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How I Change My Wardrobe Out Between Seasons

Building a Wardrobe
September 28, 2021

Do you switch out your wardrobe between seasons? Even when I lived in warmer climates I’ve always switched out the garments in my closet and drawers between summer and fall and again between winter and spring. So many of my readers and YouTube viewers have asked about how I organize my wardrobe. So I thought we’d start here with how I change my wardrobe out between seasons. And then later this week or next I’ll gladly share how I have my newly transitioned closet organized.

How I Change My Wardrobe Out Between Seasons

Now this isn’t rocket science. You’ve probably been doing the same thing for years. So maybe you don’t really need me to tell you how to do this. But I’m also sharing the tools I use. Some are new to me, while I’ve been using others for years.

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By the way, I’m actually doing this big job today. I took these photos Sunday in preparation for this blog post, but I’ll be doing the heavy lifting today. Maybe you’d like to join me!

Step 1 – Completely empty closet into a neutral space.

I like to remove the last season’s wardrobe before I retrieve the wardrobe for the next season from storage. That way I can also clean out my closet and drawers thoroughly in the process. So I don’t have a photo of my empty closet (since I’m doing it even as you read this post!), but I’ll share it next week. Anyhow, you know what an empty closet looks like. I mean I completely take everything out!

Step 2 – Sort clothes and accessories into four different categories.

I sort the last season’s wardrobe into four categories…

  • one, things that need to go to the cleaners or be cleaned by me…
Things that Need to Go to the Cleaners
wearing: v-neck sweater vest (size medium; LOVE this vest!) // jeans (TTS) // white tee (TTS) // mules (similar option in stock) // earrings
  • two, things that I’m donating or giving to a friend…
Things I'm Donating to Someone or Something
wearing: v-neck sweater vest (size medium; LOVE this vest!) // jeans (TTS) // white tee (TTS) // mules (similar option in stock) // earrings
  • three, things I’m storing for next year (if I’m not sure whether I’ll want it or not next year, I hold onto it and evaluate again as I pull things out at that time)
Things I'm Storing for Next Year
storage bags

I actually have a cedar chest my daddy built for me when I was a preteen. I love it and still use it to store most of my clothes between seasons. But because I get so many questions on this topic, I did purchase these storage bags to try out. If I need more storage space after switching things out of my cedar chest, I’ll definitely use these storage bags. They’re soft sided with no structure. The good thing about that is that you can easily store away the one or ones you’re not using (they come in a pack of three). But they were a bit of a challenge to begin loading. Once you start loading them, however, they hold up nicely.

I also like that these storage bags have enough give so that if you need to store them in a tight space, you can. In other less eloquent words, they’re squishy. Ha! And they’re lightweight. That’s important when you’re carrying them up and down stairs. Amen?

Vacuum Pressed Bags
vacuum seal garment bags with tiered hanger

I also picked up these vacuum seal garment bags recently. I thought they would be good for storing things like blazers, coats and dresses that I don’t really want to crowd into my cedar chest or even a storage bag. They worked beautifully and easily with my vacuum cleaner hose attachment.

Hanging Garment Bags
vacuum seal garment bags with tiered hanger

We have a full basement and half of it is storage, so I can easily store my clothes there. But if you’re in a situation where you really need to keep all of your clothes in closets, these vacuum seal garment bags with tiered hanger would be an essential. You can fit so much more in your closet with these and they protect your garments, too.

  • and four, things that will remain in my wardrobe for the next season or at least for a little longer. Sometimes I store a few more things away once the weather has really changed.

Believe it or not, on this initial pass I was able to get everything from my spring and summer wardrobe that I’m saving into just two of these storage bags, and that’s including some accessories.

Storage Bag
storage bag

What do I donate or give away? Keep in mind that this has changed a lot since I started this blog. I receive and buy more clothes because of my career than I used to. Therefore, I just don’t need to keep but a small portion of what I have. I donate to Dress for Success or give to a friend who is a similar size things that are gently worn or new. I have found that I mostly pass on the things that I’ve worn a lot but that I know will likely be less “on trend” next year. In other words, I’ve enjoyed the stew out of these things and I’m glad to let someone else enjoy them now.

