Why floordrobes aren’t cool, and what to do if you have one

Do you have a floordrobe in your bedroom, or a chairdrobe or doordrobe? If so, you’re not alone. A surprising number of people have one. But do you know why?


The online Urban Dictionary defines a floordrobe as “a form of storage for clothing which requires no hangers, drawers, doors or effort. Simply drop on the floor and you have a floordrobe”. But there’s a lot more to a floordrobe than that.

How floodrobes happen

Floordrobes can form mountains or molehills, but either way, they don’t happen by themselves. Each item is put there, consciously or unconsciously. Here are some of the main reasons why.

Overwhelm: A person’s home is a reflection of themselves, so when their clothes are permanently strewn on the floor, it can be an expression of how swamped they feel in life. Clearing up the clothes can be a step towards regaining control.

Depression: Depressed people tend to keep things at floor level because it reflects how “down” they feel. Moving clothes from a floordrobe to a wardrobe, or at least to an intermediary chairdrobe, can help to lift their spirits.

Confusion: Living with a tangle of clothes on the floor is usually an outward representation of inner confusion of some kind. Tidying and sorting on the outside helps order things on the inside.

Emotional suppression: Some people feel uneasy when their space is too clear. They feel too much. A floordrobe can help dampen their emotions by keeping the space filled, but the piles tend to grow and grow. A gradual tidy-up (say 10 items per day) will give time to handle the emotions that emerge along the way.

Reactance: Children and teenagers may develop a floordrobe as an act of rebellion against authority, usually their parents. In some cases this is a phase they go through. Others continue the habit into adulthood, long after they’ve left home. Realizing why they are doing this is key to changing the behaviour.

Teenage turmoil: Some floordrobes are a reflection of the turmoil teenagers go through as part of growing up. Chris Hudson, who founded Understanding Teenagers in Australia, explains that radical changes in the hardwiring of the brain at this time can make teenagers disorganized, forgetful, and moody. Having regular tidy-ups may not seem an obvious priority but can help to ease them through the process.

Coping: In some cases, a floordrobe develops as a coping mechanism for handling a traumatic experience. It can often take on the proportions of a mountainous heap, surrounded by piles of other floor level clutter. Tidying may feel too daunting. Some form of therapy may be required first to address the cause of the trauma.

Laziness: Then there are the self-confessed slobs of the world. They’ve either been brought up that way or let themselves go. For change to happen, they have to want it enough to make the effort.

Lack of storage space: Some people simply don’t have anywhere to put things. This can be because the storage space they have is already full, or they didn’t have enough to begin with. Solutions range from getting rid of some clothes they never wear, to buying new cupboards to keep them all in. In some cases, all that’s needed is to put summer clothes in storage during winter, and vice versa.

For most people, a floordrobe symbolizes a descent into chaos of some kind rather than an ascent into self-discovery. And tidying up a floordrobe can be a major turning point. Your floor, after all, forms the foundation of your living space. By decluttering it you regain control of the foundations of your life.

There are also some people whom it would do the world of good to have a floordrobe for a week – those who have become too regimented, for example, who like to have everything “just so”. It could be a liberating experience for them.

How to clear up a floordrobe, chairdrobe, or doordrobe

Some people will read this article and immediately feel inspired to clear up their floordrobe, chairdrobe, or doordrobe and embrace the freedom that clutter clearing brings. Others will need to approach it in stages, as they feel able. The method is the same. Just the time it takes will be different.

Begin by opening a window to let in some fresh air. Many people with floordrobes never open their windows at all, so the air in the room becomes stagnant and stale.

Next, roll up your sleeves to put you in action mode and freshen your energy by washing your face and hands.

If your floordrobe is more horizontal than vertical, start in one corner of the room and zigzag your way across to the opposite corner, tidying as you go. If it’s grown into a vertical heap, tackle it top down, and do the same with any chairdrobes. If you have a doordrobe, formed by multiple clothes hanging from hooks on your bedroom door or slung over the top of the door, start with the most recent items placed there.

Anything whiffy gets laundered. The rest goes on hangers and put back in your wardrobe, or folded and put into drawers. Don’t worry about anything that’s crumpled. That’s a detail at this stage. You can iron or steam it later at your leisure.

Anything you can’t be bothered to wash, hang, or fold is clutter. Donate it to charity, give it to a friend who will love and wear it, or let it go in some other way.

After clearing your floordrobe, give the floor in your bedroom a good vacuum, to clean up any physical debris and revitalize the stagnant energies that will have accumulated around the floordrobe.

Finally, don’t do all this work just to have a new floordrobe, chairdrobe, or doordrobe appear next week. Get yourself a laundry basket and place it where you’ll use it.

Stop hanging clothes on your door – this article explains why: 5 feng shui tips for the doors in your home.

And if you miss the delicious abandonment of simply dropping things on the floor or a chair, you can still do this once in a while. Just not every day and not in the unconscious way you used to. When you know the real reasons for unconscious habits, they tend to lose their appeal.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2013, updated 2024

Declutter Your Clothes online course

Related articles
Why keeping a laundry basket in the bedroom is a feng-shui no-no
What your laundry pile says about your life

Like to read more articles like this?
Subscribe to my newsletters to receive news, articles and information about upcoming online courses by email. And I promise you – no junk mail ever.




About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
This entry was posted in Clutter clearing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why floordrobes aren’t cool, and what to do if you have one

  1. HI Everyone,

    How about adding: #4. Do I honestly need mending it?
    Listening within my very center, here I have: Differences between needing and wanting.
    (From the list below)
    Anything you can’t be bothered to wash, iron, hang or fold needs to go through the clutter test:

    1.Does it uplift my energy when I wear it?
    2.Do I absolutely love it?
    3.Do I ever wear it?
    If the answer is not a resounding “yes” to question (1) and an equally resounding “yes” to either question (2) or (3), then donate it to charity, give it to a friend who will love and wear it, or let it go in some other way. Continue until your floor is clear, then give it a good vacuum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Clear Space Living Ltd
PO Box 11171, Sleaford
NG34 4FR, United Kingdom

UK Company No: 12067211
VAT Reg No: 339 267 376

International Directory
of Practitioners

All countries