Step 1: Sort! There are bound to be a few items in your closet that were worn and loved so much over the summer that they have simply seen better days. If there are garments that are worn, torn or stained beyond repair, you need to remove them from your closet and throw them away. Other items, that may no longer fit or aren’t likely to be resurrected in the spring, should be collected in a bag and donated to a local shelter or your neighborhood Salvation Army for others to enjoy.
Step 2: Clean! Some items simply need to be cleaned before they are stored for the winter. Bathing suits in particular should be either washed by hand or washed on a gentle cycle in your machine to get rid of any chlorine in the material.
Your summer sandals and flip flops should also be examined before you box them up. Most rubber flip flops last just one season. If yours have covered a lot of miles this summer, you may want to toss them and purchase new in the spring. As for your nicer summer shoes and sandals, it’s a good idea to spray the insides with an odor remover before storing.
When you are ready to store your summer shoes, protect your high quality pairs by placing them into old pillowcases. This will keep them from being scuffed by other shoes in the box.
Step 3: Pack! I used to spend an entire afternoon switching out my closet. It’s not that I have a ton of clothes; it’s just that I would take every seasonal item out of my closet, fold it and place it into Rubbermaid storage containers. Then, I would pull out my fall and winter items and begin the arduous task of hanging everything up.
A few years ago, I realized that I was wasting so much time and energy with this process and I invested in a covered garment rack. Now, I leave as much of my hanging seasonal clothing on the hangers as possible. If there isn’t room in a guest closet I use the garment rack for storage. This solution makes changing out my closet much faster. In fact, it only takes minutes.
As for shorts, t-shirts and other summer items that you usually store in a drawer, those can still be placed into the Rubbermaid container. Next summer, when you want to pull them out again, everything will be folded and ready to be placed back into the drawers.
If you make the effort to sort and clean before you store your clothes, it will make unpacking next summer much easier and less of a production. Your hanging clothes will be waiting for you, just waiting to be swapped with your hanging winter items and in no time, you will have changed out your closet.