Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning Your Closet

As I look out a window of gray skies, and temperatures still hovering in the 40's, I find myself daydreaming about Spring and and my Spring wardrobe. Here we are, late March in DC and it remains strategically tucked away in my shoebox of an apartment in the city. It's just not time to switch yet, which is becoming a test of my patience. I love my Spring wardrobe, it's full of my favorite dresses and skirts and shoes, having evolved mostly from my shop. Some of my favorite dresses are going on 5-8 years old, and I am so ready to ditch the sweaters and coats and gloves for a long while.

Others have not waited, some have started wearing those light Spring dresses, and shoes sans covering, looking kind of freezing and odd as most everyone else is still dressing appropriately for the weather, which in DC, is not resembling its typical March self. I want to be in that Spring dress and sandal, too! But alas, the temperatures aren't forecast to go above 50 this week though, and that's with rain. Maybe next week...

As I do have such limited storage, I think I've had to become an expert editor with my wardrobe. There simply isn't the space to acquire new things without something leaving my closet. My storage is 2 dress bags under the bed, a big box in the closet, and my largest suitcase, that's it. The good thing about this, is that switching my closet out takes hardly any time to do the actual task. But why I love spending a few hours doing it, is because it gives you the opportunity to really see what you have, which things need to be replaced, and where the holes are, which are your opportunities to add a few new things from this season's styles.

Spring seems to be a good time to replace your layering basics - tee shirts, camis, cardigans - all these things are on sale in Spring, and it's the easiest way to add some color interest to your Spring wardrobe. We've all been in black and gray for months and months at this point, I'm so over it, aren't you?

When you're switching your closet, it's also time to try everything on that zips. The moment of truth, did you gain weight over the winter. Confession, once about 6 years ago, nothing with a zipper fit. That was a big wake up call for me. I had gained about 8 pounds over the winter, and until I tried on my Spring clothes, I really had no idea. I went on Weight Watchers for 2  months, lost it, and that was the end of that. Ever since, my weight fluctuates a few pounds, but not a size. I decided that was not a road I wanted to go down, especially at my age where losing weight takes a major concerted effort. Not fun, and I'm happy to have apparently gotten the hang of maintenance for the duration.

Another great thing to do when you initially switch out your closet is to put all the hangers in the closet in opposite direction. It's the simplest way to figure out what you're actually wearing. By June or so, you can look at those pieces still on opposite way facing hanger and figure out why. If you're just kind of done with the item and it's just taking up space, this is the time to choose whether to consign it or donate it. It really depends what it is, and what kind of money you're talking about, but I find the most satisfaction in donating work pieces to an organization like Dress for Success, and consigning dresses and dressier pieces for cash to go towards a new item.

Spring is also a great time to take a good look at your shoes. I feel like I have been in boots forever at this point, and am so looking forward to putting them away for next Fall. I think we all have more Spring/Summer shoes just because they're so much more fun to wear - flats, sandals, our heels - in colors, metallic, prints, the possibilities are endless. Look at your shoes from last year, how are the heels, the fabric, the leather? Take care of your shoes if they are meant to last. Maybe that worn out flip flop can be thrown out and replaced...

Ahh, flip flops, and thoughts of the pool, and the beach, and glorious warm weather and sun.... It's inevitable, right?