawers.  This is especially important if you’re choosing a set of drawers that looks more like furniture, because it might be difficult to find a set that matches well in a few years.

Step 4: Putting them Away.

This is the easiest and probably the most exciting part of organizing.  Hopefully while you were folding in Step 2 you kept your scarves separated in the way you want to store them.  I like to stack my hijabs and then flip them right into the drawers.  When I stack I make sure to have all of the folded edge along one side.  The key to this method is setting your hijabs so the fold faces up towards the top of the drawer.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Try and alternate materials.  I try and place a cottony hijab between every 5 or 6 silky ones.  The cotton is a bit stiffer, so it helps keep the other hijabs in place when you’ve taken one out for the day.
  • Be careful removing hijabs out of a tightly packed space.  If need be slide a hand in, and create a little space for you to easily remove the scarf you need.
  • The first time I did this I had a separate pile for purple hijabs and a separate one for blue, and separate pile for red.  When I started putting things away I realized that I didn’t have enough hijabs for any of those drawers to be full. I ended up splitting the purple pile among the blue and the red pile.  I like my drawers to be tightly packed, because it keeps the scarves nice and neat.
  • If you find yourself with a loosely packed drawer, you can combine piles, or use a drawer divider to keep your scarves firmly packed.
  • Stick a dryer sheet in the back or the bottom of each drawer to keep your hijabs smelling fresh.

 
So that’s it! This method isn’t foolproof, you have to keep make sure you put your hijabs away after you wear them; if you don’t keep up with this, you’ll find yourself back at square one.

5 Comments

  • as salaamu alaykum,

    Very helpful jazaki Allahu khayran! In that first step, when you pile all your hijabs together and look at them – I always find hijabs that I don’t really wear anymore and that’s always a nice opportunity to give them to others who will actually wear them. I also like that dryer sheet idea, never thought of that before! I guess I’m still looking for my ideal ‘system’, but you did give some nice ideas and inspired me to organize my hijabs with what I have now :)

    I like this guest posts idea too btw! I have to think of something creative too so I can contribute :)

    salaam,
    s

  • Thank you for the article. I had no idea how to even start organizing them. Currently they are in a pile on top of my dresser.

  • thanks so much! i really appreciated this article. coincidentally, i recently got serious about arranging my extensive collection of at least 100 scarves of various shape, size, color, and design. I used what is usually called a sweater organizer–here’s an example of a basic one:
    http://www.asseenontvguys.com/productimages/as_seen_on_tv_guys_2/6-shelf-sweater-organizer.jpg
    it really helped, and i divided each shelf by the type of scarf i have. i now can see all the hijabs i have! the organizers come in all different sizes, colors, and types of dividers, so look around on what will best suit you. thanks again!

  • If you fold them all, then you still end up with creases that need to be ironed out. I have a clothes tree (the kind often used for jackets in an entrance way) where I store all my hijabs that I wear fairly regularly. I taped shoulder pads (cut out of my jilbabs) to the top of the hooks so I don’t get a peak in the scarf from the hook. I then have one hook for each colour “family”. This way I don’t need to iron every time I want to wear a new hijab.

    • some great suggestions here from everyone!! thanks :) safiya wow what has it been like 10 years since we were on that rock at the retreat ;) nice to “see” u!!