The Smart Closet
Some things never change, and the change of the seasons is one of them. Twice a year, all of us should do a wardrobe switch – a process that’s very joyful and uplifting in the spring, and…well, not so much in the fall :). Out with the sandals and shorts, in with the boots and coats…and sweaters and gloves, and hats and scarves :). It does help if you are listening to something motivational, or just nice music when you are bringing all your winter clothes in. You want to do this at the end of September or beginning of October, because if you realize that you need to buy something, especially big items like a coat or boots, there might not be a good selection left in the stores later.
The first step is to put away all your summer clothes. Keep some t-shirts for layering with sweaters and cardigans, preferably the tight fitting ones. I keep all my summer tops and dresses on hangers, and fold shorts and capris. I have a portable wardrobe set up in the basement. It’s a clothing rack with a zip-up cover. I keep my winter coats and jackets there in the summer, and my summer outfits in the winter. They are very inexpensive, you can get them at stores like Ikea and Canadian Tire. As for clothing items that are folded, as well as little things like bathing suits and hats, and all the cold weather clothes in the summer, I keep them in a dresser, also in my basement. I do the same with my kids’ clothes. If you live in an apartment, you can store the other season items in a large suitcase that you don’t use, and put it in your storage.
When it comes to storing sandals and other flat shoes, I keep them in a large flat plastic storage box with a lid. Another option is to put an inexpensive shoe rack in the basement (I got mine at Costco for under $30). Make sure you clean all your footwear, and wash your worn clothes before storing.
The second step is to put all your fall and winter clothes in your closet. I suggest organizing your closet in sections where similar items hang together. One section for all your pants, one for the tops, another section for your dresses and formal/dressy outfits. Anything that wrinkles need to be hung on a hanger. Speaking of which, if there’s one thing I see almost every time when I do wardrobe audit for my clients, it’s the metal hangers from the dry cleaners. These are really only meant for transporting your items home from dry cleaner’s. I suggest using soft hangers with rounded edges that don’t leave these unsightly raised corner marks on your tops, or indented lines on your pants. Your sweaters, jeans, and tight tops like turtlenecks that don’t wrinkle can be folded.
If there are not enough shelves in your closet, you can buy a hanging fabric shelf organizer from Ikea, or a shoe rack with plastic covers. You can also use the shoe rack for storing your dressy shoes and purses in your closet. If you have any seasonal purses, make sure you empty them and stuff them with tissue paper before storing. Also, it’s a good idea to keep them inside fabric storage bags that come with higher end purses to prevent dust and scratches. As for little things like gloves and hats, I keep them in the hanging fabric organizer in my coat closet by the front door. Hang your scarves on special scarf hangers.
For storing large, bulky items like comforters and pillows I recommend Ziploc vacuum storage bags. They come in different sizes, and allow you to store bulky items in a very space saving and clean way. You can use them for storing clothes and space efficient packing for travel, too, except there’s no way to avoid wrinkles then. However, if space is an issue, they are a great option.
Lastly, if you wear makeup, it’s a good idea to go through your makeup items between the seasons, and put away what you are not going to use for another few months. For instance, in the fall I’m putting away my bronzers and darker foundation.
I am including a few photos of the storage items that I mentioned from my own closet. Enjoy your organized wardrobe!