Admit it, you've been dragging your heels.
And now the humidity is soaring and your closets are still jammed up with puffer jackets and hats and scarves and gloves and all the stuff you really never want to see again, let alone wear again, after last winter.
This year, get organized without the constant headache and hassel of where everything goes.
1) Clean Out Your Closet And Your Sweater Drawers
Take everything out of the closet. Chances are you won't be venturing into your winter closet space once spring hits, so make sure it's cleaned of dust bunnies or dead bugs before you begin. Vacuum it, mop the floor, wipe down the shelves and rods. Line drawers with cedar drawer liners (available at The Container Store and Bed, Bath And Beyond) to prevent damage from moths. Once you have your foundation ready, it's time to get started.
2) Dry Clean or Wash Your Clothes
While a small stain at the bottom of your sweater may not seem like a big deal now, you'll probablly regret it when the first cold spell hits in the fall. Before you pack up all of your stuff, it is important to get your delicates dry cleaned and to run your remaining clothes through the washing machine. Lifestyle author Erin Doland suggests foregoing the starch when washing clothes because it will attract bugs. When it comes to cashmere, Joe Lupo, cofounder and creative director at Visual Therapy, stresses the importance of de-pilling your sweaters as a necessary part of the cleaning process. Check out the video below for some tips to make this easier:
3) Add Moth Balls to Your Boxes
Just because you have a clean closet does not mean that pest won't try to get into your boxes and gnaw holes in your sweaters. Add moth balls, small balls of pesticide and deodorant to keep your clothing in the best shape possible during the summer months. For an eco-friendly alternative, you can also try lavender. In addition to moth balls, Martha Stewart recommends applying cedar oil, a natural oil that kills clothes-moth larve, to your closets or chests. Even though moth balls are aimed at preventing pest infestation, they also help clothing remain fresh while they're stored for the summer.
4) Divide and Organize
To keep tidy, it is important to sort and store by clothing type and color. Differentiate between sweaters, coats, scarves, business clothing, pants, boots, accessories and put them in separate boxes to increase efficiency. If you have a lot of one particular item, for example sweaters, it would be advantageous to divide and store these by color. In terms of dresses Andrea Rapke, founder of The Organized Move, and Melanie Charlton, CEO and Creative Director of Clos-ette, suggest sorting them by length and cut. Don't forget to label all of the boxes to remind you what is stored in each. It will make it a lot easier when winter rolls around and you are looking for your brown cashmere sweater or your navy wool scarf. Alternatively, purchase vacubags and sort by clothing type (Bonus: You can store these under a bed or chest of drawers as they take up very little space).
5) Put Clothing in Available Storage Boxes
Instead of air tight vacuum bags, use boxes while storing clothes because they allow clothes to breathe. The Container Store, a national chain that specializes in organization and storage alternatives, offers a variety of options when it comes to boxes. One popular choice is underbed storage boxes. In terms of maximizing small spaces, The Container Store says, "One of the most practical, but least utilized, spaces in the bedroom is under the bed. By using underbed storage bags or boxes, you can easily store out-of-season clothing and blankets, or other seldom-used items." Another storage option that's in demand is the clear storage boxes An inexpensive option, these boxes can hold large quantities of clothing, shoes, or outdoor apparel. Without a Trace, a professional leather and fur care company, says when storing fur it should be hung up on a broad-shouldered hanger in an area with minimal light that is both temperature and humdidty controlled.
6) Store Items
When storing the actual boxes, it is important to place them in dark, cool and dry areas. Wet, humid areas will further attract any moths and pests and provide an ideal breeding ground for mold. Throughout the summer months, it's important to check on your storage to make sure there are no issues. You don't want to be unpleasantly surprised when it's time to open your winter wardrobe and there are new stains, holes or any other unwanted damages.