Seasonal Closet Swap in Eight Steps

Twice a year I hit the reset button on my closet.  Literally this means swapping my winter and summer clothing in preparation of the upcoming season.  Spiritually I find it to be a soothing exercise of closing the door on one season and welcoming the next.  In the City we have tiny closets, so the closet swap is necessary to get the most out of your limited space.  As I've been following this ritual for the last eight years, I've got it down to a science in eight steps.  Read on to follow my process in photos.


It started off a lazy Saturday, but we had a major closet swap to tackle. Jax was not impressed, but the job needed to get done.  I always find it hard to get the task started, but once it's completed, it feels amazing.

Before:  overstuffed with warm, winter clothes.  Overstuffed is an understatement.  Every time I swap the goal is to clean out to make as much available space as possible.  I need to make room for future shopping trips!  Luckily, summer clothing is much lighter.  

Step 1: Pull summer wardrobe out of storage.  

For me, that means pulling plastic storage bins out from under the bed.

That’s a lot of bathing suits.  I purchased these bins at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I chose these because they are clear to easily spot specific items I may need to hunt down, and they fit well under my bed.  

Step one made room for Jax to hide under the bed!  As a puppy he loved crawling under the bed.  He doesn't fit as well now, but that didn't stop him.  

Step 2:  Remove winter clothing from closet to be packed away until next season

Fold with care for a long hibernation.  If you don't plan--or have a reason--to wear an item in the warmer months, pack it away to make room.

I leave many of my lighter sweaters but pack away my heavy wools.

Step 3:  Remove items from closet that you haven't worn in the last season. 

If you haven't worn an item once during its season, get rid of it!  If you don't love how you look and feel in an item, get rid of it.  Again, to make rooms for new ones that you will wear and love! 

This is by far the hardest part for me.  I’m a pack rat, but I must be ruthless so my closet doesn't burst at the seams.

Final selection.  A moment of silence for these 16 items...I will find good homes for them.

Step 4:  Update my closet app to my latest changes

Aka my digital closet of choice:  Stylebook!  Every item that will be packed away for the season, gets categorized by the season.  In this case, winter.    

I list the season for the items I swap out so I always know what’s been packed away.  In the off-season, I tend to forget what's been packed for storage and search the closet high and low.  This way, I can easily locate items I thought I lost.  I also use the winter search on super cold days so I can see every warm item available to me at once.

I don’t completely delete items to avoid losing historical outfits.  I move them to a separate folder so they don't appear as available when I'm browsing my digital closet.  This also confirms if I chose to remove an item myself or if I lost something.  

Step 5:  Before moving the summer items into the closet, try them on

Be sure they still fit and you still love them before adding them to your closet.  This is the fun part where you get to rediscover some of your favorites.  It's also a time to reevaluate the items you packed away so many months ago to ensure you'll still wear them.  Cue the Sex and the City dress-up montage ;)

Step 6:  Swap!

Summer items that I'm keeping get hung.  I use Febreze fabric spray as I hang to release wrinkles and refresh them. I also hang them up in a specific order.  My preference is by type.  Maxis all together, sleeveless all together, etc.  Figure out your own closet strategy that works for you.  

Winter items get packed away in the same container the summer items just came from.  Take care in folding properly; whatever wrinkles there are now will be set in come next winter.

Step 7:  Shoes get swapped too

Out with the boots and in with the sandals!

Hello, my summer babies!  I have missed you through all of the cold months.

Goodbye until next season, my winter babies.  I keep some of my booties for in-between times and cooler pairings, but the rest get packed away for the warmer months.  I use boot forms for my higher pairs so they keep their shape.  

Step 8:  The finishing touches

Clothes swaps are the perfect opportunity to clean up any messes and do some extra organization.  

While the closet is pulled apart, perfect the closet organizarion and give it a good tidy + clean.  I haven't seen this much of the floor in quite some time!

Ensure your winter wardrobe is all set for hibernation.  It's also a great time to clear out any dust bunnies that may have formed under the bed.

Sorry, Jax.  No more hiding space under the bed.

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Closet swapping is good for the soul.  Now that my closet is officially ready, bring on the warm, summer weather!

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