II. THE EXECUTION, Step 4:

Seasonal wardrobe changes

Changing your wardrobe seasonally is like checking in with your wardrobe with the change of every season.

And seriously, you won't reach for that winter coat in summer, so why waste precious wardrobe space?

Too many items in your wardrobe not only make it less likely for your wardrobe to remain in an organised state but they also cause brain overload. Too many wardrobe options make it much more difficult to make an outfit decision, leading to that dreadful realisation: 'I have nothing to wear.'

But seasonal wardrobe changes also have another benefit: Changing your wardrobe every season means that you will be able to make a mental inventory of all the clothing you own for that particular season. This means you won't end up with only wearing 10% of what you actually have. And with every change of the season you will feel like you have a new wardrobe without going out and spending money.

Why seasons matter

Regardless of where you live, there will be seasonal changes in climate that affect your clothing choices. So while you might not own winter coats, you might have shorts for those really hot days. Keeping all of your year-round clothing in your wardrobe creates unnecessary visual clutter. This in turn puts stress on the brain. And a stressed-out brain produces that panicky feeling you experience when you stare at your wardrobe and think 'I have nothing to wear.'

So the less that is in your wardrobe, the easier it will be for you to make an outfit decision and the more likely it is going to be that you wear all of your clothes, not just a few favourites. This is because removing unnecessary seasonal items from your wardrobe will free your brain from having to make selections or excluding a group of items - since they are not currently wearable. Instead, you can will be able to find something you love immediately and which is completely appropriate for the current weather situation.

Even if you have a selection of clothing that can be layered for mild or varying weather, you will still find your stress levels decreased by keeping a seasonal wardrobe with season-appropriate mix and match options.

Storing your clothes

So what to do with those seasonal items that are not currently needed? Ideally, they should disappear from your visual field. So don't put them at the back of your wardrobe or anywhere near your wardrobe. The best thing is to pack them up and store them far away - perhaps the attic or basement, to get them out of sight.When you are putting your clothes away, remember that the wrong storage can decrease the life of your garments. The following tips will help you store your clothing correctly:

Clean & mend your clothes

Before you store away any clothing make sure it's clean. Stains set in and only get worse over time; so that stain that isn’t too bad right now might be much worse when you pull the item out of storage in a year. Not to mention having food stains or crumbs in your pockets may encourage pests to come. Packing them away at their freshest will extend your clothing's lifetime and be less interesting for mice and vermin.

So wash and dry all of your seasonal items for storage according the care label instructions. Make sure they are all rinsed thoroughly to prevent any chemical damage during storage, and that they are completely dry to prevent build up of mould or mildew.

While your garments should be clean, ironing them is not necessary. Chances are they will get wrinkled again inside the storage boxes. So instead, iron them when you take them out again.

If you notice any of your clothing requiring mending make sure to tackle this before you put them away. Otherwise you may forget about it and pull out the damaged clothes next year.

Invest in the right boxes

You should store clothes in plastic rather than wood, paper, or cardboard boxes. The reason for this is that while yes, it's plastic, this material is waterproof and offers the best protection from pests. Cardboard and wood contain chemicals that can transfer on to garments and damage them. And the boxes may also become a home for pests attracted to proteins in the glue that holds them together.

Therefore invest in lidded plastic boxes that are not completely air-tight. Many fabrics - such as wool and other natural fibres, need to breathe. If you are concerned about buying plastic bear in mind that these boxes will (hopefully) be reused many, many times before their useful lives come to an end. And they will prolong the life your clothes and protect them from irreparable damage - resulting in fewer clothes thrown away.

Make sure to thoroughly clean the boxes before each use to avoid staining.

Label the boxes & make an inventory

Making an inventory for all of your boxes may seem like a lot of effort, but trust me when you are looking for that specific jumper, you will be grateful for spending this time now. Plus, you only have to make your main inventory once. Any additions can be simply added to the existing inventory when required.In addition, make sure you label each of your boxes so you know straight away what's in it.

Pack up your clothes

As appealing as vacuum seal bags are for space they aren’t always the best options for long term storage or for storing delicate items. As mentioned before most fabrics need some air circulation to maintain their structure and prevent moisture from getting trapped. The same applies to plastic bags.

Your clothes will not be damaged by folding them neatly and putting them into the boxes like that. Stack your folded items starting with the heaviest items on the bottom to the lightest items on top. Stacking items loosely will allow air to keep circulating, even during long storage.

Hanging your clothes is not recommended, especially not for heavy items such as jumpers and other knitwear. The longer an item hangs and the heavier it is, the more likely it will end up misshapen. If you can, fold everything away.If you want to take extra care you can line your storage boxes with old, clean cotton sheets first (for extra delicate items use acid-free tissue paper instead).

And to go the extra mile you can put wooden cedar balls into each box. They have the double benefit of repelling months and keeping your clothes smelling fresh. Be careful if you are opting for mothballs though.

Many children and pets are naturally attracted to them which can result in fatal accidents.

Choose a suitable storage place

Your storage place must be clean, cool, dark, and dry to protect your clothing. Make sure you clean the area thoroughly before putting your boxes there. Choose a place that is not likely to be exposed to heat and avoid areas near heating sources. A dark place will prevent fading and keep your clothing cool. Make sure the storage area is dry as wetness will attract mildew and insects.Also make sure that the boxes are not in direct contact with wood as all wood contains acids that can damage fabrics over a long period of time.

Check on your stored items

Regularly check on your stored clothing to make sure there are no issues. When you are ready to pull clothing out of storage, clean all items before wearing them. Inspect your storage containers to make sure that they are free from cracks, stains, or damage.

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