While it’s tempting to toss all of your sweaters and heavy clothes in back of the closet in exchange for lighter spring clothes, you need to stop! You need organize your winter clothes first, before you greet spring with sandals, lighter colors, and white jeans. This means putting away heavy sweaters, boots, coats, scarves, etc the RIGHT way first. Your life will be much easier when the temps turn cooler in the fall if you take a little time to properly organize your winter wardrobe.
If you don’t put winter away first, you run the risk of ruining your clothes, shoes, boots, coats, etc. and losing an investment you made in your wardrobe. This happened to me several years ago. The drawer where I had stored my sweaters had a moth infestation soandI had to throw away every single sweater that was in it. Not fun or cheap to fix.
This is what you need to do to take care of your winter clothes before you switch to spring
- Clean your clothes. I wash my wool and cashmere sweaters and scarves in mesh bags on the gentle cycle in my washing machine with gentle sweater detergent. After they dry on every flat surface in my bedroom, I fold them and put them away in a dresser.
DO NOT store sweaters or winter clothes in plastic bags, like the ones from the dry cleaners. They are natural fibers and need to breathe. Store in cotton zip up bags if you need to contain them.
- Don’t forget to clean your scarves and shawls. These sometimes get overlooked in the coat closet but the same applies: they need to be cleaned before putting away.
- Dry clean winter coats and hats that can’t go in the wash. If you wore it, clean it. Check pockets, too, for forgotten treasures.
- Evaluate your winter wardrobe. While you’re cleaning, this is the perfect time to evaluate if you want to keep these winter clothes. Did you wear everything? If it doesn’t fit or flatter, think if there is something you can do to alter it to make it work. If not, it’s time to pass it on to someone else. What’s the point of letting it take up valuable real estate in your closet if you don’t wear it or love it? Give to a friend or donate to charity.
- Match up gloves and mittens. I can’t tell you how many hall closets I’ve worked on that had a bin of single mittens and gloves. Make a concerted effort to find the mates and then get rid of any remaining singles.
- Clean your boots and other winter shoes. This is so important, especially if you’ve gotten salt and mud on them. Depending on the condition of the boots or shoes, you may have to get them professionally cleaned but you can at least get all of the dirt off the heels and soles. Now is the time to evaluate if they need repair like new tips or soles.
- Store away. All of these clothes that you’re not going to wear for a while can now be placed in a less convenient location in your closet or home. Everything that you’re currently using and wearing should be at eye level or have the easiest access. Fold your sweaters to avoid permanent creases on the shoulders. Use lavender or cedar sachets in the drawers or fabric bins to keep them smelling nice and to ward off bugs. I’m not a fan of mothballs but they are great for warding of squirrels in your garden or attic.
It seems like a lot to do at once but if you put winter clothes away properly, they’ll be ready to wear when cooler temps return. You’ll know exactly what you have and where it is so you don’t waste time looking for your warmer clothes when you need them.