3 clever organization hacks to help you transition your wardrobe from winter to summer

These clever organization hacks will help you swap out your heavy layers in time for summer

A womans white capsule summer wardrobe in white room
(Image credit: Maya23K via Getty Images)

I always find my annual closet refresh a little intimidating at first. Where do I even begin when faced with piles of clothes to sort through? What's worth bringing out of storage, and what's ready for retirement? 

But rotating my clothes seasonally prevents overcrowding and gives me a chance to rediscover old favorites that I may have forgotten about. As the weather gets warmer, I recommend you take the time to transition your closet from winter clothes to spring/summer attire.

The good news is that with the right strategies, this process doesn't have to be stressful or time-consuming at all. In fact, once you get the hang of it, organizing your closet with each passing season could become part of your relaxing self-care routine. 

How to seasonally transition your wardrobe

Try these tried-and-tested techniques to help you reorganize and prepare your wardrobe for the coming season.

1. Declutter

Closet, ensuite

(Image credit: Kitchen Architecture)

Before I switch out my winter clothes, I like to start by decluttering my wardrobe. For a closet cleanse, first hold up each piece and think about how often you wore it last season versus how you feel in it now. 

If an item of clothing no longer sparks joy, it could have a happier new home. Once you've decided what's not working, donate or sell them so you're not lugging around stuff you don't love. This will not only help you get rid of any unwanted or unused items but also create more space for your spring/summer clothes.

'To declutter effectively, start by taking out all of your clothes from the wardrobe and sorting them into three piles: keep, donate & sell, and toss,’ says Heather Aiello, an expert in home organizing and founder of The Organized You. ‘This will help you to easily identify which items you want to keep for the upcoming season and which ones you no longer need.’

For the donate or sell pile, consider hosting a clothing swap with friends or selling them online to make some extra cash. And for the toss pile, make sure to properly dispose of any worn-out or damaged clothes.

Heather A
Heather Aiello

Heather Aiello is the founder of a home organizing company in the Boston area, The Organized You. She believes in creating solutions that you can live with when she and her team leave your home – her goal is to develop a customized solution for you to maintain now and in the future. She is also a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and various Boston area business groups.

2. Clean & Store

The next step is to clean your closet before storing your clothes. No one wants to dig out dusty, pilled sweaters next fall. I give everything a wash with GO by GreenShield Organic laundry detergent from Amazon to freshen up and check for repairs. I like to take care of issues now, so my favorite pieces are in tip-top shape for next time.

When putting pieces away, protect your investments. I use these breathable storage bins from Crate & Barrel and these vacuum bags from Amazon to prevent damage from light, pests, or mildew over time. 

I also recommend clearly labeling containers so you know which coat or jacket is where when that first cool breeze hits again. 

3. Restock with summer clothes

mud room with screened closet and storage buckets

(Image credit: Chad Mellon at Studio Mellon / Styling Kara Perlis)

Then comes the fun part - hanging, folding, and organizing spring and summer pieces. I group similar items together, so I can pick outfits faster without digging around. Following KonMari specialist Marie-Helene Riverain's advice, I sort my clothes into different categories, such as tops, bottoms, dresses, and outerwear.
Marie-Helene says this makes it easier to see what clothes you have and also helps create a strong foundation for organizing your shoes and accessories later.

I also recommend organizing clothing by color to make mixing and matching a breeze. Keep some transitional layers on hand too, for those days the weather can’t decide.

Marie-Helene Riverain
Marie-Helene Riverain

Marie became a home organizer to keep up with the chaos of her two children. She has always found that helping people bring order to their life through tidying is very rewarding. 


What is the 333 rule for wardrobe organizing?

Essentially, for the 333 Project, all you have to do is choose 33 items (clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes) to wear for 3 months and store everything else away. The 333 rule is a great way of reorganizing your wardrobe to find out what items you no longer wear and reintroduce some old favorites back into your closet. 

If the idea of turning over your wardrobe still seems a little daunting, I've got a secret weapon for you. Professional organizers have the skills to make your space work for you. They can help declutter, build custom storage, and provide other closet storage ideas. Some also offer personal shopping services to help put together a whole new look from what’s already hanging in your closet. 

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.