It is officially spring on the calendar. Which means regardless of the temperature outside something shifts in our minds and we just can’t or won’t put on anything winter related anymore – even if we get an unseasonably cool day. It is the opposite of early fall, where we wait for any dip into the 60s as an excuse to wear our new fall coats and boots. As the days are now longer we are jumping at the chance to shed coats and bare our (hopefully) pedicured feet in open toed shoes.
Of course my dream closet is a huge room where everything would all be in one space. In reality most of us are limited to the confines of some sort of spacing issues. My 5-year-old son is always asking why my formal dresses are in his walk-in closet. “Because.” I get to answer that way because I am now a mom! In Pennsylvania we get to visually enjoy the rotation of all four seasons, the exception being this past winter. I thought I was being proactive in buying my kids’ snowgear early this year but it proved to be a waste of time and money. We all know Murphy’s/Mom’s law clearly states that they will not be the same size in snowpants and boots for next winter.
I am so jealous of my friend Erin in Atlanta who essentially has 2 seasons – as she puts it “warm and warmer” – because I dislike our cold weather and because it simplifies the wardrobes of her family. The grass always seems greener…pun intented. But here Spring has sprung in our closets it is time to take inventory. The goal of your closet is always to simplify, unless of course you enjoy chaos and confusion to start your morning. So anything you will not wear now take out. Don’t worry – if we get it a freak snowstorm you are only storing it in your own home so you can always go get it. Know your own body – do you run cold, do you run hot? After having kids my body sweats anytime the temperature is over 40 degrees so anything with wool in it goes. Same for anything furry, velvet, or generally just heavy for me to even look at. I know that even if it is cold the sun is stronger throughout the day so I prefer to layer instead of throwing on coats anymore. Scarves in lighter weights, brighter colors are a perfect fill-in for the morning chill.
If you are truly in a four season climate than wait before you clutter your closet with strapless sundresses and shorter skirts. Unless you are an editor at Lucky shopping magazine, are in your early 20’s, or work at Anthropogie, it is really hard to pull off that whole layered sundress with tights and cardigan look for your everyday life. Don’t clutter up your space with too many options. As much as it might be a pain try to change your closet over according to the weather where you live, even if it is truly for all four seasons. It will be easier to work with less and save you time getting dressed in the morning.
Okay, now it’s out. What to do with it? This depends on your space options. In an ideal situation if you have a guest bedroom closet you commandeer it. It is your house, you probably don’t have guests who visit and take up a whole closet so you deserve to use it. Again, one of those perks of being the adult mom in the house. Hopefully that gives you enough room so that you can leave things hanging rather than having to fold up everything. The exception to this is sweaters – DO fold to avoid those funky shoulder marks and to prevent the fibers from growing and stretching on the hanger. Does that closet have a shelf?
Use baskets or containers to swap out things in you keep in drawers. I take out my turtlenecks and exchange them with bathing suit cover-ups. I swap tights with bathing suits. Whatever is not being used goes into the basket at the top of my guest room closet.
If you don’t have the option of a guest room closet there are other ways to store. Plastic bins can work for short-term storage. The preference is to store clothes where the humidity is under control, and the temperature stays on the cool side. If you are really stuck consider storing inside unused suitcases. Basements, if unfinished are not the best place. You are better off finding options for under the bed or sneaking out areas of your kids closets if possible. Plus you want to eliminate inviting bugs of any kind. If there is any bit of dirt on the clothes it acts like attracts bugs like Lindsay Lohan to bad decisions. And now imagine if the bugs stay and decides to start a family – yuck.
*Insider tip– Put scarves somewhere you will see them so that you will wear them – your coat closet downstairs? Right in your bedroom closet near your clothes so you can see the colors? This shower ring idea from Pinterest is genius, simple, and inexpensive. You can also put to use the back of your door, any door really.
*Insider tip– clean before you stow. It will feel like an annoying waste of money now but you will be so happy later that you took the time to do it. You will be so upset come fall if you take out a coat and see a coffee stain that had time to set in all summer and now has no chance of being cleaned out. Take winter coats, sweaters, anything that needs repair (buttons, threads loose) to the dry cleaner before you store it. REMEMBER TO TAKE THE DRY CLEANING PLASTIC OFF WHEN YOU GET HOME. The dry cleaning plastic bags are meant for transport, not for storage. If left on the plastic can cause humidity and damage the fibers, even causing discoloration.
I know, so very wrong of me to go there with Monica but it was just too obvious. Happy Spring Cleaning!