Last week, a Facebook friend tagged me in a post where she asked if now was a reasonable time to purge clothes from her closet. This is a dilemma in today’s culture because the pandemic has blurred the lines between work and non-work clothes and we really don’t know what things are going to look like on the other side of the pandemic. Yet we’re looking at our shorts and t-shirts thinking, ‘I gotta get this stuff out of here.’ The season clothing switch needs to happen but this year, we’ve got to take it a few steps further. Follow these Six Simple Steps to get your spring/summer wardrobe outta here and your fall/winter wardrobe nice and cozy where it belongs.
Step 1: Go through your closets and drawers and eliminate anything you know you don’t want or won’t wear anymore. This would include items that are stained or otherwise damaged beyond cleaning, along with items that are too big or too small for you (don’t let the temptation of your fat clothes linger, no matter how many Christmas cookies you plan on eating, and if you lose weight and eventually do fit into your skinny clothes, you can treat yourself to some new things at that time). Send these to your local donation center or consignment store. This is also the moment to set aside items that don’t belong to you, like your BFF’s sundress you borrowed to wear to that socially distanced barbeque over the summer.
Step 2: Go through your clothes again and set aside the things that are definitely summer clothes that you’ll want next year. Think tank tops, summer dresses, most of your flip flops and your shorter shorts. Put these in a clear bin marked ‘summer clothes’ and put it in storage once it’s full. (Side note: clear bins are the best because if you’re looking for one item in particular before you bring them all out in the spring, you can find it much more quickly just by looking at the bin.)
Step 3: If you have a more formal summer wardrobe for your job, then for now, put it all in the ‘summer clothes’ bin. Here’s the caveat: if your company has already and permanently changed its dress code and work-from-home policies that will affect your job next summer, then you’ll be able to purge some of the obvious losers. The point is to be realistic about what you’ll actually need. If you know that business suits are a thing of the past for you (yay!), then pass them on to someone who still needs them (poor souls:).
Step 4: Reassess what’s left. In my part of the country, we’re definitely getting an Indian summer where the temperatures are in the mid-70’s, so I’m kind-of regretting putting so many of my short-sleeved tops away. Take a look at each item that’s still there and consider the likelihood of wearing it between now and March’ish. If you know you won’t even layer it under a sweater, then it goes in the summer bin. Remember, we’re not getting rid of anything at this point, so if you do find yourself wanting one particular item, you can always get it out of storage.
Step 5: Bring out your fall clothes and do a quick sort based on Step 1. Get rid of the obvious. Donate, consign and return.
Step 6: Sort out the fall clothes that your current job in its current state requires and put them into your closets and dressers. Many of us are still working from home with various degrees of the possibility of returning to ‘normal’ working conditions. Again if your company has already and permanently changed their dress code and work-from-home policies and you know that you’ll never ever wear a pantsuit again (thank God:), then put those in the donate or consign bin and say good bye. If, however, you know you won’t wear certain items this fall and winter but you might wear them next year, then put those in a clear bin marked, ‘Fall/Winter 2021’ and put them in storage. Everything that’s left goes in your closet.
*Bonus tip: when you’re incorporating items into your current life, use a version of the reverse hanger trick, where you hang things with the hanger hook pointing out, or in the case of drawers, put them in the front so they’re more obvious. Then, when you’re deciding what to wear, try those items first. It’ll get you thinking about whether you actually want or will wear them ever again.
Friends, we are living in unprecedented times, and this has had an impact on so many areas of our lives – all the way down to the season switch with our clothes. Taking the 2020 season switch step by step will help reduce your overwhelm with this process so that on those chilly winter mornings, you don’t have to sort through your tiniest of tank tops to get to your coziest of sweaters.
Aubrei Krummert is a Certified Professional Organizer in Athens, Ohio, who helps well-intended, yet chronically disorganized individuals live more peaceful and productive lives. She specializes in Home Productivity and works with clients across the United States, doing on-site and virtual sessions. Connect with her via her Facebook page or her website.
You can find this and other articles from Aubrei at yourtango.com