Stowing Away the Storage Bag
wearing: v-neck sweater vest (size medium; LOVE this vest!) // jeans (TTS) // white tee (TTS) // mules (similar option in stock) // earrings

Step 3 – Clean out my closet and drawers.

As I said, I don’t have a photo of this step since I’m actually doing this step today. But I’ll gladly share it on Instagram and in the next blog post on closet organization. While I have everything out, I vacuum really well, sort through the odds and ends that tend to accumulate in corners and other spaces and reevaluate my storage. This is the first year I’ve used this particular closet, of course, so we’ll see if I make any changes.

Step 4 – Bring the next season’s clothes out of storage.

At this point I bring everything for the next season out of my cedar chest or storage bins. (I do have my shoes in similar storage bags, by the way.) I generally put everything on my bed, but on this day I did all the sorting in my guest bedroom. The key is to have plenty of space to sort things into categories again.

Included in the clothes I bring out of storage, I may have some things that I reconsider and decide to donate or give to a friend. So those would go into that same box as the summer things I’m moving out.

Then I also occasionally find things that I’m still on the fence about. I go ahead and add those to my closet, but I “keep an eye on” how much I actually wear them. I reassess those things as the season progresses.

Step 5 – Steam, press and hang garments in the closet.

I guess I could hang things in my closet just as they come out of storage. But I prefer to start with everything fresh and steamed or pressed. Not only does steaming the garment remove wrinkles, but it freshens it up a bit.

Hanging Pants Up
velvet skirt and pants hangers

I’m switching out my hangers this year. I’ve been using all plastic hangers like these and these. I like them, and I’m actually going to save and store them in the basement for now. But I wanted to see if these velvet hangers might give me a little more room. Plus, they’re supposed to keep clothes from slipping off. I purchased the velvet skirt and pants hangers above, which have clips of course.

I also got the velvet shirt hangers, which are pretty lightweight and only sturdy enough for tees and shirts.

Shirt Hangers
velvet shirt hangers

And I bought a package of the velvet suit hangers, which will work nicely for heavier garments, including jackets and winter dresses.

Like I said, I go ahead and steam clothes before hanging them in the closet. Not everything needs it. But anything that is very wrinkled or just needs freshening gets steamed.

Garment Steamer
handheld garment steamer

I purchased this handheld garment steamer a while back and have been giving it a try for several weeks. I do like it, but I’m still holding onto my old bulkier Conair steamer with a hose. This handheld garment steamer definitely works, but it feels a little precarious to me, holding a container of boiling water. If you have little grandchildren around, definitely do not use this handheld garment steamer with them around. It seems like it would be very tempting to them and could be an accident waiting to happen.

My Conair steamer is no longer available, but it is very similar to this one. It feels safer, holds more water for longer use and really issues more steam, in my opinion. So yeah, I think I could highly recommend this Conair steamer even though it’s not the exact one I have.


One final thing I do to care for my garments before hanging them is to freshen my sweaters. I bought this Conair battery operated defuzzer to remove pills and fuzz from sweaters. But it also works well on suit jackets and some other woven fabrics. You could alternatively use the Laundress sweater stone. I’ve ordered one to use primarily on my many cashmere sweaters.

By the way, sometimes in the past I’ve had to hang my sweaters out of necessity. I know that ideally sweaters should be folded and stored either in a drawer or on a shelf. But we don’t always have ideal situations, do we? That’s why I liked the clear plastic hangers, because they at least had rounded edges instead of pointy ones that leave indentions in the sleeves or shoulders of sweaters.

But these velvet shirt hangers also have rounded edges, so I’m hoping they will be okay on the sweaters I may have to hang. That said, I am going to try to use the few coated wire shelves we have in our closet to fold and stack my sweaters instead of hanging them. We’ll see. Stay tuned!

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Thanks so much for dropping in today. I think this post felt more like hard work than fashion inspiration. Hahaha! I’ll try to share my reorganized fall/winter closet later this week or next week. And I’m going to try to get it done today and share a little on Instagram as I go. Follow me there!

