Fall is here, which means winter isn’t far behind, so carve out some time during a stormy Sunday and start by organizing, then winterizing your closet. Trust us, your December self will thank you for it! Since it can be a big task to change your closet from light and breezy summer living to cooler weather wear, here are some questions to ask yourself as you get started:
Is it right for the season? First and foremost, the fastest way to sort through your clothes is to ask yourself if what you have fits the season. For fall and winter, sweaters and warm pants are obvious, but make sure you take some time to look at that skirt that might look great with a pair of warm tights or tall boots. Then keep a list of what you need for the season and shop for a few new favorites.
How do you feel when you wear it? Some garments just feel right. Keep a shirt that makes you feel strong and gorgeous, or pants that are super comfortable, or a dress that always get compliments. If you haven’t worn something that is pretty much brand new due to fit or style, that’s the perfect item to donate. And that blouse you love, but is looking a little faded? It’s time to let it go. Remember Marie Kondo’s idea that everything should ‘spark joy.’ This may be overstating things, but it’s a good rule to keep only those items that lift your spirits.
When did you last wear it? This is the “let’s get real” question. If you didn’t wear something last fall and winter, you are likely to not wear it this year either. If you are torn, because you love it or it has sentimental value, then zip it into a storage bag and put it somewhere else.
Does it work with your other clothes? Each item you own should work with others so that you keep just a core of interchangeable basics and a few statement pieces. Keep clothes that don’t clash and that complement each other. Navy, tan, black, and grey all work brilliantly together in the fall. Even if you love something…a dress with a bold print for example…but just can’t find anything to go with it, let it go.
Sort, Remove, Donate
Now that you’ve done some purging and organizing, it’s time to pull out all your winter clothes from storage. Go through your gloves and scarves to make sure that everything is still usable, is in good shape and has a match. If not, toss it! Remove past seasonal items such as that light spring jacket and put it into storage. This will open up room for coats, scarves, boots and more. Plus as we approach the end of the year, it’s a perfect time to donate items to your local charity!
To maximize the space in your closet, switch out your current hangers to space-saving, felt hangers; it’s important that all of your hangers are uniform! This seems like a really simple step, but you’ll be amazed at how much room you will save. Strong enough to hold all types of clothes, slimmer hangers will maximize your space and keep your closet looking uniform and organized.
Now that you’ve switched your hangers, organize your clothing by type and color. You can even take this a step further and categorize them by style within each color section, for example, long sleeves, sweaters, blouses, etc. If you are tight on space, or have built-ins in your closet, there’s no need to waste hanging space on bulkier items like sweaters, sweat shirts, and jeans––fold those up and store on a shelf.
When it comes to shoes, use open shelving to a section to hang boots, and display your shoes with one toe facing out, one heel facing out. This let’s you find the pair you are looking for more quickly since you can see the front and back.
Consider a Remodel
If all this talk of organizing has inspired you to consider a full closet remodel, there are some steps you can take to guide you through a successful overhaul. Whether you are looking for a simple reorganization project, or a full blown renovation––the possibilities are endless. The biggest key to success typically lies in budget management and determining the needs of your space. Some quick tips include:
- Start by determining what you’d like your closet to do for you, and then sharing it with your design professional will make a huge difference in how the process goes.
- If you are sharing your closet space with your spouse, determine who gets what. Decide what percentage of space you each need, and what types of things will you be hanging in the closet.
- Then don’t forget storage ideas (think seasonal!), and things that will make your life easier and more organized, from accessory storage ideas, pull-out laundry baskets, and shoe storage ideas.