In the middle of a season it’s very often difficult to let go of clothing items. If they are a bit worn or frayed we may simply view them as old friends who need to be cherished rather than tossed. Here’s a trick to make the process easier: do it in the off-season! We’re in the middle of summer in the U.S. I was just in Las Vegas where the day temperature on the strip was 105 degrees. If you asked me to check my cashmere sweaters I could have done so with ease. I am free to view them without attachment because all I want on my body right now are lightweight cottons. Let’s come up with a game plan for our winter wardrobe. You’ll have a jump on fall and you needn’t work in longer than 8-minute sprints.
Shoes can take over a closet and if you live in a four-season climate like New York City or Chicago you can easily be overwhelmed. From snow boots to beach thongs, what’s a fashionista to do? Perhaps the first thing is to decide if the shoe really has life for the next season or if you are holding on to it for sentimental reasons. Is it made of a material that can be washed or professionally cleaned? Are you willing to make that investment? What about the condition of the heels? Now might be a good time to pop in and visit your shoemaker. He’s pretty idle this time of year and will welcome the chance to bring a fresh look to your fall and winter shoes.
You know what they say: you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Spend a few minutes looking at your business attire. Is it tired? Or does it still make people stand up and take notice of you. Perhaps some items need to move on to a charity and you may wish to create a shopping list for the fall. There are lots of back to school sales around Labor Day and you can score a deal on some much-needed items.
On the other hand if your big ticket items like suits, slacks, blouses and dresses are all in pristine condition you might want to check some fashion magazines to see what the key fall accessories are going to be. When you change accessories like a scarf, handbag or piece of costume jewelry you can dramatically shift the appearance of an outfit. Your colleagues may think you splurged on a new wardrobe.
Everyone has classic pieces like a beautiful pashmina that go from season to season without a hitch. But it pays to look though your costume jewelry, shawls and scarves, hats and gloves to see if any are ready for donation or the ultimate retirement of the recycle bin. You don’t want to discover at the last minute that your woolen gloves are threadbare or your favorite broach has lost a stone. A few timely minutes now will save you emotional upset later on.
I don’t think there’s a more essential item when it comes to winter do you? It’s great to check for moth holes, missing buttons and stains before you need to wear these treasured garments. If you can wait to replace them remember that after Christmas the stores will have huge sales to move this inventory out and make way for spring. If you can’t wait be sure and shop with an understanding of exactly what you need: long sleeve or short? Which colors are needed? Do you have enough turtlenecks or are you in need of crews? If you packed items away without cleaning them first start leaving them at the cleaners now in groups. This way the expense will be spread out over time. Just so if you wish to hand wash them do one or two a week. You’re going to feel in control when the first snowflake hits the ground!
I’ve prepared a closet-organizing guide that’s available here for you to download. I’ve also written extensively about closet organization in all of my books. Clothes are a passion of mine and I think they should be treated with respect. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
No matter what project you need to tackle before the busy fall season arrives The Magic Formula will guide you to success. There are three steps:
My mother gets the last word here because she raised me on the Golden Rule of Organizing: there is a place for everything and everything needs to be in its place so the next time you need it or want it you’ll be able to find it with ease. See? Mother knows best!
Want more organization tips? Download Regina Leeds’ Home Organization Guides and visit Regina’s author page.
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During the consultation, you and the designer will discuss goals, wish list, and project budget, with the aim of designing a closet organization system that will: