Want to hear one of my number one secrets for simplifying the everyday task of getting dressed?
A seasonal closet. By tucking away my off-season clothes, I save mental energy when trying to create a weather-appropriate outfit.
I don’t subscribe to a capsule wardrobe, with its rule of 33 items and a 3 month shopping ban, although I have tried it in the past. Our closets naturally limit the amount of clothes we can store, so I use that as my boundary. I also try to limit shopping throughout the year, but I guess my personality kind of balks at the strict rules of a capsule. Instead, my best practice is to keep a tightly edited closet and to store off-season clothes in an under bed box.
After five years of practicing this habit, I’m never going back. It keeps my closet functioning really well, especially in Indiana where the temperature vacillates wildly from the low teens in winter to the upper 90s in summer. It helps to be able to clearly see only the clothes that will work for the current weather situation. When spring rolls around again, I get a little thrill to see the clothes that have been tucked away for six months, which helps curb shopping sprees.
If you’ve always kept your entire wardrobe out year round, here’s how to begin this new (totally free!) habit:
- Divide the year into seasons based on your climate. For Indiana, a warm weather and cool weather split works well. I generally switch out my closets around April 1st and November 1st, roughly six months each.
- Take a look at your entire closet. Since we’re starting at November 1st, we’ll create a cold weather wardrobe first. Take out any item that you would NEVER wear during winter. For example: sundresses, eyelet, shorts, linen, sandals, swim suits, summer tank tops, sun hats.
- Pause. Before tucking these items away, assess if there are any pieces that you didn’t actually wear during the summer. Hindsight is 20/20. If you are holding onto clothes that you aren’t using, now’s the time to let them go. Set them aside. (More coming on what to DO with those clothes in my next post…)
- Neatly fold the clean, warm weather clothes that you use and love, but won’t need for six months. Tuck them onto a top shelf of your wardrobe, into an empty dresser drawer, or into an under bed box.
- Now everything you see in your closet, should be weather-appropriate and easy to coordinate. Take a few minutes to organize and straighten what remains. This is also a perfect time to assess. Are you ready for winter? If there are essentials missing, make sure to take notes so you can buy with intention.
I do the same 5 steps in each family member’s closet.
For my husband, I tuck away his shorts, swim suits, and short-sleeved work shirts, while pulling out his flannel shirts, wool socks, and sweaters. Once the habit is established, there is a swap that happens at each season. Shorts for jeans, sundresses for sweaters, boots for sandals, etc…
In a child’s closet, I’ve found the seasonal wardrobe to be enormously helpful. As the weather changes, my kids resist wearing coats(!) and pants(!) and socks(!) and boots(!). There can be a lot of whining in the morning before we get out the door. But, out of sight, out of mind. If I stow away their shorts and sandals, instantly the complaining is reduced, because they don’t have the option of choosing the “wrong” clothes.
I also take notes of what they have outgrown since the last winter, so I can shop wisely.
That’s it. It’s a very simple, practical habit that should be free to start! Consider this step one, and I’ll post again around April 1st about switching to a warm weather seasonal closet.
I’d love to hear if you already practice a seasonal closet OR if you try one out for the first time!
PS: Here’s my post from last November about switching out our wardrobes.