Spring is just around the corner! Frigid temperatures and grey skies will soon make way for cheerier blue skies and colorful blooms. In anticipation of the perfect sunshine days ahead, why not take these last few weeks of winter to do a thorough closet clean-out?
Make room for spring fashions
First thing to do is to go through all your fall and winter clothing – if there’s anything hanging in there that you haven’t worn all season, perhaps it’s time to part with it. There are many great organizations who thrive off of your generous in-kind donations – so if that chunky turtleneck didn’t make it out of the closet all winter, ask yourself (and be honest!) if you think you could see yourself wearing it next year. If the answer is no – let it go.
There will be plenty of winter items that you still love – the trick is to move them to a less accessible location for the season. Perhaps you have an extra closet (lucky you!) – that’s a perfect place to rotate out-of-season clothes and accessories. But if you’re short on space, check with local dry cleaners – many of them offer boxed sweater storage so you can clear the decks for things you’ll actually wear this spring and summer.
Have a few pieces that you can’t see yourself wearing again but are special enough to save? It’s perfectly acceptable to hold on to them – I just stumbled upon photos of my mother wearing the most fabulous fashions of the 70s that I can’t believe she didn’t save for me! However, if you plan to store these pieces for future generations– be sure to take the proper precautions. Clothes should be cleaned before storage. Use acid-free, lidded cardboard boxes and tissue paper to prevent damage to the fabrics over time. Avoid using plastic boxes and bags as fabrics need to breathe. Separate white clothing from colored clothing and fold the items gently, avoiding creases that can leave permanent marks in the fabric after many years of storage. Once packed, these boxes should be stored in a place that is clean, dry, well- ventilated and pest-free.
In with the old, and adding some new
I know it’s tedious – but it’s worth trying on all of the spring and summer clothing you’re reintroducing to your wardrobe. You want to dress for the body you have now (not the body you had 3 summers ago, or even last summer). If it doesn’t fit – add it to the donation pile. Another benefit of this exercise is that you can make a list of items you need to add to your spring clothing – after all, the shopping part is way more fun than the cleaning part.
Some tips to consider
■ Short on hanging space? Use Slimline or Huggable Hangers. Because of their slim design, you can fit more of these on your hanging bar – and they’re covered in a velvet material that will keep even the skinniest spaghetti strap from slipping.
■ Got shelves? Closet shelves can be great for stacking folded items – keep those piles upright by using acrylic shelf dividers like those offered by October Company. I prefer acrylic because wires dividers can leave creases in folded sweaters.
■ Accessories in a jumble? Store like with like! Use distinct baskets or boxes to house your scarves, belts, pocket-squares, etc. Store these boxes where you have space – just be sure they’re clearly labeled.
■ Jewelry out of control? Get creative – use the inside of your closet door to display your collection. Hang a simple bulletin board and use tacks as pegs for your necklaces and bracelets for a tangle-free solution. Save room for a simple piece of mesh (the same kind used for window screens – available at hardware stores) – the holes are the perfect size to slip in the hooks of your dangly earrings!
And of course, if the thought of the great closet clean out is just too much for you– you can always call on me!
Dayna Brandoff is the founder of Chaos Theory Inc., a professional organizing company located in New York City. For further organizing tips or hands-on help, visit www.ChaosTheoryNYC.com or call (917) 576-1267.