Making Our Closets Work Year Round

Here in New York City, spring has been toying with us. First it’s here, then it’s gone, then it’s here again. The last few days have been beautiful, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that spring stays this time! This ping-ponging of the temperature reminds us that there really isn’t a clear transition point from winter clothes to summer clothes. The majority of our clothes can be worn all year round (or at least on those days when the weather isn’t at its seasonal extremes, like 20 degrees and windy or 100 degrees and humid.)Ideally, we would have all of our clothes available to us all of the time. Many city dwellers, however, don’t feel that they have the closet or drawer space to do this. Under-bed boxes are very popular for storing off-season clothes, as are boxes in the uppermost reaches of the closet or in the basement storage unit.

But when the temperature is 65 degrees one day and 35 degrees the next, as happened recently, it is really nice to be able to access your short-sleeved tops and your warm sweaters with equal ease.

As you make your spring transition this year, I recommend that you spend some time reviewing all of your clothes and getting rid of those that you seldom wear. This will free up space for the items of clothing that will help us through the awkward transitions between seasons. Identify which winter clothes you didn’t wear at all, or wore but didn’t enjoy, as well as the summer clothes that you forgot you had and really aren’t looking forward to wearing. Give those away, and use that empty space to keep more of your off-season clothes accessible.

If your space limitations mean that you can’t keep everything at your fingertips all year round, then store away only the truly seasonal items, and swap the winter items for the summer items when it is clear that the new season is really here to stay.

What clothes are truly seasonal? Shorts, sundresses, sandals come to mind, as do turtlenecks, pullover sweaters, and long underwear. (Even bathing suits can be year-round if you have access to an indoor pool, and tank tops are now popular for layering, even in the winter).

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