While we dread the onset of winter, the thought of getting to wear cozy sweaters, chic wool coats, and warm furry boots gives us something to look forward to. Sad though it may be to pack away the breezy linens, sundresses and flip flops, I always look forward to re-discovering my treasure trove of winter clothing every year. I get excited to see forgotten items and favorite pieces that will keep me warm and cozy through the cold season.

The good news is, summer will be back again before you know it – all the more reason to make sure your seasonal clothing is carefully packed away and easy to find next spring. Follow these seasonal wardrobe changeover tips to simply and practically store your summer stuff, so you can make room for those foliage-hued scarves and cozy thermals.

  • Do a thorough fit-and-quality assessment. Leggings gone baggy? Shirt acquired a bleach stain in the wash? It can be difficult to let go of clothing for nostalgic or other emotional reasons, but once you do I promise you’ll feel a sense of relief…and be able to marvel at all your open closet space. Donate anything in good condition to charity or offer them up to your friends. If it’s too far gone, you can recycle it through a textile recycling company, or cut them up into rags – a great way to save on cleaning supplies, and be earth-friendly, too.
  • Keep “layerable” items readily accessible. T-shirts, sweatshirts, light jackets, leggings –all of these are mix-and-match, and might be worth keeping out as an additional warming layer to add under your outerwear and heavier items. Any items that won’t likely make an appearance until the spring should be sorted and prepped for storage.
  • Wash your stow-away clothes one last time. Even the clean ones! Your clothes will be packed away for months, so make sure they are clean and dry. Wouldn’t it be great to open up your storage container to the smell of fresh linen detergent rather than musty fabric? You can also throw in a few dryer sheets in there to help keep things fresh.
  • Roll, don’t fold. Once you’ve selected items for storage, try using the rolling technique instead of folding items. Most people are hesitant to try this at first, but quickly become devoted converts. Not only does rolling your clothing help you fit more items in a space, it also creates far fewer wrinkles. Roll ‘em up and your summer clothes will be ready to wear when you pull them out next year!
  • Create an organizing system that makes sense for you. While we think the easiest thing to do is put similar clothing items together – t-shirts with t-shirts, pants with pants – you may prefer to do it by color, outfit, or any number of self-devised categories that make sense for you. Go for it! As long as you can make sense of it come spring, it will work just fine.
  • Use cedar or lavender to keep your clothing bug-free. Don’t worry if you don’t have a cedar closet or chest, a few cedar balls or lavender sachets will do the trick. Be sure to store your clothing in a dry place – keep it out of the musty basement. Most clothing will be fine for a few months in a plastic bin. If you have delicate clothing, or are storing something long term like a formal gown or heirloom quilt, then store it in a breathable fabric bag or container with acid free tissue paper.

Follow these tips and you’ll free up plenty of closet and bureau space for your fall/winter wardrobe, prevent heaps of unworn clothes from piling up and preserve the longevity of your seasonal items. The seasonal wardrobe changeover can actually be this simple – giving you time to plan a fall leaf-lookers’ getaway 🙂


Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of this how-to series on the seasonal wardrobe changeover.