Hey fashionistas! Hopefully by now all of you have noticed the signs: the changing leaves, the dropping temperatures, the pumpkin flavored drinks and food everywhere ― it’s officially fall! However, despite all the hints you’ve gotten that it’s time to pack up your tank tops and deflate your pool floaties, your home is probably still overflowing with summer staples.
The switch from warm-season essentials to the necessities of fall and winter may seem daunting, but I have a ridiculously easy system that makes the changeover fast and simple. Read on to learn how to clean and organize your entire home for the upcoming cold season.
Step 1: Wash Everything
Before you stash all your summer stuff in storage, you should spend a day washing and wiping all you’ll soon put away. In fact, it isn’t a bad idea to spend a day or two performing some fall cleaning, since the next time your home will receive a thorough cleansing will likely be months from now in spring. However, it is most important that you scrub your summer stuff because oils, stains, moisture, and more can ruin your favorite clothes and décor if left to sit for half the year.
Step 2: Sort Everything
There is no point of going through the effort of cleaning and storing things that you don’t want anyway, so before you commit containers of summer stuff to storage, you should sift through all of it and rid yourself of the items you no longer need. The easiest method for this is to carefully consider every possession and place each one into one of three piles: keep, toss, or donate. If you perpetually struggle in deciding what to keep, you might ask these five questions:
- Is it in good, working condition?
- Have I used it in the past year?
- Does it match my existing style?
- Does it have any monetary value?
- Do I love it beyond reason?
Step 3: Make Space for Everything
Before you can pack up the items you choose to keep, you need to make sure you have enough storage space for everything. Usually, this means scoping out oft-forgotten areas like your garage or attic and playing “keep, toss, or donate” with much of your belongings there. Storage spaces quickly become graveyards for broken or unwanted stuff, and the sooner you sift through your possessions and purge the unnecessities, like the run-down family boat or old car or stuff you saved from the last purge but didn’t actually use once, the sooner you will have more workable space for seasonal items you do use.
Step 4: Pack and Unpack Everything
Once you are confident that you have enough space to store your summer wardrobe and decorations, you can begin to pack it up. It is smart to keep like items together; for example, you should keep your shirts in one package and your pool floaties in another. Additionally, you should avoid folding wherever applicable and instead employ the military-style roll, which allows you to fit more items in less space. Once your summer stuff is safely packed, you can finally grab your fall and winter storage and begin the unpacking process.
Step 5: Air Out Everything
After stewing in storage during the hot, muggy months, it’s more than likely your cold-weather gear has taken on a funk. The first day you unpack, you should hang up any clothing and linens to allow them to breathe and take in the fresh aromas of fall. Meanwhile, you can inspect them for signs of damage, like water stains, moth holes, or creases that require ironing. Particularly heavy clothing, like coats and jackets, might need to be dry cleaned to remove the plastic-y storage smell.
Step 6: Sort Everything (Again)
Your needs and tastes will change from year to year, so before you obliviously hang up your decorations and shove your coats in your closet, you should employ the same rigorous sorting procedure you used with your summer stuff. This time, dividing your belongings into the keep, toss, and donate piles shouldn’t take as long, and you should have much less to throw or give away ― assuming you sorted this spring before you packed up your fall and winter belongings.
Now all that’s left is to hang up your cold season wardrobe, place your decorative pumpkins and snowmen, and grab a mug of warm cider while you enjoy the nip in the air.