Today in West Michigan it is cold, snowy, rainy, sleety, and driving is treacherous. But, that doesn't matter. I know Spring is just around the corner, and I for one, am going to make sure my closet and I are both ready. It's time to organize the closet and get ready for spring. (Notice I did not say take all the winter clothes out yet, ahem.)
Obviously here in the Midwest winter has decided not to go away yet so I can't put away all the winter clothing today but I can reorganize, purge some, freshen up some, and just make the closet "pretty" again after what seems like an endless season. If you are ready to do the same here are some tips to get you started. I promise, if you take care of this now you will feel so much better when Spring finally shows her pretty face.
First up - you must have all the right equipment before you get started. Once you get started you will lose your momentum if you don't have something you need. A few of the things you should have on hand: clear storage bins, a labelmaker with plenty of label tape, if you aren't a label maker-kind-of-person you need a chisel point sharpie and some masking tape, non-metal hangers (nice if the whole closet can be done in the same color and style), any extra jewelry organizers you might need, at least one cotton garment bag, and trash bags or more bins. If you happen to have some great formal wear or a few pieces you don't wear often at least a cotton shoulder cover is great to have as well. If you prefer visual aids rather than reading all the supplies see below
One of the easiest things to do first is immediately pull out anything from your winter wardrobe you did not wear this year. Decide on the spot if you will donate or consign. (You will already have a tub labeled consign and a bag read for donate). Go through all the clothes you didn't wear and divide them now. Anything that has been worn gently, is free of stains, holes, rips, etc. should be folded neatly and placed in the bin labeled "consign". Anything that shows more obvious signs of wear such as faded color, washed look, shrunk, should be donated. Just a quick plea - if you have clothing with generous holes, stains, etc. it should be tossed, or added to your cleaning rags. Next, take a look at anything you are sick of wearing but know you will love to wear as if it were brand new - next year. Place those items folded nicely in the clear tub marked "winter". If you have been able to maintain your closet divided by each classification such as shirts, blouses, skirts, pants, etc. then just some quick maintenance of this will be all you need. Next on the list, make sure have not let any of those unthinkable wire hangers slip in to your wardrobe...eek...if you have quick switch them out. Now, the hanging stuff should be back to looking great. If you have some transitional pieces you would like to start wearing you can easily slip them in with ease. Some things you can start wearing - cotton sweaters - even a short sleeve sweater - layered with a long sleeve blouse. Ankle-length pants paired with booties for now. A cute short-sleeve dress layered with a long-sleeve top and then worn over skinny jeans is another great transition piece. Speaking of transition - I know some of you are more sensitive to the wool discussion but I want to suggest you start pulling some of the heavier wool sweaters and pack them away for next year if you are keeping them. Remember to dry clean before packing away in your clear tub. I promise, once you do, you will start feeling more encouraged for spring, no, really. Just a quick word if your closet was truly a disaster. First - don't fret. Second - it will just mean you are probably better to pull all the clothing out and reorganize from scratch.
Okay next, take a look at your jewelry and accessories and do the same thing you did with the clothing except you will need to take all the jewelry and accessories out of the closet, jewelry keeper, etc to do the best work. You will have the jewelry you are keeping which you will organize in whatever bins, trays, racks work for you. Next, you will have the jewelry you are consigning and the jewelry you are donating. Have a labeled container for each. Remember, your winter clothes that you are consigning will have to be stored until August when consignors again accept fall/winter goods. However, most jewelry can be consigned anytime. Check with your favorite consignor to find out. Repeat the same steps with all your other accessories such as scarves, hats, belts, etc. The same is true of your footwear. Don't forget to take advantage of keeping a great pair of shoes or boots you spent a lot of money on but may just be in need of a minor repair by taking them in now to a local reputable shoe repair store. If you don't have one ask your friends for a referral to one.
Okay, you are finished. Close the door. Now re-open the door, isn't it pretty in there? (or do you think I'm crazy) Some of your clothes will look brand new and you will "invent" new ways to wear them. You will easily be able to add a new piece or two. Perhaps a floral shirt you can wear now and introduce a great spring trend regardless of the weather. Regardless of when it finally arrives you and your closet are ready for spring.