British weather is famously fickle, so most of us own clothing we can adapt to wear all year round because we never quite know what conditions to expect. For instance, t-shirts can be layered with jumpers and jeans in autumn and winter or worn with shorts or over swimming costumes in summer.
Seasonal storage, therefore, needs careful consideration so you can still access the clothes you need all year round whilst freeing up space for clothes that suit the weather for the current season. Transitioning your wardrobe from one season to another is a great way to organise your seasonal clothes and free up space in your wardrobe.
How to organise seasonal clothes - from summer to autumn
Rather than cramming everything into your wardrobe all year round, here are our tips on transitioning your wardrobe from summer to autumn this year in one fell swoop! The best time to do this is when the weather starts to turn again at the end of summer (as it invariably will). When that will be is anyone’s guess - it could be November or the middle of August.
1. Take everything out of your wardrobe and drawers.
Things have to get worse before they get better, sometimes. As messy and chaotic as it will look and feel for now, getting everything out of your wardrobe and drawers will help you see exactly what’s in there and discover whether any items no longer fit or suit you.
Make piles according to function - trousers in one pile, shorts in another, t-shirts here and jumpers there, summer dresses somewhere else and clothes for nights out or special occasions to one side.
2. Separate anything you don’t want to keep.
Tastes, fashions and body shape change over time and clothes you once loved may no longer look or feel as good as you remember.
Bag unwanted items up according to whether you’ll sell or donate them: anything that doesn’t fit or doesn’t look right needs to go. To avoid adding to landfill, you could give those items to charity or sell them online.
If you’re selling them online, be mindful that buyers will be looking for clothes suitable for the current season - you’re unlikely to raise much interest in summer dresses if you try to sell them at the start of autumn, for instance. Those items might need to be stored alongside the seasonal clothes you’re keeping but not put back in your wardrobe (see below).
Torn or stained clothes can still be donated to charity via the collection bins in most supermarket car parks. Those clothes can be recycled and used to make insulation, for example, and charities can raise money by selling them by weight.
3. Identify your ‘20%’ clothes.
You might have heard of the “80:20” clothing habit most of us have - we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time.
To be fair, that’s probably because of the fluctuations in weather and temperatures in this country - 80% of our clothing is probably season-specific (bulky jumpers, summer dresses etc.) and only suitable for the extremes of temperature this country experiences about 20% of the time!
Items that can be safely returned to your wardrobe are items that you’ll wear all year round:
- Lightweight jumpers
These are your everyday favourites, the 20% you wear 80% of the time. Make sure you hang them or put them on your shelves where you can reach them easily.
4. Identify your summer clothes.
Summer clothes are made from thinner material than bulky autumn/winter clothes, but they still take up a lot of rail space on hangers. Pulling out what you want to wear daily and putting away laundry will be easier if your seasonal clothes are organised or stored correctly.
Identify the clothes you’d only wear in the height of summer. Summer dresses, most of your swimwear (keep a cozzie available in case you go swimming at the leisure centre or gym), shorts, and summer hats, for example.
Bag these up and store them at the start of autumn until you need them next year, and you’ll be amazed at how much more room there is in your wardrobe!
5. Put everything else back in the wardrobe.
Your wardrobe and drawers should now have more space for your autumn and winter clothes. Roll rather than fold your clothes for extra room, and group your clothes by function so you can always see how many pairs of jeans or jumpers you have and whether you need to put a load of washing on before you next go out!
6. Decide what to do with evening or special occasion wear.
If you go out often, keep a section of your wardrobe free for your eveningwear. If you’re a happy introvert who prefers to stay in, you could pop your eveningwear alongside your seasonal storage until needed. Outfits you use once in a blue moon (for Christenings, weddings etc.) can be put in storage unless you have an abundance of space now that your summer clothes are tidied away elsewhere.
Where can you store seasonal clothes?
The clothes you won’t need for the foreseeable future (and any items you’ll want to sell later) can be stored at home if you have space. You could use vacuum-packed bags to reduce the space they take up or store them in under-bed storage boxes (make sure the containers have lids, you don’t want to encourage anything that hibernates to make a nest in there over the cold months!).
If you have loft space, you could store them in plastic, lidded boxes, but you might find them difficult to retrieve next year if the loft hatch is small or you’re scared of heights or, well, the loft in general.
If you don’t have space at home, you could rent a self storage unit
for a few weeks over autumn and winter. Store your summer clothes and other paraphernalia that comes with the warmer months - camping gear, sports equipment and even garden furniture.
Once you get used to having extra space at home, it can be difficult to give that up! So, when the weather heats up again next year, you could keep your storage unit and swap out your summer gear for your bulky winter gear and Christmas decorations. You’ll be super organised and have lots more room at home!