As winter approaches, it’s the perfect time to give your closet a good once-over. It’s time to pack away the summer duds you won’t be needing for a while — gauzy skirts and open-toed shoes just don’t cut it during a Colorado winter — and make room for bulkier sweaters, jackets and boots.
So pick a Saturday morning, grab a mug of coffee and take the time to make sure your closet is clean and in good working order. As you’re emptying it out of some clothes, spruce it up with a dust cloth and vacuum, and toss a sachet or two in the corners to keep things fresh. In addition to a basic cleaning, you can improve your closet’s functionality and take better care of your wardrobe by following these tips to make your closet work for you:
Give Boots a Boost
One of the best parts about the transition to fall and winter is getting to wear boots again. Tall boots are such an easy way to elevate almost any outfit, but they don’t always fit nicely in your closet. To keep them in tip-top shape, roll up an old magazine (I know you have a stack of Vogue and Elle to recycle!) and stick it in each boot. This helps your boots keep their shape and reduces creases in the leather. It also keeps them standing up instead of tipping over in a big, messy jumble.
Manage the Must
Did you bring out your winter coats and ski boots only to catch a whiff of a musty smell? This is a sign that your gear was packed away before it was 100 percent dry — a common problem with outerwear. To get rid of the musty odors and make your stuff wearable again, try washing it in hot water (unless it’s dry clean only!) and drying it on the highest setting recommended. You can also hang it outdoors on a dry day to let any last bit of moisture evaporate before putting it back in your closet. For next year, make sure you follow these steps before packing up your stuff.
Not all hangers are created equal. If you’ve been hanging your heavy winter coats on little hangers meant for blouses, you need to stop. Heavy coats and blazers need sturdy, wooden hangers. Choose ones that are curved to maintain the shape of your jacket around the shoulders. You should also invest in some hangers with clips to hang pants and skirts — they eliminate the perma-crease that comes when you sling your bottoms over the bar of a plastic hanger. For delicate blouses, choose a curved or padded hanger to avoid creasing — no wire hangers! Not sure what to look for? Check out this slide show before you go shopping.
If you have space, it’s always best to fold your sweaters — gravity has a way of stretching them out of shape over time when they’re hanging up. If you don’t have enough room in your drawers, though, you can hang your sweaters and still avoid those awful shoulder bumps. Fold the sweater in half lengthwise, lining up the sleeves together. Then, place the hook of your hanger at the armpit of your sweater and fold the body and the sleeves across each other to form an X. You can see a visual of how to do it here.
Once you have the right equipment and techniques in place, you can get your closet working for you this winter in no time at all. Happy organizing!