By Priya Rao. Photos: Getty Images.
The first day of spring is here, which means it’s finally time to retire your winter essentials. Storing away those piles of heavy coats and chunky sweaters will not only keep them in better condition, but also make room in your closet for your new duds. Ahead, we chat with celebrity stylist Tara Sweenen, who works with cool girl Kristen Stewart, on how to properly prepare your closet when the weather warms up.
1. Clean your pieces before you store them
According to Sweenen, dry-cleaning and washing your wooly sweaters and coats is a must for proper winter care. “You want to get rid of any stains and smells before you put your winter clothes away for the season,” she says. The same goes for shoes and boots: “If they are a disgrace to your feet—as in irreparable, muddy, distressed, ripping then it's time to trash, otherwise, get them cleaned.” You can mashine-wash cotton, polyester, and linen, and dry-clean wool, cashmere, and silk.
2. Store your clothes in cotton garment bags or bins
For long-term storage, put your items in airtight, cotton (or fabric) garment bags, or bins (sweaters should be folded, for instance, and not hung), and separated from your spring wardrobe. “Seeing all that stuff mixed together can be overwhelming every morning; make it easier on yourself,” she says. You should also avoid damp places like the basement or the attic.
3. Keep one of every category nearby
In the off chance that the weather drops post March 20, and you need some of your winter clothing, Sweenen suggests keeping one boot, sweater, and coat in arms’ reach, so you don’t have to go running to your attic or storage center. “It gives you flexibility when the weather does get cold,” she says.
4. Get rid of worn-in basics
“If T-shirts or sweaters are stretched out, stained, or can be replaced by an inexpensive Gap version for not too much hassle, add them to the trash pile,” Sweenen says. “These are things that you wear regularly, so the wear and tear is greater.”
5. Resell or donate your trendy pieces
Did you buy into the latest trend this past fall? Corsets, perhaps? Sweenen reminds us that true trends come and go every 15 years, so rather than letting something sit in your closet for that long, she encourages donating or reselling pieces to places like Los Angeles’s The Ruby, which stores your pieces and allows other fashion lovers to rent them. “They may have more wear, but someone else is getting to use them and they aren’t filling your closet,” she says.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
More from Allure: