Michigan’s shifts in season are incredibly unpredictable and while I’m not quite ready to store away my swimsuit and sandals, the weather has demanded I frantically pull out some of my fall/winter wardrobe. If you’re like me, you excitedly stored sweaters and other bulky items away last spring – out of sight, out of mind. So now what to do with them?
Rotating and thinning out the closets in my home is a seasonal ritual. All it takes is a little planning to get you ready for action. Follow these simple steps to get organized for fall:
1.) Choose a destination for those items that no longer serve you. Could you use a few extra dollars? I love to shop and sell at Conscious Collective. They welcome trendy in-season items – even men’s and plus-sizes. For children’s clothing, I recommend the NE GR MOPS Sale. These moms have it going on and are ready to take your baby/kid/maternity items. Be sure to thoroughly review consignor policies and opt to donate items that aren’t accepted or don’t sell. Do you really want them monopolizing your valuable storage space?
If you aren’t too hard up for cash and would rather donate and be done, choose a charity ahead of time that aligns with your values and serves a cause you feel passionate about. Purging becomes an act of giving and giving feels good! I regularly donate items to Africa’s Child because it accepts off-season clothing and even items that aren’t sell-worthy (stained, piling). Its prices are fair, catering to families in need locally and around the world. Have peace of mind knowing that unsellable items aren’t wasted – it forwards clothing to World Mission to distribute to developing countries.
Oh, and don’t forget about tax deductions! I use the free TurboTax ItsDeductible App – less paper and when tax time comes around I can get what I need with a few simple clicks. If you do opt for a donation receipt, make sure to store in a labeled folder where you can readily find it when tax season rolls around.
2.) Devise a storage strategy for in- and off-season items. I store off-season clothing on basement shelves in clear bins (to protect from moisture) by category so I can readily see the contents and easily access for trips or unexpected weather changes. Labeling with lists or pictures of contents is helpful for those that are visual.
Dresses and other items that can hang without compromising are hung on a DIY garment rack (a sturdy bar hung from ceiling joists) covered with clear plastic covering or a clean sheet. Other storing options are unused furniture, vacuum bags, under bed storage drawers or even suitcases if the space is free of dampness. Regardless of your storage solution, be sure to wash clothing first and consider cedar chips for added protection against moths.
Everyone has different preferences for how to store current items. I like my storage spaces to be about 90 percent full so items still have room to breathe and I can easily peruse them to find what I want. I hang most items, except for my sweaters and layering tanks/t-shirts, which are stored folded on a shelf in my closet. Hanging saves tons of time and keeps clothing looking fresh and wrinkle-free. Scarves, knit hats and other winter accessories are stored in baskets with handles on the top shelf.
3.) Go KonMari on your clothing. If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, you probably should. While I don’t follow all principles, I do apply KonMari purging practices with clients and at home – keeping only those items that spark joy and thanking those that don’t’ while sending them on their way. Sort your winter clothing by categories so you can better quantify. Go through each item individually and ask yourself “do you really love it?” If you have any hesitation, let it go. Through this process, you will gain a new appreciation for the items that truly spark joy and free yourself of the weight from those that don’t.
4.) Finally, execute your escape route. Sell or donate now! Pack items in your car with confidence right away. Commit to it by adding it to your calendar. I offer free donation drop-off to my clients each session. Regularly, I am told how much this is appreciated because they questioned their decisions shortly after. Act now and experience the thrill of instant gratification and an organized wardrobe.