The first official day of spring was back in March but it feels like so much has been going on since then with the global pandemic situation, being sheltered in place in NYC, and the uncertainty of it all. It’s easy to lose track of the days and before you know it, warm weather has arrived.
This last weekend was particularly warm outside in NYC - the sun was shining, summer cocktails were in the works, and there was that pop of energy that you get when you feel the warmer weather outside. When I went to my dresser to look for something spring like to wear, I realized that I did not switch out my winter and summer clothes (in my defense this was the first weekend of two warm consecutive days and I grew up in Florida – some “warm” days in NYC are still chilly for me!).
As a professional organizer I felt a bit embarrassed that I did not complete this task weeks ago, let’s be realistic, I haven’t worn my winter sweaters in months. Then I started thinking about my clients, and how they must feel when they call me. Some of my clients feel a bit overwhelmed with how tedious they perceive this to be while others just need that little bit of extra motivation and push to get the ball rolling!
So…if you haven’t gotten around to your switching out your wardrobe, now is a great time to start – this is a perfect excuse to prepare your closet and dresser for the upcoming warm months and also let go of anything you haven’t used or need.
Here are some tips for switching out your wardrobe:
1) This is the time to purge/declutter your winter wardrobe before you pack it up until next season. First take all the winter clothes out of the dresser and closets. I would recommend starting with the hanging clothes, and then moving to the non-hanging. Use a clean surface like your bed to put the clothes in categories first (sweaters, dresses, thick pants, coats, scarves, boots etc.). Then make three piles – keep (items you love and need), throw (items that are torn, stained), and donate (items to be given away).
2) Once you’re done purging/decluttering, it’s time to organize your winter clothes for storage. If you don’t have extra room in your closet, consider using space under your bed, vacuum storage bags, stackable bins, or even a spare suitcase. Try to pack like items together, this way it will be easier to organize when you switch your closet back to winter.
3) If you live in an area where you still have some cool days and nights, you may want to keep some "transitional clothes" that are in between winter and summer. Set a reminder in a month or so from now, to store them with your winter clothes.
4) You’ve made room in your closet and dresser for summer clothes (great job!). I would recommend doing a quick purge/declutter with your summer clothes. Follow the same instructions as above (don’t forget to include sandals, summer dresses, etc).
5) Now that you have the summer clothing you love and need, organize your closet by category and what you use the most often. Keep like items together and setup the closet based on your daily routine. Have you been using more of your casual clothes during this period? Put those in the front of the closet or in the top dresser drawers. Working out a lot? Make sure you have easy access to your workout clothes. Most of us are staying at home and at the moment not using our “dressier” clothes and shoes, those could be put in the back, the higher shelves or to the far sides of your closet. The goal is to have everything you use on a daily basis accessible within minutes and the things you use less often in less accessible places in the closet.
6) Donations – there is an amazing initiative going on in NYC that is called The Quarantine Spring Clean Challenge. New York City Real Estate Agents and Brokers are partnering with NYC Moving companies and teams to pick up your donations free of charge. Donations can be left curbside and will be picked up, safely, and brought directly to warehouses for Goodwill. To learn more and schedule your pickup, click here. If you're outside of NYC, check with you're local donation drop off centers or locations for donation drop boxes.
Wishing you an easy closet switch and that the upcoming months be organized, healthy, safe and with new beginnings.