Warm weather is finally here! It’s time to break out those shorts and sandals. Storing your winter clothes well will not only keep those sweaters and coats in good shape for next year but will also freshen up your closet and give you more space. Let’s look at some tips.
You may be tempted to toss everything out from winter and only wear your fun clothes from now on, but don’t be too hasty. Do you have long-sleeved T-shirts that you wore during cold weather that will work for summer if the evening gets chilly? Perhaps that shell you always wear under a heavy cardigan can become your new sleeveless shirt. Many long pants will work year-round, so keep those women’s jeans and dress pants as possibilities unless they are made of wool or corduroy. Likewise for skirts. A black pencil skirt can be worn year-round (and will look great with just the right summer blouse!).
The same rule applies here. Keeping a couple of women’s cardigans or cotton sweaters available for summer is a good idea. Many of them, however, can be put away. Before you store your sweaters, inspect them for stains and tears. Do you need to repair or simply get rid of some of them? If so, now is the time. Lighten up that closet and make sure your warm favorites are in good condition so you can pull them out to wear when the temperature drops.
Take special care of your wool sweaters and women’s cashmere sweaters. Start by making sure your sweaters are clean and dry, and then fold them neatly. Collapsible cotton bins are great for storing sweaters because the cotton allows the sweaters to breathe while keeping out dust and pets. When you stack sweaters, always make sure to put the heaviest knits on the bottom of the bin (and don’t stack them too high). The key is to store your sweaters while not crushing them.
See-through plastic sweater boxes are handy, too. These can be stored on a shelf or under a bed. It’s a good idea to place some silica packets in any plastic storage bin before you begin stacking your sweaters inside. Unlike cotton bins, plastic will trap moisture. By the same token, avoid storing your sweaters in high humidity areas like basements or closets right next to bathrooms that are likely to emit steam. Never store clothes in an attic. Depending on where you live, the temperatures in attics can range from 20 degrees below zero to 120 degrees above — you want your clothes close to room temperature year-round to keep them looking their best.
Many of your “winter pants” will still work for summer (especially if you encounter aggressive air conditioning in offices, shopping malls, or restaurants), but take the true winter pants out of circulation. If you have storage space in your closet, simply keep them folded across a wooden hanger and move them to the back of the closet so you can see your fun capri pants and summer colors easier. A different closet in your home is a good second choice if you don’t have space in your bedroom clothing closet.
Sort through your dresses and identify which ones are truly winter dresses. That LBD you wore over the holidays may well work for summer events, too. For dresses made from heavy knits or the ones in obvious holiday colors, take the same approach as you did with your winter pants. Make sure they are clean and in good condition, hang them on a wooden clothing hanger, and move them to the back of the closet. Be careful with fragile fabrics like lace or satin, and hang these in a dress bag if possible.
Doesn’t it feel great to put that women’s winter coat away? Keep your winter coat handy for any possible spring storms, but when you are ready to store it away, make sure it is clean, in good repair, and hang it up if possible. Also, put away those women’s winter boots. There’s no reason to go tripping over boots when you are searching for those cute strappy sandals. Make sure to find, clean, and organize all hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens and store them away, too. If some need to be repaired or tossed, get that done now. A clothing bin or basket can be a good choice for storing them over the summer. You’ll thank yourself next winter when you can find everything.
Once your winter clothes are stored away, spend a few minutes organizing that summer closet. Put your favorite sandals toward the front. Organize tops by type and color. The same goes for shorts, skirts, capris, and long pants. Then enjoy looking at your colorful summer closet and pick out a fun outfit to wear!