It is that time of year again when the kids are back at school, everything is flavored with pumpkin spices, and the weather is cooler, at least for parts of the country. As we head into the new season, it is a good idea to get your wardrobe sorted for fall and winter so you won’t be scrambling for your favorite sweater on the first chilly day.

Tips on Preparing Your Fall & Winter Wardrobe

Here are some tips to help you transition from your spring/summer wardrobe to your fall/winter one.


The first thing to do is to do some sorting. Get a bin or bag and let go of anything that is too worn, stained, out-of-date, or that you didn’t wear at all this spring or summer. If you didn’t feel like wearing it this year, you probably won’t next year either. Remember that you can donate all but the worst of your giveaway clothes.

Next sort through the remaining spring/summer clothes and determine what can stay out and what you will pack away for next year. Many basic pieces can transition from summer into fall when worn under a jacket or cardigan or layered over tights or a long-sleeve shirt. Do pack away any clothes with spring pastel colors, bright floral patterns, or clothes that are in distinctively warm-weather fabrics like linen or seersucker. Store all of these warm-weather clothes in bins under the bed, or if you have room, on the highest shelves of your closet. Do not use cardboard to store your clothes since cardboard can deteriorate over time and attract bugs. Instead, invest in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids. Consider renting a storage unit to keep your space from becoming cluttered with non-seasonal clothing items.


Take advantage of the fact that you have your summer wardrobe piled on your bed or elsewhere and clean your closet. Not to gross you out, but dust mites feed on dead skin cells and those can accumulate in your clothes. Wash all of your warm-weather clothes before packing them away and also wash your fall clothes to make them fresh and ready to wear. Take this opportunity to vacuum and dust your closet, and wipe down all your shelves. Tuck in a new satchel of potpourri if you like, so that your closet smells fresh for the new season.


Get rid of any wire hangers you have accumulated from the dry cleaner. (Recycling them by returning them to your dry cleaner is ideal.) Consider buying new hangers. While wood hangers are pretty to look at, they are often bulky and take up precious closet real estate, so consider replacing these. If you are lucky enough to have a huge closet this might not be a problem for you, but if you are at all cramped for space look into space-saving hangers. Thin hangers covered in velvet are especially functional because they will prevent clothes from slipping off and creating a mess. Save a few of those wooden hangers because while they aren’t great for shirts and pants, they do work well for bulky items like coats and parkas.


Now that your summer clothes are all stored, it is time to sort your fall and winter clothes. Arrange items by type to improve the efficiency of your closet; for example, hang all your shirts in one place and your work pants in another. Fold sweaters on shelves so that you can see them clearly. This keeps the knits from stretching out which can happen if you hang them.

If you live in parts of the country that require a lot of winter gear, use hooks to hang your scarves and bins to store your hats and gloves. Remember to store all like items together: all your gloves in one bin and all your winter hats in another. This way you will know where to look when you need these winter accessories.

Boots and Shoes

One of the most important parts of a fall and winter wardrobe is your shoes and boots. These are often pricy investment pieces so it is important to take care of them. Treat any new shoes with the proper waterproofing spray to keep your feet dry and warm this winter.

Inspect your boots for worn patches, broken heels, and rips. When you find a problem do not just throw your boots or shoes away. Often the problem is a quick and inexpensive fix at a shoe repair shop. Taking care of the problem right when you notice it could add years to the life of your shoes and boots. Doing this at the beginning of the season means that there will be no unexpected surprises when facing inclement weather later on. A big bonus is that the shoe repair shop often returns the boots or shoes polished and looking like new.  Organize your shoes leaving the ones you wear the most often in an easy-to-access space.

Organizing your closet at the beginning of the season will save you time and hassle later and leave you with more time to plan and organize for the holidays around the corner.