Out With the Old...
Well, not really out but I, for one, am beyond psyched to pack away my cream cashmere turtleneck sweater for a while. And, let's be honest here, the turtleneck is begging for mercy too ... if you are familiar with my IG feed, you can see that said turtleneck is pretty much the star in most selfies from December onward. We are like the friends who think it will be sooooo fun to have an all-weekend sleepover in middle school but by Sunday we hate each other. We. Are. There.
But enough of all that. Ahead of me lies bins of Spring clothes that have been carefully packed away for months and will shortly become like Christmas morning when I throw off the lids and revisit my treasures. Soon...soon.
With the welcoming of spring, comes the very real and important task of storing your winter wardrobe. Transitioning my seasonal clothing is a necessity for me in my one-bedroom apartment where my husband selfishly asks for 1/3 of our closet for his stuff ; ). I simply don't have the room for all my clothes to live in one place. But even if you have closets galore, I still recommend putting away your winter clothing when the time is right. Looking through a closet jammed packed with both wool sweaters and gauzy summer dresses is incredibly distracting and can make it hard to really utilize your full wardrobe. Whether you physically remove your winter gear or designate a separate closet or space for it, as a professional I absolutely recommend symbolically putting winter clothing into hibernation.
Which leads me to my tips! Yes, tips! You didn't think this was a straight up lecture did you? Oh man, I AM turning into my mother. Ok, tips!
- Out of sight, out of mind. Yes, I know we already covered this, but really. Say goodbye to the distractions and allow yourself a treat in the fall when you get to take out all your warm clothes and be excited like they are new again. It really is a fabulous trick to surprise yourself seasonally and re-fall in love with even your oldest items.
- Clean it. I won't lie to you, this is the most annoying part and even I have been known to be a tad lazy with this step, but hear me out. Especially with winter clothes, we tend to wear items several times without refreshing them and all that wear can mean critters who seek out yummy human smells. And even if critters aren't a problem, imagine yourself in October looking forward to taking out your delicious cashmere top only to find it pilled, stained, and stretched out. Who wants that kind of surprise? I like to make tedious tasks into a fun day; turn on the tunes, open a bottle of wine and start up the washing machine. Wash wool items on COLD and delicate settings, DO NOT TUMBLE DRY. Instead lay items flat on towels, turning them over every once and a while until they are dry. Coats should be taken to the dry cleaner before storing. I know, I know... this can get crazy pricey but think about Cost Per Wear (CPW) - the price of any item of clothing includes the original purchase price plus all future service divided by the amount of times you wear a garment. Take the dry cleaning cost and divide it over all the many times you wore that coat over the winter and you can see that the cost of maintenance is really not that terrible when amortized over the life and use of the garment.
- Invest in storage. As a New Yorker with a small apartment, it's a necessity to have a storage unit, which is climate and pest controlled. But for those of you who store in attics, basements, or unused closets take care to get airtight plastic bins. Cedar blocks deter moths and the plastic bins will prevent any unwanted visitors. Moth balls are effective but, dear lord, no one will ever want to be around you again, thus eliminating the need for clothes at all. If you don't pack up your winter clothing, invest in cedar hangers or hangable cedar blocks and be sure that all your heavy sweaters and coats are on nice, cushiony hangers that won't mishap your clothes over the next 6 months. And, god help me, NO WIRE HANGERS!!!
- Stack it like a pro. Carefully fold your heaviest items on the bottom of your shelf or bin. work your way up to your lightest items and use easily de-wrinkled items (sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, etc.) to pad the folding of high-maintenance items such as leather jackets, blazers, and suede skirts; never fold these items into a hard crease or you will be very disappointed in the fall.
- Make your nose happy. Throwing lavender satchels, dryer sheets, or, as an old friend use to do, bars of Irish Spring soap into your bins before sealing them up will make all your clean fresh winter clothing feel even fresher months from now when you get an olfactory treat with a side of fabulous.