Change of seasons, change your closet

As we get closer to summer, it is time to switch your closets around to make space for warm weather clothing. Here are some tips to make your closet switch better for this season and the next one.

In organizing, there is something called the 80-20 rule. People wear only 20% of their clothing 80% of the time. That really means we tend to waste a lot of space with stuff we never wear. Tightly packed closet rods, ready to break free from the walls, make it difficult to find clothing. It can cause frustration and anguish, especially when you are running late.

Look at each piece of winter clothing and decide if it makes the cut. There is no reason to pack up and store something you never wear. Immediately discard, donate or give away anything that is missing its mate. A blouse that does not go with anything you own does not deserve a precious spot in your closet. This culling of the herd includes belts, purses, gloves and other accessories. Keep in mind that consignment stores will generally not want your winter clothing now. It may be quicker and easier to donate it and use the deduction at tax time.

Does it fit? If not, it should not be stored. Keeping clothing that might fit one day does not help your diet. In fact, it can cause anxiety every time you see your clothes that are too small. If you absolutely insist on keeping smaller clothing, at least store it in a remote location so it doesn’t use up precious space in your best location.

Once you have pared down what you want to keep for next winter, it is time to store everything. Do not purchase any storage containers before this point for a couple reasons. You probably already own something you can use. If not, you have no idea what size container you will need until you figure out what you are going to store.

If you make the decision to buy storage containers, think about what else you might need. Cedar balls, sachets or even dryer sheets can keep your clothing smelling great until you are ready to use them again next year. Silica gel packets will keep moisture away. If you have a storage closet in your home, a garment bag will work for hanging clothing. Dry cleaning bags are not ideal and will not protect your clothes the way a garment bag will.There are occasions when the plastic can cause moisture, so at all possible, stick to canvas.

When you purchase new sheets or blankets, the heavy-duty plastic, zippered bags can be used to store some items, but be careful not add to your clutter with these. You probably only need a few.

If you go with storage containers, try to get clear ones. Label, label, label! Add labels to everything and clearly explain what is inside. This will save time later, when you need to switch seasonal clothing again.

Changing your closet from one season to another can be a fun, cathartic time. Once each season you should go through your closets. Keep your closets free of clothes that are taking up prime real estate in places where there is very little of it.

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