Turn, Turn, Turn your Seasonal Wardrobe
Fall is officially here and it's time to give new life to your cooler weather wardrobe. Follow these steps to be on your way to an organized fall wardrobe and proper protection for your summer gear.
Prep and Purge
Before storing any of your summer wardrobe, carefully look over the items to ensure they have been properly laundered and there is no dust, stains, makeup or food residue lingering on the item that would set into the fibers over the off season. For shoes, wipe the surfaces clean and stuff the toes and ankles or use shoe shapers to keep materials taught and free from creasing. Stuff formed hats to keep their shape. Be sure when stuffing shoes and hats that you use acid free tissue to minimize wear and discoloration or reaction to the materials.
Now is also the time to purge anything that you didn’t wear over the season and will likely not wear again next spring or summer. Take care of any loose stitches or buttons. Surely by the time next season comes around, the button that came loose from your favorite top will be swooped away somewhere and long gone like last year’s fall leaves.
Proper Placement and Prevention
When storing anything away for a period of time, it’s important to do what you can to keep excess dust, uninvited guests and wear away. Depending on what sort of storage space you have will in large part determine what will be best for storing your seasonal wardrobe items. Some locations that are often good options are guest room closets or under beds, difficult to reach back corners of primary closets, top shelves of closets and finished attics or basements on rolling garment racks. Determine where you can store your seasonal clothing and determine if items will be hung or stored flat on shelves or under a bed. Often it is a combination of both.
For storage of hanging items like coats, dresses, and suits, utilize hanging wardrobe storage bags or garment bags. Group the items by hanging length to maximize storage as the wardrobe bags come in short, medium and long hanging. This may allow you to store items on the floor or shelf underneath the short hanging items for example.
For items that will become misshaped if hung for long period of times like sweaters or clothing with a blend of elastic material, fold and store flat in storage chests or zippered bags. To keep multiple bags stacked and orderly, stack inside of a rigid tote bin with lid.
Store hats in hatboxes with tissue in between hat layers. Store shoes in original shoeboxes or transfer to plastic shoeboxes for ultimate protection. Place a layer of tissue in between each shoe in the shoe box to eliminate wear from rubbing.
Protect and Preserve
Especially clothing that is made of natural materials like wool, cotton and silk need special care taken to keep items safe until their next use. Place cedar pieces or herbal pest-repellant sachets within each garment bag or chest to keep pests away. If the storage space is particularly humid, place a dehumidifier within the space or dehumidifying packets within the storage bags or chest to keep items dry to preserve fibers properly. When storing furs, utilize only natural fiber garment bags and store in a cool dry location or consider paying for proper fur storage with a professional furrier.
Straighten and Shine
As you bring in your fall and winter wardrobe, now is the time to make sure you have the proper hangers, belt racks, shoe storage and drawer organizers to keep your wardrobe tidy and organized. Clean out the closet and drawers inside and out. Sweep out the corners and vacuum any cobwebs. Replace any burnt out or dim light bulbs. Deal with random items that need repair or relocating to give yourself a fresh and uncluttered closet or dresser to work with.
Steam and say “Sayonara”
Iron or steam out any wrinkles created from storage. Launder anything that needs freshening. Shine shoes or boots if needed. Edit out any items that don’t fit or you no longer love. Also take note of any essential wardrobe pieces that need to be added to make other aspects of your wardrobe more useful.
Style and Streamline
As you try on pieces of your wardrobe to ensure they still fit and look good, consider completing and styling a few outfits and hanging them together to have some ensembles ready to go to streamline your morning routine.
Don’t be caught unprepared for the turn of the season. Take the time to put away your summer clothes and give yourself a fresh fall closet.