We moan about the weather all the time, but living in a temperate climate has its benefits! Sitting in the warmth now, with long daylight hours, it’s hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago, we were all huddled in blankets, trying to think of how to keep warm without using any electricity or gas.
Well, it would be hard to imagine if we didn’t have to push all our winter clothing to one side to find our summer clothes in the wardrobe!
Here are some tips and tricks for organising your summer wardrobe to make the most of your space and - above all - make it easy to pick out what you’ll wear each day or pack for your summer holiday.
1. Have a good clear out
Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that don’t fit? Or have seen better days? It’s tempting to hold onto clothes you’ve worn and felt good in - maybe they bring back memories of great nights out or previous holidays, or you got loads of compliments when wearing them. If clothes don’t fit, don’t let sentimentality hold you back from letting go of them. You’ll still have the memories! You could sell good quality items online and use the money to top up your summer wardrobe.
If there are items you want to keep but have holes or tears, have a go at fixing them - there are plenty of ‘how to repair clothing’ videos online, and you’ll feel pleased with yourself if you restore an old favourite!
If it doesn’t fit, or can’t be repaired, launder it, bag it up and either sell it or send it to a charity shop or clothing donation bin for a second lease of life! Bulky winter clothing you didn’t wear last year can also be sold or go to charity.
A note on charity recycling bins: you can donate clothing that’s good enough to wear again and/or clothing that’s seen better days (e.g. it’s stained or has holes). If it’s not good enough to sell in a charity shop, the charity that runs the donation bin will find ways to recycle it, perhaps by selling it by weight to be recycled (e.g. as insulation material). This will keep your clothing out of landfill and benefit those in need, directly or indirectly.
If you’re hoping to sell the winter clothes you no longer want, be mindful that few people shop for winter clothes in summer. Consider popping them into storage (see below) and selling them in autumn/winter rather than trying to sell them now.
2. Store what you don’t need this summer
After you’ve removed everything you won’t wear in future because it’s the wrong size, fits poorly or can’t be repaired, evaluate what’s left. Separate it into winter and summer wear. Anything that you won’t wear in the summer (e.g. bulky jumpers, thick tights, thick trousers, long-sleeve tops etc.) can be stored elsewhere until the weather changes again.
To store your winter clothing, you could:
Buy some vacuum-pack storage bags (these are cheap and widely available). Launder (and dry!) your clothing, fold it neatly in the bags and suck out all the air from the bag with your vacuum. This saves loads of space, and you can store the bags anywhere they’ll fit - on top of your wardrobe, under beds etc.
Rent a storage locker
for a few weeks and store all your winter clothing away from home to give you loads more space (you could store seasonal items like Christmas decorations, winter tog duvets and blankets in there too). If you do this, you can rent it all year round and swap your winter wear for summer wear (and sports equipment, camping gear etc) when the weather changes.
3. Organise your summer clothes
Your wardrobe should be for hanging clothes that would crease when folded. So, summer dresses, shirts, and tops. Try to group your clothes (dresses on the right, tops on the left, shirts in the middle, for instance) so that you can easily pull out whatever you want to wear that day.
Anything folded, like trousers, t-shirts, shorts and underwear, can go into your chest of drawers. Consider rolling these items rather than folding them, as they’ll crease less and be easier to see - if you fold all your t-shirts and stack them one on top of the other, you’ll rarely use the ones lower down the pile. If you have a drawer for all your underwear, consider buying fabric boxes to separate your knickers/pants from your socks/tights and bras.
If you don’t have a chest of drawers, you can buy fabric shelves to hang from your wardrobe rail. If you have shelves in your wardrobe already, don’t just stack everything up on those shelves because every time you pull something out, the rest will get crumpled - and again, you’ll probably end up wearing whatever’s on top of the pile. Instead, invest in some boxes or clothing dividers that you can store on the shelves but access quickly and easily. Fold your clothes and store them vertically in a row, one behind the other, rather than in piles.
4. Keep it neat!
Next time you do your laundry, be strict about putting things away properly in line with your new, organised summer wardrobe.
In a few months, we’ll all be bundled up again, looking forward to things like Bonfire Night and Christmas, eating hearty food and marvelling that we were enjoying salads and ice creams this summer. When that happens, swap out your summer clothes for your winter ones and store them in your vacuum-pack bags or self-storage unit so you’ll always have plenty of room in your wardrobes and easy access to whatever you choose to wear.