How Do You Do a Seasonal Switch in Less Than 30 Minutes?

winter clothesIt’s hard to know the right day to put summer clothes into storage and bring out the winter clothes. For me, I thought that day was today. Turns out, it’s gorgeous! Still I don’t think I’ll need my sandals and shorts tomorrow.

As a professional organizer, who finds himself inside many people’s homes, I know this is a task that tends to get put off, sometimes all season! Part of the problem is, that this seems like a task that will take a long time, maybe half a day.  Here are some tips for getting through the seasonal switch FAST.

Set a timer.

Setting a timer establishes a limit and it keeps you on task. I remember the seasonal switch taking me about a half hour last spring, so today I got ambitious and set the timer for 25 minutes. I was finished in 24 minutes. Twenty-four minutes is not an arbitrary lump of time. It is a reality I now know and will feel confident about meeting again next season.  I know I am less likely to put off a 24 minute task.

Clear the bed.

I’m always saying the number one organizing tool is a clear work surface, for processing. In the bedroom, nothing makes a better surface than your bed. You will need all this room to spread out and sort. It may take a minute to make the bed, but it will save time and keep things clearer.

Recognize Keepsakes.

There may be some articles, usually t-shirts, that you have no intention of ever wearing again, but you want to keep for sentimental reasons. This is a great opportunity to take these guys out of the mix and free up space in your drawers. You can still preserve the memories associated with these shirts by cutting out the designs or simply taking photos. Either way, you save space in your keepsakes collection

Into the Hamper.

Although this isn’t an obvious time saver, if you have any hanging items that may not have been washed, they should be laundered.  Any dead skin cells and body oil can attract moths.  Replacing moth-eaten clothes will cost not only time, but money. Launder now.

Exit Shelf.

I dedicate one small shelf, near my front door, to outdoor protection. In the summer, I keep things like suntan lotion and bug spray handy, but, as winter approaches, that stuff goes away and I leave a basket of gloves and hats on that shelf.

Make Donations.

I have spoken before about the need to keep a permanent donation depot in the garage or other exit zone. The seasonal switch is a great opportunity to add some candidates to the donations.  If there are some short sleeve shirts you haven’t worn all summer, the odds of wearing them next summer are pretty unlikely. Donate them now and free up space in your closet for new shirts next spring.

I know that if you are doing the seasonal switch for your entire family, you won’t be able to finish it in 24 minutes, but these tips will definitely help make it faster and more manageable.

What tips do YOU have for transitioning your clothes into between seasons?