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09/21/2014 09:50 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Ridiculously Easy Guide To The Summer-To-Fall Closet Changeover

You might still be in denial that fall is upon us, but your wardrobe can't be. Cooler weather means that you at least need to start layering. And layering involves getting your bin of fall clothes out from the depths of your home and into your closet again. Unless you live in a truly unusual climate that deems year-round access to summer, fall and winter clothing necessary, this means you'll also have to put your summer clothes away.

Which is a massive pain in the you-know-what.

If you put it off now, you're only going to spend the season yelling at yourself every time you try to deal with an overstuffed closet. Instead, just do it. We've outlined a simplified, no-brain-needed guide to the wardrobe changeover that will at least calm you down.

This method assumes that you're dealing with a closet, and have room underneath your bed to store items. We're also going with classic supplies: under-the-bed bins. You're welcome to apply your own method here -- the advice can still apply -- but we're gearing this discussion towards those of us who have a tendency to put off what is essentially a simple home chore.

You'll need: A few garbage bags, a hamper, under-the-bed storage boxes and hangers.

First, start with your summer clothes.

Clean all your clothes one more time. Any trace of perspiration, skin oils or stains can end up damaging the clothing item over time. (Just don't make any of these common laundry mistakes.) Also do a quick check on summer shoes.
laundry hamper

Weed through your clothes. Anything that's too old, too tight or in terrible shape goes in a trash bag to donate later. Don't waste precious storage box space on something that isn't worth your time. Be ruthless.
summer clothes closet

Keep any pieces you can still wear in the fall, such as: lightweight blazers, jackets and cardigans. You know your area's climate best. Hang these in your closet (except for cardigans, which should be rolled to preserve their shape).

Now, it's time to put all those clean, dry summer clothes away.

Rolling vs. folding. We prefer the rolling technique (particularly when it comes to knit fabrics), because it lets us fit more in our storage bins. Watch the video below for a demo on how to do the "military roll" technique.

Organize like with like. T-shirts go with t-shirts, dresses go with dresses and so on.
tee shirts pile

Keep a little bit of space at the top. You don't want to fill the storage bins all the way to the lid line. Leaving an inch or so will let your clothing breathe.

Now, for your fall clothing...

Take all clothing out of storage to let it air out. Check garments for stains and spots that you missed last year.

Weed through any clothing that you'd rather not wear this season. These go immediately into a trash bag or box to be donated.
clothing donation bag

Send any heavy jackets and coats to be dry-cleaned, if need be. Wash and dry the remaining clothes to get rid of that "plastic" storage smell.

Hang fall clothes, organizing by type.
hanging up clothes

And now you're done.

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