by: Tara Lorenz
My favorite season is Autumn. I know I know. Summer is still technically happening but with school starting all things fall soon follow. The leaves change, the temps drop, the boots and cozy sweaters make an appearance. Thats what I wanted to talk to you about. How do you transition your closet from summer to fall when somedays you need a sundress and somedays that cardigan is calling your name?
I’m not here to give any fashion tips because yes you can wear white jeans after labor day and yes that cardigan would look fabulous layered over your sundress with boots. I’m here to talk about storing and switching out your seasonal items when the time comes. Many of us don’t really need to do much. You might have a large enough closet or not a lot of excess clothing to contend with. Most of us though don’t have the extra room. Lucky for you I have some simple tricks!
Letting go of items you don’t use, wear or like is always the first thing for organizing any space. Try everything on and ask yourself these questions:
1. Is it broken or ripped? WILL I take the time to fix it? No? Get rid of it.
2. Would I buy this today? If no ditch it!
3. Do I love the way I look or feel in this? No…gone!
4. Have I worn it in the past year? Well this one can be tricky given the state of the world. Things like cocktail dresses, fancy shoes, even work attire may need a little more time to make a reappearance. Use the above questions to make your decisions and circle back next season.
This does take time but once you get in the habit of doing it a couple of times during the year the process is a lot quicker.
Now that you’ve purged, choose the items that you will absolutely wear throughout the fall and winter and put the really summery items aside. I layer tanks and short sleeve tees under cardigans year round so those are always in my dresser. There are several dresses I only wear in the summer but I’ll keep the ones that layer well in my closet each season. Do this for each category and set aside the items you need to store. I’ll get to that pile in a minute. Add winter items to your closet like sweaters, long sleeve shirts, flannels and blazers. Place everything by category for a streamlined look using the most easily reached places for those items you wear the most. Another quick tip is to change your hangers out to be uniform. My favorites are the slimline velvet flocked ones. They hold my cardigans and my jeans and keep the closet from looking jumbled.
Let’s get back to the pile of clothing on your bed and talk about some easy ideas for storing those off season items. If you have a high shelf in your closet this is a great place to store seasonal clothing. You want your prime real estate, i.e. the space you can reach easily, to be used for items you wear every day right? This is the perfect way to use all those hard to reach areas. Some decorative labeled bins to store swim suits, cover ups, shorts or summer scarves will not only look beautiful but free up some extra space. You can also use the space on the floor under your hanging clothes if needed as well. If you have a corner of your reach in closet that is hard to get to this would be a great place to stack some bins or even add a hanging cross bar for those dresses and skirts you aren’t wearing right now. Another great underused space is under the bed. Invest in some slim rolling bins to tuck your items out of the way. These same areas and bins can be used for your winter items when summer rolls around again.
I know you’re thinking but my sweaters take up way more space than my bathing suits, how will that work? Space saving vacuum bags my friends! I swore by them for years when my closet space was non existent. You can store anything in them and they shrink down to a flat little package. Extra bedding, snowsuits, and bulky winter coats are prime offenders for taking up space and these work like a dream. They also keep your items protected from moths, water, dirt, and dust if you need to store them in a basement or attic. Be careful when storing in these spaces though. Basements can be damp and attic temps range from sweltering to freezing with the seasons. I always used the added protection of a weather proof bin to store the vacuum bags in as well as raising them off the basement floor and away from outside walls.
Don’t underestimate the back of your door for great storage either. There are so many options out there. Hooks for scarves or belts, over the door shoe holders for just about everything you can think of (google that, you won’t be disappointed), bins or even jewelry racks. Freeing up your closet rods, shelves and dresser drawers for actual clothing will be a game changer for your busy mornings!
These are all great tips to utilize for shoe storage as well. Shoes that go unworn for months collect dust and should be protected if possible. Store your summer heels, wedges, and sandals in their own clear shoe box to keep them on display and dust free. Or line them up in a covered container or under bed bin to keep the dust away. There are also tall boxes specifically for your boots. When you aren’t wearing your boots (in season and off season) you should store them using a shape keeper insert. This will not only keep the shape and stop the heap of boots from piling up at the bottom of your closet but protect cracking and discoloration around the ankle as well.
Once you go through this process and set up your storage solutions the next time around will be a breeze! Like any good system, you have to maintain it. Just because you have all the pretty storage doesn’t mean it gets there all by itself. Need help in setting up a simple system? Give us a call! We LOVE doing this stuff.