Bringing Out the Summer Clothes

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Image credit: Storage Pros

Today is Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

Everyone who lives in a location where the climate changes dramatically as the year progresses has to have two distinct sets of clothes: one for winter and one for summer.  Most people don’t have the space to keep everything in one place all year, so they end up storing their off-season clothing.  Normally I start thinking about bringing out my summer things in April, but this year I waited, and I’m glad that I did, given our spring blizzards and ice storms last month and earlier this month.

I keep a few short-sleeved tops and fine-gauge sweaters that can be worn with a cardigan or jacket in the fall before the weather gets too cold, and I use some of the same short-sleeved and three-quarter-length-sleeved tops in the spring.  Those generally stay out where I can reach them.  Everything else gets stored  for part of the year.  This year I have a freestanding wardrobe closet where I can store many of the bulky sweaters I wear in winter.  The rest of my winter things have been put into two large plastic tubs stacked on the floor of my bedroom closet, under the hanging things.  I like to store my things with wooden cedar balls to make sure moths don’t get into the clothing, but these days, the plastic tubs are pretty insect-proof.  Since I don’t store my off-season stuff in a basement or attic, I don’t have to worry so much about humidity or bugs, thank heaven!  The website where I got this photograph says that woolens and leather need to be stored separately from cottons and synthetics.  Fortunately I have nothing that is pure wool, since my skin is sensitive to it, even when it’s very cold.  I prefer acrylic sweaters because they are softer and don’t have to be dry-cleaned.  Acrylics can be stored with other fabrics.  I don’t wear leather clothing at all, so that’s not an issue for me.  The hardest part of the job is laundering everything before storage.  I also launder everything that comes out of storage, because the clothes stay fresher that way.  The only thing I have left to do is to wash my heavy winter jacket, which does not have to be dry-cleaned.  I do have a formal wool coat for winter, but it was never worn this past winter, so I will just keep it as it is.

This year, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that there were some items that were too big for me, as a result of weight loss since last August.  These will go to Goodwill.  A couple of items had stains on them that did not wash out when I laundered them before putting them away.  These got cut up into cleaning rags.  The rest of the clothes fit just fine.  In fact, I now have the use of my whole summer wardrobe, since a few of the items were a little too tight to wear last year.  I’m glad I made the decision to keep them, anyway, although it seemed a bit over-optimistic at the time.   This year I have added a couple of pairs of shorts, although shorts don’t look that great on me, because I now spend a great deal of time at home, whereas I used to be out and about most days, and I very rarely appear in shorts out in public.  I also bought some pairs of jeans, another item that I never wore, even on weekends, while I was working.   I see that my formal black slacks are too heavy for summer, unless I’m planning to be in an air-conditioned place, so I may get one or two more pairs of black slacks in a lighter weight, as the ones I have are several years old and are getting pretty worn out.

Switching out my wardrobe twice a year has the effect of changing my mindset.  It’s like pushing the “clear” button on a calculator.  Once I get my clothes organized for the season ahead and the off-season stuff put away, I feel ready to enjoy whichever season is coming up.  Spring is pretty much a wash this year.  Summer, here we come! 🙂

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