Thursday, October 9, 2014

The art of wardrobe switching

When you're a clothes horse living in an old house which was not built for the modern woman's prodigious wardrobe, you must learn to get creative with clothing storage.

My bedroom has a closet approximately 4 feet wide and just deep enough for one row of hangers. It has one regular-sized door and no lighting, so half of it is constantly shrouded in darkness (I tried putting in some tap lights, but they really don't help). It is impossible to store your clothes in this closet and actually see them, so I keep my most frequently worn and colorful clothes in a wardrobe from Ikea. However, even with two closets and a dresser, I still don't have enough space for all my clothes, so I divide my wardrobe up by season and store the off-season stuff in various dark recesses of my closets. Although my system has changed a bit over the last few years, if you want to read more, you can get an idea from my 2012 blog post about my places for everything.

Today's post is going to cover different ground—the actual process of switching out wardrobes every season, which truly is a labor of love.

I divide my clothes into three categories: winter, summer, and transitional, which works for both spring and fall. So four times a year, I drag my dusty tubs full of clothing out into the light and commence a major sort-out. When I do, my room looks something like this.

Because I'd be tempted to just bring out new clothes every time I get bored (thus running out of new clothes more quickly and paving the way to compulsive shopping and overconsumption), I set strict rules for when I can switch out my wardrobe. In the fall, when the peak highs drop into the 70's for a whole week, I bring out the transitional wardrobe and put away my tank tops and sandals. Then when it gets colder – below 60 for a whole week – I bring out my fuzzy boots and sweaters and pack up most of the warm-weather clothes that survived the summer purge. I always keep a few off-season pieces in the backs of my closets, to wear in case of unseasonable weather, an unplanned getaway, or just a desire to wear something different. In the spring, I wait until the temperature rises back into the 60's (for a full week) to bring out my transitional clothes and store the winter ones. I then make another changeover when the highs hit the 80's (for a week again).

Because I am mildly OCD and can't stand having different types of hangers next to each other in the closet, but also don't have enough of any given type of hanger to go around, switching my wardrobe necessitates moving almost every hanging item of clothing onto a different hanger. I also launder every foldable article before I squirrel it away into a storage tote (one year I made the mistake of putting some unwashed clothes into storage, and by next season, they smelled rank).

So, as you can imagine, the process of putting away the last season's clothing and rolling out the new one's can take hours over several days, but I look forward to it every season. In part, because it means I get to gaze upon all the new clothes that I've been accumulating but unable to wear for months. Last spring, I had a massive 24-piece collection of new-to-me goodies that I proudly photographed and posted. Although I claimed in that post that I have trouble buying cold-weather clothes, I made a concerted effort to acquire some new winter wear over the summer, resulting in the pile you see below. Now I'm ready to take on the fall temperatures—almost with a smile!

1 comment:

  1. I love how organized your wardrobe is. That first picture puts a smile on my face.