It’s almost April, which means it’s time to pack away your sweaters, leggings and boots for next year and prep your wardrobe for the summer. It’s also high time for a little bit of spring cleaning and wardrobe revising. Or if you’re anything like me, a lot of cleaning and wardrobe revising.
I’ve been picking up items in anticipation of summer, but I hadn’t taken the time to organize anything so my new shorts and tank tops were tucked under a pile of jeans and sweaters. Luckily, over the break I took advantage of some free time and cleaned out my closet. Here are some tips on how to approach the daunting task yourself.
The Cleaning Stage
The first step in building your summer closet is cleaning. This part can be tedious, so set aside a few hours to make sure you complete your task. I like to start by taking all of my winter clothes out and deciding whether to toss them or store them. Stow away the things you’re keeping in a bin under your bed or in the garage so you have extra room in your closet. I promise you that you won’t need your chunky knits until next year. The suggested items to put away are jackets, thick sweaters, tights, boots and anything with fur. This process also makes it easier to pick out what you will wear again when you are ready to reintroduce your winter stuff back into your closet next year. Next, look at what’s leftover in your closet. Take out all the things you decided are for summer and try them on. Do they look good? Are they still your style? Make sure you look and feel good in the things you’re keeping. Otherwise, donate them.
The Organizing Stage
Now that you have decided what you’re keeping, it’s time to put them back in your closet. The number one tip I have for organizing a closet is to hang things up. I need to see the things I own so I can imagine them with other things. This also helps to remind me that I own it in the first place. It works in stores and it will work at home, too. The only things I like to store in drawers are my jeans, shorts and basic tees. Once you’re done hanging things up, organize things by type. Dresses, long sleeves, short sleeves, tank tops, etc. If you really want to, you can organize by color and pattern, too. Because of the millions of neutral-colored items in my closet, I organize by white, black and color. Another technique to try is to organize by functionality. If you know or would like to wear certain items more often than others, bring them closer to the front and store dressier or less functional pieces towards the back. Also, don’t forget about shoes and accessories. You can organize them by type, color or functionality as well.
The Visualizing Stage
Now that the hard part is over, you can start pairing things together and try to see what’s missing. Make a list of the essentials you think you need and pieces you’ve been admiring. Keep this list handy so that when you go shopping, you will have an idea of what you want. Some essentials you may be missing are: short skirts, denim shorts, tank tops in basic colors, a white button-down shirt, light colored denim, flat sandals, a long dress, a summer hat, etc. Make sure those things will go well with the other things you own so you have a cohesive wardrobe. Since you don’t want to spoil your hard work, go for quality over quantity when shopping. A $20 maxi dress may seem like a steal now, but if you’re going to toss it at the end of the season it’s probably not worth it.
Because of how lackadaisical I get about maintaining my wardrobe by the middle of the summer, I usually have to somewhat repeat this effort once or twice a season. It can be tough, but I promise it will be worth it.