a special feature by Marla Tomazin, certified image consultant*

Now that warmer weather is finally arriving, it’s time to make sure your wardrobe is as ready for summer as you are. You’re likely excited to make room in your closet for summer essentials like shorts, sandals, and sundresses…it’s just that you dread the enormous chore of diving into the tangle of boots, sweaters, jackets, and scarves that have piled up over the past few seasons. And deciding what should stay and what should go into off-season storage is such a daunting chore that many people just give up and accept their packed, messy closet as part of life.

Worry not—there’s still hope! Tackling your closet and getting it ready for summer is not as scary as it seems. In fact, if done correctly, updating your wardrobe for summer will be a breeze (a warm, summery breeze, that is!). Even more exciting is the fact that when your closet is perfectly streamlined, getting dressed each day is a walk on the beach!

Here are seven no-fail strategies to help you take the guesswork out of organizing your wardrobe for summertime.

Select an out-of-the-way storage technique. If possible, store your off-season clothing in another closet so you don’t have to fight through heavy coats and bulky cold weather garments to find your sundresses and tank tops. If this isn’t an option, however, you can also store them in air-tight plastic containers under the bed or in a storage room. But whatever you do, don’t put your clothes in the attic or basement. These parts of the home are not always climate controlled and can invite unwelcome visitors like mildew and insects.

Tidy up your closet. That’s right, clean the actual closet. You’d be surprised how much dust can accumulate on the shelves, floors, and walls of your closet area, so be sure to dust and vacuum it just like you would any other room in your home. Also take this opportunity to remove any clutter that may have accumulated over the last season or three. And don’t forget to re-hang any items that have slipped off their hangers or fallen to the floor.

Clean and repair dirty or damaged items. Set aside any winter clothing items that need to be professionally cleaned before you store them for the season—like outerwear or business wear. This is also a good time to look for winter boots that need to be polished or resoled, as well as items that might need repair. It’s much better to deal with these issues now instead of waiting until you need them again. Next fall and winter, you’ll be so happy to pull out your clothes when they are fresh, functional, and ready to wear.

Evaluate each item in your closet. The editing process is vital during any seasonal swap out. Take the time to review each cooler weather item in your wardrobe before storing it away for the season. Do the same for your warm weather pieces as well. For every item, ask yourself these important questions: Have I worn the garment this year? Is it time to donate it or do I want to keep it? Is it damaged and worn? If so, can it be repaired?

Organize, organize, and organize some more. Now it’s finally time to greet your summer items and move them back into your closet. But it’s not enough just to pile everything in and hope for the best! Instead, opt to create a closet you’ll be happy to visit each morning. Do this by grouping your summer pieces by type (skirts, shorts, pants, blouses, cardigans, etc.) and then by color. That way, the next time you’re looking for a blue blouse or a pair of white slacks, you’ll be able to find them quickly. Do the same with your shoes; group and organize summer sandals, pumps, and casual shoes by style and color before displaying them neatly on your shoe rack or closet floor.

Evaluate your accessories too. As you evaluate and organize your clothing and shoes, don’t forget to take a pass at your accessories too. If you take a good look at your scarves, belts, hats, jewelry, and handbags, you may be surprised to discover that many of them no longer fit your body or your lifestyle. It can be very refreshing to edit these pieces and make room for new items that update your look.

Make yourself picture perfect. Once your closet is organized, de-cluttered, and inviting, you’ll actually be able to see your shoes, clothing, and accessories. This is the perfect time to put together and document some great looks you can wear all summer long. Create several outfits complete with shoes, belts, jewelry, and handbags. Now, snap photos of yourself wearing these perfectly styled outfits and store them on your phone or in an album you keep in your closet. Anytime you need a great look fast, you’ll have an array of outfits to choose from.

Summer is the perfect time to edit and lighten up your closet, and you will be so glad you gave it the attention it deserves. Remember that organizing your closet is a powerful form of self-care, because when your closet is streamlined and in order, your life will be easier and less stressful. Instead of fretting over choosing what to wear, the perfect outfit will always be close at hand, literally. Best of all, you can use the time you’ve saved to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather.


About Marla Tomazin:

Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Marla has appeared on numerous TV and radio stations and programs. Visit www.marlatomazin.com.