Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Swtiching Seasonal Clothes-When and How

It's that time of the year and many of you are getting ready to switch your clothes from fall/winter to spring/summer.  So, when and how do you do it without stressing out?  Just like with everyother organizing project, I tell my clients to do it in steps. 
The first step is to decide when.  That is really dependent on the weather and where you live.  I think for many, April is the time because the birds are back, spring break is over, the weather has warmer days periodically, and wearing wool or the darker colors seems odd.  Whatever month or week you choose is up to you.
What do you switch out first?  The obvious choice for me is to switch out first are the turtle necks.  I think layering with cotton is more appropriate in the spring when those cold days creep up for a day or two.  Switch as the weather changes.  It is unlikely in most areas of the country you will be wearing sleeveless in May or June, so make those the last pieces to switch out.  Many people wear jeans year round, while others give them up when the temperature reaches 60 or more on a consistent basis.  If you tend to switch to lighter fabric pants, switch those in as soon as you feel comfortable wearing them.  Continue in this manner as the weather gets warmer and you choose to wear lighter clothes. 

So, where do you store your fall/winter clothes during the off season.  I have seen many different situations over the years of organizing my clients closets.  Some are lucky enough to have a spare closet, others pack them in unused suitcases, boxes, plastice totes, and some just keep them in the back of their closet.  If you have a dresser in the guest room, try the bottom drawers as many guests never use the drawers anyway.  If you leave the top drawers available, that is usually all they need.  Keep the clothes that are currently folded in the same manner.  Ziploc makes a great tote that has really zippers and small holes for clothes to breathe.  Space Saver also makes a tote now and of course their regular bags.  I discourage plastic totes with no holes after smelling a couple ski bags and boots stored in one for a year or so.  I also highly discourage storing any clothing in cardboard.  Mice love cardboard and cloth especially wool.  Wool should always be stored in a breathable container with cedar blocks in all seasons. 
The last and most important step in switching the closet is asking why you did not wear that piece this past few months and what would be different next year?  Styles and colors change for us as we get older and certain pieces might not look as good as they did 5 years ago.  Get serious about emptying out the clothes you never wear to make room for some you will wear.  The experts say you wear half of what you own.  Think about that as you start to put away your fall and winter clothing.