It’s official. Fall is here. Even though the weather might still be warm, it’s time to start thinking about storing your summer clothes to make room for bulkier, warmer fall items like sweaters, long pants, flannels and jackets. If you’ve acquired new items over the summer and had your fall clothing in storage bins, you may be surprised that you don’t seem to have the same storage capacity that you had last year. Here’s five quick tips to help you get organized and make the transition smooth and easy.
- Say Goodbye to Old Summer Clothes. Chances are you may have held on to some old swimsuits or your favorite shorts and T-shirts for a little too long. The summer sun, grass and dirt, chlorine and salt water can all take the life and the color out of clothes. So perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to a few items. T-shirts and sweatshirts in particular make excellent rags, so consider recycling where possible.
- Compress and Store. Happily, summer clothes don’t take up too much room. You can minimize space needs even further by compressing summer items in storage bins or compressible bags and packing cubes (available wherever you buy travel accessories). Stow the containers on upper shelves or in the back of your closet, and do yourself a favor and put labels on the outside of everything.
- Take Inventory. While you’re at it, take a good look at your fall clothes as you start to pull them out of their summer storage. Is there anything that has outlived its usefulness? An old sweater that’s too frayed or faded? Some items that the kids have outgrown? Now is the best time to donate or discard those items. If you put them back on hangers or shelves in your closet, that’s probably where they will stay for another year.
- The Beach Only Smells Good in the Summer. In the casual days of summer and with the sun taking the place of a clothes dryer, we often leave items outside to dry in the air. Beach towels, wet shirts, swimsuits, sandals; that’s all well and good during the summer when we use these items frequently. But don’t forget to give everything a good wash before putting it away. An unwashed swimsuit or beach towel stowed in a drawer might develop mold and odor during the fall and winter.
- Think Ahead. I know we don’t want to think about it, but winter typically follows fall, at least in this part of the world. So leave a little room for additional winter items that will inevitably make their appearance. Coats, ski jackets, boots, big bulky sweaters will all be needed a place soon enough, so why not plan ahead and leave some room?