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Blessed for My Day

Sunday in my husband’s sermon from Acts 13, he taught us that the Lord’s encouragement to Paul was “a Jesus word.” While Paul was in prison awaiting his fate, the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage.” James shared that this particular Greek phrase is one that we only see Jesus use in the Bible. He told the woman weary from years of bleeding, “Take courage, your faith has healed you.” And Jesus told the disciples, fearful of Him approaching them on the water, “Take courage, it is I.” There are other similar instances where Jesus told someone who was anxious and worried and isolated, “take courage.”

Today you may need to hear those words, too. Be assured that if you have made Jesus your Savior and Lord, He is indeed standing by you and whispering, “Take courage.” You are not alone.

The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” ~ Acts 23:11

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xoxo, Kay
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23 thoughts on “How I Change My Wardrobe Out Between Seasons

  1. I usually keep my season clothes in our guest bedroom closets. And that way they are already hanging up and I don’t need to iron or steam them! Score!

    Then just every season switch closets out! Been working like this for years. Sweaters and pajamas I keep in plastic tubs then change them out.

    Great post Kay,

  2. Great post today. I have had to switch my plastic colored hangers to the velvet. The plastic colored hangers because they were discolorating all primarily white tee shirts, white jackets etc. Fortunately I was able to get rid of the brown marks the hangers left. We still have some white ones but have not seen an issue. Have a great day. Can’t wait for more tips. Getting that sweater stone.

    1. You really have been busy Kay….it’s a process isn’t it, but so satisfying when you can stand back and admire the results of all your organisation in readiness for the new season ahead. There’s something very cathartic about being clean, organised and prepared. Thank you for sharing as always.
      Love from Australia,
      Andrea x

  3. Just wanted to say, I’ve used the velvet hangers for years now and love them. I try to fold sweaters, but the ones that I hang, I turn inside out. This completely eliminates the bumps that you mentioned.

  4. I have used velvet hangers for
    Really get rid of most of my plastic hangers because they take up so much room in the closet. The velvet ones you can get so much more in your closet
    I have to switch out some things in my closet but it’s been 80s this week so just haven’t done it because I’ve been wearing some of my things that aren’t too summery I don’t want to try on the sweater is yet. It is a process. I Buy from Amazon personally because they’re such a monopoly. I like to support other organizations so I have to start looking for some storage bins

  5. It should’ve said, I don’t buy from Amazon personally. I would like to support other Organizations because Amazon is such a monopoly And you have to be really careful because some of the stuff isn’t real good quality. Just my opinion. But I really need to get organized again and get out my winter stuff.

  6. I have never stored away a season of clothes. Now I am thinking about it because of your post. T hat would be a great time to reevaluate and clean! Yet for me and my house situation I don’t have a better place to store things so I might just be cleaning and putting back.
    One trick I have done on clothes that are on the fence for keeping is to hang the hanger on the bar opposite direction then the others. If I use that item I turn hanger around if it is still backwards at end of season then I donate it.

  7. Kay, thank you so much for the walk thru your process. Because our apartment is small, I don’t have an extra bedroom, I don’t have a linen closet any longer, nor tons of storage built ins, all my clothes are crammed into a small walk-in closet I share with my husband. Than includes, extra blankets, bedsheets, all my shoes, handbags, belts, scarves, etc. etc. I’m doing a huge overhaul later this week on the closet. I need to be brute on the things I need to give away to a friend or donate. Then for spring and summer things I want to keep, I’m going to use your squishy bag method and ask my son if I can store them under his bed. Wish me luck.

  8. Great blog! These are great tips for me.
    In the past years I’ve used a tip of turning all my clothes on hangers with the hook coming outward at the beginning of the season. During that season what I use I put away again, but with the hook turning away and toward the back. That way at the end of that season, I can see what is hanging in the original position. This has helped me make some quick decisions come next season.
    I am encouraged, however, to do deeper organizing as you have shown us today.
    Thank you.

