Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Managing the Seasonal Switchover

Photo: Smileyhaiku via Morguefile
Today on The Porch Swing Chronicles, I wrote about 4 things I'm looking forward to over fall break. One of those things, not surprisingly, is related to organization.

At my house, it's that time of year when some of the clothes (and shoes) that are easily accessible are summer clothes and a growing (and still slightly disheveled) portion of my accessible clothing works for fall. I spent a little time on my closet a couple of weeks ago because I needed to make space for some new clothes, but otherwise, the summer-to-fall conversion has yet to take place. Yes, I know it's October, but there's nothing worse than switching everything around only to hit a stretch of warm weather where I end up dragging out the things I just put away.

I've yet to discover a way to do this that makes it fun, but creating a good set-up by putting things away in a personal and organizational style-savvy manner at least makes it less dreadful to contemplate.

For me, shoes are the biggest challenge, mostly because I store my out-of-season shoes in a narrow closet with a sloping, Cape Cod roof. The front of the closet (which houses my in-season shoes) is set up in a very I need to see it fashion, with all of my footwear on shelves, arranged by color, so once the switchover takes place, it really is "easy upkeep." And if I take the time to put things away properly, the process is time-consuming, but not terribly difficult -- at least not from an organizational perspective.

As you pull out one season and put away another, here are a few things to consider.

  • Weed if you can. If you, unlike me, are able to simply move clothes from one closet to another, take some time to consider the usefulness of what you're moving. Hang pieces one at a time in their new space, considering whether or not everything you're putting away for the cool months is worth keeping. Anything you haven't worn in a while?  Something too big or too small or of sentimental value, but not worth the space it takes up? Get rid of them if you can. If you can't (this means you, l love stuff friends), try hanging them with the hanger facing backwards and don't start the next season with them in your closet (go after them only if you need them). Or, pack them away, using some of the tips and tools below.
  • Keep like items together (all skirts, all the shirts) or keep sets together (belts with the outfit they go with), but not both. If you're consistent with your method, retrieval is easier, especially if you find yourself looking for one particular item in a hurry. This benefits all styles, but especially the I know I put it somewhere folks who tend to stash without a plan. 
  • Revert to your containers of choice. Do you like see-through containers? Labeled boxes? Both of these work well for I need to see it and I know I put it somewhere styles, while cram and jammers might prefer fabric bins that expand and "create" space. Use what you know works for you. 
  • Keep it simple. If you're like me, you end up looking for something between seasons, so the easier it is to figure out what's in each container, the less of a mess you make in the process. Keeping it simple and as accessible as possible works for all styles, but can be especially beneficial for the I love to be busy folks who might end up doing their seasonal switchovers a little at a time, when they can squeeze it in.
Photo: SeeMann
via Morguefile
Sadly, this is not a project suited to the drop and run folks who just want all of this to be over with as soon as possible. Their payoff comes in choosing the right storage for the "incoming" stuff -- containers that will make putting things away as easy as dropping them....wherever.

How about you? Any great tips to share when it comes to the inevitable seasonal switchover?

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