Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Switching out your seasonal clothing has earned the stigma of being a challenge to tackle. The perception is that it is a time consuming and arduous task, but it doesn’t need to be. Going through your seasonal clothing can evoke joy. There is something wonderful about being able to unpack and revisit favorite items again making the seasonal clothing switch a time of reflection and gratitude.
For many people, a seasonal switch in a closet is a necessity because their closet’s real estate is at a minimum. For others, a seasonal clothing swap isn’t as significant of a to-do because it simply requires a rotation of a few items from the back of a larger closet or a high shelf to a position more readily accessible for the current season.
The scope of the transition depends on the size of your closet(s), the climate in which you live, and how many types of clothing categories you have and use seasonally. Here are some of Neat Little Nest’s tips for decluttering and organizing as you go about your closet(s) transition:
pull out your off-season clothing
As you go through your closet, pull out any items you don’t think you’ll need for the spring/summer months. This might include items like:
Furs, Leathers, Velvet
Boots and Seasonal Shoes
Wool Trousers and Skirts
Turtlenecks and Chunky Knits
Thick Socks and Opaque Tights
You’ll want to free up closet space by transitioning your bulky winter wear out for the spring season. However, don’t be too hasty in putting aside all of your light and mid-weight sweaters as they are such versatile pieces and you might want them around on cooler days and chilly evenings.
be honest about your inventory
When you assess your inventory, think about how much you enjoy wearing it, not by the price you paid for it or who might have given it to you. This also goes for anything that no longer fits your body, is damaged, permanently stained, or otherwise unusable in your wardrobe. If you haven't worn the item in some time and it no longer brings joy, it might mean it's time for you to thank the item(s) for their service and let them go. Doing so allows you to make room for things you really love. I alway advice to embrace who you are now and have your closet reflect that person.
If you do have items to let go of, you have many options with what to do with those items from donating to selling. For more details, take a peek at this blog from Neat Little Nest to learn more about what you can do with items you no longer need.
how to prep your clothes for seasonal storage
Getting your clothing ready for storage is the perfect time to check for stains, missing buttons, broken zippers and the like before you move or store items as there is nothing worse than pulling your favorite top out of the seasonal bin and finding it needs attention right out of the gate.
De-pilling sweaters is a simple step that can breathe new life into the garment. You have the option for an electric sweater shaving or a sweater comb. Personally, I have and use both sweater de-pilling options. I like the electric sweater shaver on cotton sweaters and the sweater comb on wool and cashmere.
Don't forget your shoes! As you review your seasonal shoes, be sure to assess them for damage or worn soles/heels. Give them a polish or wipe before you store them away.
Once you've mended or de-pilled any clothing that needed your attention, it's time to wash everything before storing for several months as you keep any critters who love food at bay. Give extra care to wool and cashmere pieces by hand washing. Neat Little Nest is a super fan of The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Wash as I've been been personally using it to keep my wools and cashmere pieces looking as good as new for years.
All of our favorite items to get clothes prepped for storage can be found here.
options for storing seasonal clothing
You have several options for storing off-season clothing, but here are a few important things to consider:
How much clothing and accessories will you need to store?
Where will you be storing them?
What will you be storing the items in?
Depending on the amount of clothing and the area you are storing them will help you decide what you store items in. Storage under a bed necessitates a different shape than storage stacked on a shelf, while storage in a garage or basement requires weather/waterproof bins with airtight lids, and finally more decorative storage options such as canvas or cotton alternatives are excellent for indoor dry locations.
For items stored in bins, at Neat Little Nest, we know the value in folding clothes well prior to storage as they can keep the clothes nice. Some items, like cashmere are best loosely folded, while other items can benefit from being folded using the KonMari method of folding prior to storage. Neat little tip: be sure to keep a little space at the top of your bins so the clothing can breathe.
If your existing closet has enough space, find some attractive and sturdy hanging storage options or breathable bins to place on the upper shelves. If you have ample closet or dedicated seasonal space somewhere else in your home, that is also a wonderful option. You may also chose to invest in hanging storage bags for your more expensive or delicate items if you have the room available.
If you are decluttering closets for multiple family members, labels will make finding and getting the appropriate bin(s) to their home come Fall.
Pick up a few lavender or cedar sachets to keep funky smells and bugs at bay. It would be disappointing next Fall if the moths had a lunch over the Summer on your sweaters.
organizing your closet like a rainbow
Now that your winter clothes have been put away, you can pull out your spring/summer clothes and organize them all back into your closet. As you put away each item, assess each piece for any stains or rips you might have missed when putting them away months back. Something you loved when you put it away might not have the same feel when you pull it out of storage.
One way to organize your closet to make it easier to find your clothes and create outfits is to first organizing by type of clothing (eg. dresses together, skirts together, jackets together, long-sleeved blouses together and so on.)
Then, within each type of clothing, use a modification of the rainbow (WP ROY G BIV BGB) to color coordinate and organize your clothes. That means White/Cream, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, Brown/Tan, Grey, Black.
a word about hangers
Hangers come in many shapes, sizes and fabrics because they are made to serve many different purposes like hanging delicate and specialty items like camisoles, skirts and scarves as well as everyday items like shirts, pants and suits/dresses. There are also special hangers for children's clothing and more. Slim line hangers work like a charm when it comes to helping you maximize hanging space and organize your clothes by item.
Not only do hangers serve an important function for hanging clothes, but they can also greatly improve the overall aesthetic in your closet. As you organize and put in-season clothing back into your closet, consider purchasing matching hangers. When you have matching hangers hung side-by-side in a closet, it removes visual clutter. When your eyes have to “read” too much, including too many different types and colors of hangers in a space, it creates visual clutter.
Here are some of Neat Little Nest’s suggestions for hangers that we love to use with our our clients.
Organizing your closets need not be the vexing task many make it out to be. By making a few careful choices with the process, you can end up with a neat and systematic closet space and easily find what you are looking for. Now, go enjoy the beautiful spring weather and stay tuned for next week’s blog where our focus will be on decluttering + organizing entry closets and mudrooms as we transition to the spring/summer season.
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