The beginning of October always feels like the beginning of fall where I live in the Northeast. Mornings are chilly, afternoons are warm, and evenings are comfortable enough to sit outside with a cocktail on a Friday night. Fall decor is out in force and pumpkin spice everything is on the menu. Seasonal changes are the perfect time to take stock of what we wear and what we store in our closets. Whether your closet is large enough to hold your entire wardrobe, or you have to store away out of season items, everyone can use a little closet love a few times a year! I'll be tackling my closet this week. It's a definite process for me that spans the course of a few days or sessions of my time. Even pro organizers can't do it all in one day sometimes- busy kids' schedules, work, and social engagements all have to be negotiated for time spent organizing! But I make a point of carving time out in my schedule to address my closet at least twice a year for a seasonal refresh.
Ready to join me? Read on for my closet reset tips!
Make A Plan
As mentioned, I take a few sessions to complete my seasonal closet reset by myself. Make a plan for yourself so you're set up for success. Each step can be an hour or a day, or even ten minutes, depending on how much time you have.
Bring in bins with seasonal clothing from storage.
Edit categories of seasonal clothes that are coming out of your closet - Depending on time, focus on specific categories of summer clothes coming out of the closet. If you have a whole afternoon to dedicate to the process you may get all of the summer clothes sorted out. If you only have a short amount of time, focus on categories until you're through it all. It may be a mess for a few days, but if you plan and stick with it, it's worth it! It always looks worse before it gets better!
Make your piles move! Once you sort into keep, launder or repair, donate, and consign, make those piles move! Bag up donations and consignment and get them out of the house. The longer they sit, the less likely you are to do anything with them. Make an appointment to consign and put donations on the front seat of your car so you're forced to deal with them! Take care of repairs and laundry right away so you can store things quickly and get your bins out of your room.
Fold and store seasonal clothes, bags, shoes and accessories. Read on for more on our favorite storage options!
Assess clothing going back in to your closet. Be honest and ruthless. The more excess we have the more overwhelmed we tend to get. Choose to keep only what you love and only what reasonably fits in your space.
Choose quality closet organizational tools such as hangers, shelf dividers, baskets and bins. You want to make your closet a pleasure to walk into. Choosing the right products will help you stay organized so that you can pick your favorite pieces and get dressed quickly.
Changing Out Your Summer Wardrobe
In many places a summer wardrobe only needs to be out in front of your closet a few months out of the year. Even in warmer climates a lot of the summer staples like rompers and bathing suits can get rotated out during fall and winter months. Take stock of your summer wardrobe, paying close attention to the following questions:
Did I wear it this season?
Do I love it?
Is it flattering?
Does it fit?
Does it need alterations?
Does it have stains or other damage?
As you answer these questions for each summer item, decide if it still belongs in your closet. We all have a finite amount of space for storing our clothes. No matter how big, that closet real estate is valuable, as is the storage space you have to keep out of season clothing. Do a wardrobe edit based on your honest answers to those questions. Donate or consign things you decide you're not keeping.
Reevaluate Your Incoming Wardrobe
Let's face it- we all shop for new things whether we need them or not. Each season brings new trends, new styles, and new things we feel fabulous wearing. What worked last year may not work this year. As you unpack the cooler weather wardrobe, be honest about how each item makes you feel and if it truly deserves a spot in this season's rotation.
Last year I was all
about oversized sweaters and leggings. This season is feeling a lot more like cropped sweaters and straight leg jeans - the higher waisted, the better! I will be thinking twice about some of the sweaters that make their way back into my closet. If there are things you feel like are valuable - designer or higher end names - you can sell on a resale website or consign with a local boutique. Donate other things that aren't worth the time it takes to resell.
And remember- you only have room for what you have room for. If your shelves are overstuffed to the point that you can't fold things neatly, or your hanging bars are so crammed you can't fit a hand between hangers to see things, you need to edit.
Store Your Clothing
Part of staying organized is storing things so that you easily find something when you need it. Heading on a last minute winter getaway to an island? You'll need to know where to find those bathing suits and shorts so you can pack! Invest in proper storage and label things so you can find them easily. If you need to store clothing in a storage area opt for plastic totes that are sealed and weather tight. Label the outside clearly so you know what's inside. Hang formal attire on a garment rack in garment bags. Don't store your clothing in dry cleaner bags- they can actually ruin your clothing if stored for long periods of time! They're just meant to protect clothes on the trip home from the dry cleaners! If your closet is large enough to rotate seasonal items, use drop front boxes to store seasonal items up high and make room to bring what you're wearing down lower.
Ready To Get Organized?
By following these tips, you'll have your seasonal swap done in a few short sessions. Feeling overwhelmed by the process? Closets are something we do best - from full closet design to wardrobe edit to organization- and we're here to help! Whether you do it by yourself or you decide you need to call in a professional, I hope your closet is a space you love being in and that your fall wardrobe makes you feel fantastic!
Trish Johnson is a professional organizer, wife, and mom of 3 kids. She is a former elementary school teacher who understands the stresses of daily life and truly enjoys helping busy families get set up with effective, organized systems that are functional as well as beautiful. Her company, This Organized Chaos, is located in New Jersey and services the surrounding areas organizing homes and small businesses.