women's winter coat

Tips on Clearing Out Old Winter Coats

As the winter season approaches, it’s essential to take some time to sort through last year’s outerwear. Winter coats may be worn or damaged, and kids often outgrow the coats from the previous year or the style might be outdated. Start sorting and decide if your winter outerwear wardrobe needs an upgrade.

Getting Organized

Sorting through winter gear from last year, even if you are doing it for an entire family, can be an easy task if you get organized before you begin. Get three boxes or bags and label each one–one for donations, one for items you’ll keep, and a third for items that are in bad condition and need to be tossed. Next, gather all the winter coats and gear and have it in baskets or plastic totes in front of you. Even if your main focus is on the coats, it can be helpful to sort through other items, like boots, hats, and gloves, to make sure you are ready to go before the temperatures plummet. Set aside enough time to make sure you can look at each coat carefully. This is a great task to tackle over the weekend.

Check Zippers and Buttons for Functionality

Once you have everything organized and in front of you, it’s time to start cleaning out the coats. You may have multiple coats for yourself and/or family members, such as ski coats or casual winter coats, fleece jackets, work-appropriate coats, or coats of various weights and styles. Take each coat and examine it carefully. Consider the small details as you look at each coat when cleaning out your closet. Test all the zippers and buttons. Do they all work properly? Do any need repair or be replaced? A broken zipper can be a large undertaking to repair properly, so depending on the age and condition of the coat, it’s often better to upgrade the coat with a new one rather than deal with the hassle of fixing it.

Look for Stains

Next, look over the coat to check for any stains. If these have set in over the winter, they may be difficult or impossible to remove, so it may be time for a new coat. Look at both the front and back of the jacket, as well as the hood, cuffs, and pockets.

Survey the Pockets

Take a look at each of the pockets on the winter coat. Are there holes or any damage or disintegration of the pocket lining? Holes in coat pockets mean the potential to lose essential items, so if pockets are damaged they should be repaired or the coat replaced. The best winter coats have quality in even small details like pocket linings, so keep that in mind when replacing coats.

Try the Coat on for Fit

There are lots of different reasons that a coat may not fit the exact same way as it did the previous year. Try the coat on to see if it fits comfortably and in a way that is flattering. If it’s too tight or too loose, it’s time for a new one. This is important for kids, too. Make sure children try coats from the previous year to determine if a larger size is needed.

Consider the Color and Style

Now it’s time to think about the style of the coat itself. Is it still in style? Are you tired of the look and ready for a new design? Ask yourself if it has all the features you need. Maybe you need a women’s winter parka because of new outdoor winter hobbies or activities instead of a shorter coat. Also, take a look at the color to see if it’s faded or if you just feel like you need a color update.

Decide Where It’s Going

Once you’ve taken the time to examine all the different aspects of a coat, decide whether you’re going to keep it for another winter, donate it to charity, or throw it away. There are many great charities that are looking for donated winter coats. Keep in mind, however, that if the coat is damaged or stained beyond repair, it’s best not to donate it.

Move on to Other Winter Gear

A coat is the most major item among your winter outerwear, but once you’re finished cleaning out the coats, you can move on to winter snow boots, scarves, gloves, wool socks and other winter accessories. Look at each item as you did with the coats and determine whether to toss, donate, or keep.

Get Ready to Shop

After cleaning out the coat closet, you probably have had to toss or donate at least a few items. With that chore out of the way, it’s time to reward yourself by shopping for replacements. You’ll find lots of winter coat options in trendy colors and styles with great features that will keep you warm as well as looking stylish this winter.

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