Autumn is the new spring: winterise your wardrobe

A little organisation makes the appeal and practicality of Pivotech wardrobes oh-so-much-more than skin deep

While on a late afternoon walk with my family yesterday, the crackle in the air and the crunch of the leaves number my feet meant I could deny it no longer. It’s autumn in Melbourne.

And with cooler days and even cooler nights upon us, it’s time to reach into storage and pull out the jackets, scarves, beanies, boots, coats and thermal layers. Which means, it’s time for the bi-annual spring-to-autumn/autumn-to-spring, storage-to-wardrobe rotation.

Now, it can be easy to slide your beautiful Pivotech wardrobe doors closed and hide the clutter (as well as hide your head under to doona and wait for spring), but you’re only postponing the pain. A little planning and organisation now can save you stacks of frantic mornings of “where’s my hat?” and “my boots are too small!” Besides, you’ll feel better once it’s done.

On your mark, get set, let’s do this.

Step 1: take stock of the past

Start the process by pulling everything out of the wardrobe and giving the shelves, floors and baseboards a good clean. Next, pull out and empty all the storage containers, baskets, boxes and bags of autumn and winter stuff and set the stacks somewhere out of your way. You’ll be using the now empty containers to fill with spring and summer items ready for deep storage.

Speaking of which … subject the spring and summer items to harsh scrutiny and sort them into piles:

  • “keep in the wardrobe” pile – some light cardigans and pullovers can be used for layering up inside or on warmer autumn days
  • “place into storage” pile – swimwear, sandals, shorts and cover ups in good condition, as well as summer sport equipment can be stored for use again next year
  • “donate” pile – items that will be too small in a year or equipment for activities that just won’t fit into your lifestyle in a year will enjoy  new life with someone else
  • “buh bye” pile – know when to say “no” and move on

Step 2: let it go, let it go

Summer can be hard on clothing. Sweat, UV rays, sunblock, sand, sea, chlorine and days in the garden or playing hard out doors take their toll on fabrics and toys. You don’t want to give valuable storage space to items that are clearly worn out. Purge these things and start fresh next year.

Beyond wearing items out, other reasons to let things go include,

  • It’s just sentimental – items you solely keep due to emotional attachment, but will never wear again, move from the bedroom wardrobe to attic or shed storage (properly protected, of course).
  • Impulse buys – when  you bought it, you really, really thought you’d wear it, but … . It’s happened to all of us. However, don’t keep making the same mistake by letting the item stay in the wardrobe.
  • Summer hats – these stack up over the summer as they get misplaced and and replaced and then found. One in each car, two by the door, one in every backpack … they seem to multiply on their own. Try to cull the collection to two or three per family member.

Step 3: a summer place

Take the “place into storage” stacks and sort them into the containers you previously emptied. Label each container, basket and bin to make it easier for you to find things in six months.

Decide what can sit on the top shelves in your wardrobe and what needs to go into lesser accessible storage.

Step 4: take stock of the future

Now start going through all the autumn and winter items you pulled out of the storage containers and integrate it back into your wardrobe. As you do so, evaluate the condition of items to make certain things still fit and are in good condition. Also, does it still work with the personal style of the expected wearer, whether that’s you or the kids.

Make a list of items that need to be replaced.

Step 5: While you’re at it

Since your head is already in a cleaning, purging space, why not tackle the hall closet, as well? After all, you’ll need room for big boots and bulky coats soon.

Limit each family member to two pair of gloves and one winter hat in the shared entryway storage space. A small, portable drawer can conveniently keep these items neat and easy to find. If your hall closet is small, consider placing a small table with drawers near the entryway to house all those little items.

And what about those boots? A rock-filled boot tray helps contain the wet and grime. Water drains through the rocks to the bottom of the tray, so boots can dry. Most of the moisture will evaporate, but it’s important to clean out the tray regularly.

Kick the clean and comfort level of the winter entryway up a notch by placing a basket of clean, fresh slippers (for family and guests) at the door.

Step 6: just dive in

For most of us, this isn’t the way we want to spend our Saturday and the autumn wardrobe storage rotation gets put off.