  9. Hi Kay! I also use the velvet hangers and I make sure they don’t have any type of cutout on them because that definitely leaves an indentation on the shoulders. Some of my tops still require a touch up with the iron on the shoulders, but nothing like when I used plastic hangers. One step I added this year was to launder most of my tops before putting them in my closet. All of my clothes are stored away in plastic containers up in the attic, and all of my shoes are in individual plastic shoe boxes, which I love. Good luck today!

  10. I’m lucky that I just change closets. This is nice for when we travel to somewhere warm in winter. I use the clear plastic hangars the most. The velvet ones for everyday clothes are hard to get one and off unless it opens in the front. I find there is quite a bit that I leave in my closet all year round.

  11. I hate shoulder bumps. I think I’ll see how you like the velvet hangers. I use wrinkle free spray if I have just have a few wrinkled things. I buy sturdy sweaters that don’t wrinkle easily so need little care. Clothes better be low maintenance if they stay in my world . Plants and people too. I like things to cowboy up. LOL No slackers.

  12. As someone else said, Impit out of season clothing in one of the bedroom closets. Our daughter is out of the house so we have three empty bedrooms. Is there some reason why you don’t dmthat ?

    1. Hi Fonda. Yes. James and I both have offices in our home so those two bedroom closets are filled with office things – my office closet does contain blog clothes. Then we have one guest bedroom. It does have some off season clothes such as the ones I showed in the hanging bag. But I decided I wanted to keep at least half of that closet open and clean for guests. I really want my family to want to visit often so it’s important to me to make that room as much about them as possible. Plus, like I said, we have TONS of storage space in our basement.

  13. I change my closet for the seasons and am interested in the velvet hangers. The idea of hanging an “iffy item” in the opposite direction of others is a great tip. I am wondering about storage for your shoes. This year I found favorite sandals that I had left in the original box and the soles were dry rotted and had to be discarded. They were favorites that had been worn only a few times and somehow got lost among other shoe boxes for too many years. I have tried the hanging shoe bags but find too many bags fill the closet. So how do you store/display your shoes?

    1. Hi Louise. I just store my shoes in a large container in the basement. I’ll be storing them in one of these garment bags/boxes this year. I think because our basement stays cool throughout the year, that works. I wouldn’t store them that way in an attic or garage. But it seems to work well in the basement. Also our basement has absolutely no moisture problems, so that’s probably important too.

  14. Just got to share this with you Kay. Recently in my favorite thrift shop I found seven pairs of Talbot jeans .. in my size and appeared to have never been worn … brand new. Waiting for that particular color of tag to be marked down I was able to purchase these for 50 cents each!! Looking on their website these jeans were $94 each!!! There are four different styles, all current. Now, NOT to gain any weight! Really enjoy your website and all the useful information, and, your scriptures have helped me more than once. Thanks Kay!!

  15. I’m always surprised when I pull out my seasonal clothes and find items I forgot I owned. It usually causes me to cross a thing or two off my shopping list, lol! For sweaters, I fold the bulkier ones and store them “on end” in a drawer so I can see each one, rather than stacked on top of each other. But for those that live year round in my closet (usually cashmere or a thin knit) I do hang them on velveteen hangers. I saw a tip to carefully align the should seams with the hanger to eliminate bumps, then cross the left arm over the right shoulder and visa-versa so it looks like the sweater is hugging itself. I’ve been doing this for years and my sweaters have not suffered for hanging (some are at least 15 years old). They have not gotten bumps nor stretched.

  16. Kay, I have been doing this dance of changing out seasons tice a year for many, many years! Physically, I’m unable to do this alone no for several years. My best friend has helped me because I’m disabled. During the pandemic, all locked up, I admit I did a great deal of shopping at my favorite stores. I need to go through many clothes and be selective. I’m trying to slo don on the buying no. Look forard to seeing your closet. I just have a bar and a to shelves. The bottom of my closet I store my shoes in original boxes. Storing leather shoes in plastic boxes doesn’t allo your shoes to breath. I fold my seaters in a draer the filed system ay, the Marie Kondo ay.