Wardrobe Spring Cleaning in an Hour

Perfete / Monday March 9, 2015
Tackling a full closet can be a challenge, but planning and focus will help organize in an hour!
Tackling a full closet can be a challenge, but planning and focus will help organize in an hour!

We’d all love to start the season fresh, feeling organized and ready for new inspiration. However, most of us don’t get through as much spring cleaning as we set out to. You never know how long it’s really going to take once you start finding things. That skirt you thought you lost two months ago,  your mom’s vintage pumps, and half an hour spent reminiscing over your old high school sweater. Setting aside a predetermined chunk of time off the bat can help you stay focused and motivated to get the job done. Just one hour of wardrobe organization is the perfect way to get into the spring cleaning mode and keep warm weather favorites easily accessible for chic dressing all season long.

Plastic bins can fit a ton of winter clothes and keep them protected for the next season.
Plastic bins can fit a ton of winter clothes and keep them protected for the next season.

Before you get started, make sure you have adequate storage space for out of season items. If you’re lucky enough to have a big closet, then choose a section to keep clothes you won’t be wearing until fall. Clear it off so that it’s ready to be organized. For those with minimal closet space, a cheap and easy fix is to grab a couple of large plastic bins. They protect clothes and shoes by keeping out air and dust, and can easily slide under the bed, or on the floor of your closet. Then get an old cardboard box or paper bag for items to donate. Chances are, you’re going to find a few things you can part with, and if they’re in remotely wearable condition, it’s much better to drop them off at Goodwill rather than throw them away.

Store those heavy peacoats and leather jackets for next season.
Store those heavy peacoats and leather jackets for next season.

Now that all your spaces are designated, start with the easy stuff. You know you’re not going to wear heavy coats or boots for a good few months. If all of your winter coats are already stored in a separate coat closet, you’re off the hook. Any remaining outerwear can be folded and put into the very back of your closet, or in one of your storage bins. Bulky sweaters made from wool, cashmere, or other insulating fabrics are the next step. Light cardigans or open knit pullovers can still come in handy on cool summer evenings, so keep a couple neutral styles on hand. Leave a white, black, and/or tan light sweater with your spring clothes, and stop there. Making quick decisions is the key, here. Trying to mull over each item is part of what ends up taking hours. Fold the winter sweaters into your bin, or hang by the coats in the back of your closet. There’s your first 10 minutes.

Fold items neatly and they'll be ready and waiting for cooler weather.
Fold items neatly and they’ll be ready and waiting for cooler weather.

The next 20 minutes is all about purging. Since obvious winter items are no longer a distraction, it’s time to go through each piece and set it aside if you know it’s not wearable for whatever reason. Put anything in good condition into your Goodwill box, and simply throw away clothing with rips, holes, and pulled threads. A great way to organize the items you will be keeping is to group colors together. I like to go from light to dark, using the rainbow gradient as a guide. For each color grouping I also try to keep the lightest weight items in front, going from tanks to long sleeve tops. Organize bottoms starting with short to long skirts, then shorts to pants. Very thick denim jeans or corduroys are less likely to be worn in the summer, so those are worth storing away.

Organizing everyday items saves loads of time when getting dressed.
Organizing everyday items saves loads of time when getting dressed.

Just like that you’ve already made major progress in just half an hour! Winter clothes are organized and stored, old clothes are purged, and wearable items are  fairly sorted. The next step is to spend another 10 minutes looking through the remaining items. Any holiday party dresses or fancy apparel you won’t wear during the warmer seasons can be stored, as well. If you have expensive pieces you’d rather not fold and keep in a bin, leave items hanging and use a rubber band to keep hangers together. A garment bag is good way to protect pricey clothing and condense things a bit. If you don’t have a plastic or fabric garment bag, they’re fairly easy to find, but I always check with Amazon first.

Thick silk fabric and a sweater shawl collar make this top worth packing away for the next few months.
Thick silk fabric and a sweater shawl collar make this top worth packing away for the next few months.

The final closet category is of course, shoes. One thing you certainly won’t need when temperatures rise is leather boots. Not ankle boots, mind you, but those knee-high boots we wear with jeans practically every day in fall and winter. Also take a look at fancy winter shoes like velvet pumps that you know you won’t wear during the summer. Put those up on a high shelf, tucked back in a corner, or into one of your storage bins. If you have any reservations about storing shoes with clothing, put boots in a plastic trash bag and tie it off before adding them to your bin. Now you should only be left with the sandals, tennis shoes, heels, and ankle booties to pair with spring looks. That’s another 10 minutes.

No one is going to be zipping-up knee high boots in 80 degree weather!
No one is going to be zipping-up knee high boots in 80 degree weather!

With your last 10 minutes, take one more look through your closet for final adjustments and sorting. Do a quick vacuum of the floor, wipe off shelves, and get bins secured and stored away. Take bags of damaged clothes out to the trash, and put bags for Goodwill in your car so you can drop them off the next time you head out. This is also a good time to take inventory of what you may need to replace. Make a quick list of things to look for to complete your warm weather wardrobe in order of priority.

In one easy hour you’ve managed re-vamp your wardrobe for the season, get organized, and hopefully feel motivated to tackle other areas in your home!