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Hildy NeumannThe Beauty of the Seasonal Closet Switch

One of the things I love most about living in New England is the change of seasons, and one of my favorite seasonal traditions is switching my closet in fall and spring. Away go the sweaters and boots; back come the shorts and T-shirts!

Yes, it takes a chunk of time to switch your closets around twice a year. But think about the benefits:

  • This ritual lets you say goodbye to the previous season (and the clothes you’re thoroughly tired of by now) and greet the new season with a fresh batch.
  • Your clothes and shoes will be ready and in good condition next season when the weather changes.
  • The things you let go can be donated and put to use by someone in need.
  • The fewer items you have, the easier it will be to see what you have, the fewer choices you’ll have to make and the faster you’ll be able to get ready.
  • Paring down and letting go feels good – and maybe lets you get a few new looks with no guilt!

And here’s how to do it:

  • You don’t actually have to move your clothes, shoes and accessories to and from a different closet – you can designate two areas in a single closet (right and left sides, upper and lower rods).
    Take everything from the prior season out and look at it.
  • Note anything that needs attention – repair or cleaning – and take care of it before storing.
    Aim to edit your closet; the fewer items you have, the easier it will be to decide what to wear. Do you find it hard to get rid of things? Try thinking about what you want to keep (your go-to items, those you love and feel great in) instead of what you can let go.
  • If there are things you’re not sure whether you’re ready to let go, here’s a trick: turn all your hangers around at the beginning of the season. As you wear each piece, turn the hanger back the correct way. At the end of the season, you’ll be able to see which items you haven’t worn all season; these are candidates for saying goodbye to.
  • Don’t forget the non-hanging clothes in your drawers. A similar trick applies. Unless your roll your clothes, they’ll be folded in stacks. As you use them, the clothes will be returned to the top of the stack. Those at the bottom are the candidates for letting go.
  • Extra credit: make a note of any items that need to be replaced and tuck it away with your off-season clothes. When the season rolls around again, you’ll know what you need to shop for.

Remember, switching your closet creates an opportunity to evaluate each piece of clothing and footwear for its continued relevance to your current lifestyle. It gives you a chance to greet favorite clothing that you haven’t seen for six months, savor their new but familiar textures (hello, linen and silk!), remember the last occasion you wore particular outfits and think ahead to upcoming events when they might be worn again. It says, “I’m looking forward to the new season and all it will bring.” And as you put away favorite out-of-season items (good bye, wool and fleece!), you can think about how happy you’ll be to see them again in the fall. Rather than a chore, this ritual is another way to celebrate the cycle of the seasons.

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