As summer sun gives way to the blustery gusts of fall, it’s time to pull out cozy accessories just to stay warm. These bulkier items take up more space in dresser drawers and closets, so you’ll need a system to avoid a complete sweater takeover.
We compiled some of our best closet and entryway organization tips to keep your home from falling prey to stray gloves.
How to Organize Fall Accessories
Step 1: Clean Out Summer Clothes
Before unpacking your sweaters, take stock of your summer clothes. Are there any items you didn’t wear this summer? Why not? If you just didn’t find a reason to wear it, you likely won’t find one next year, either. It’s time to donate it. Be strong.
Clothes that you love but don’t fit can be altered. Ask yourself if your love for the item is worth the added expense. If your brain shouts an enthusiastic yes, set it aside in a special box or bin. Get it altered in spring to ensure it fits when you’re ready to wear it, so you don’t have to make a return trip.
As for the rest of your beloved tank tops and shorts, do a load of laundry to rinse away any salt, sweat, or dirt leftover from summer adventures. Once clean, fold them carefully in a storage bin. Wire baskets make it easy find that perfect tee or our favorite pair of sandals when the sunshine returns. Stow baskets under the bed to use dead space and make more room for jeans and sweaters in your closet. Baskets easily slide under beds, so you can grab that special article if you need it mid-winter for some reason or another.
Step 2: Pull Fall & Winter Items Out of Storage
Poke through your closets and pull out any boxes with sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, or anything else you packed away for the warmer months. To start, take everything out of the boxes. Unfold them and let them breathe. As you go, look closely at every item. Ask yourself if you’re excited to wear it again. Anything that doesn’t fill you with excitement should be donated.
As you decide to keep items, search for any small holes or stains that need attention before you wear them. Set these pieces aside until they can be addressed.
If the fabric is holding onto that distinctive “storage smell,” you can either air out the clothing or do a load of laundry. A bonus to doing laundry: you can address those stained garments now before they get forgotten in your closet. We’ve all been there. It's often easier to take care of it now.
Step 3: Find a Place for Everything
Finally, onto organizing! This takes a bit of strategic thinking, but a well-planned system will keep your accessories near at hand when you need them. It’s worth the time investment.
Take your clean clothes and separate them by type and function. For example, make a stack of all scarves or jackets, then designate if they are fashionable or functional—do they exist to complement your outfit or to keep you warm? Of course, many do both, so you’ll need to use your best judgment based on your routine.
Many people find it helpful to keep fashionable accessories in their bedroom closet as they are integral parts of an outfit. This way, you can try on a scarf or jacket with a shirt or dress to ensure it creates the look you want. Jackets should be hung on hooks or hangers to conserve space and prevent wrinkles. For scarves and hats, designate where you want to put them. Baskets make it easy to pull the collection from a shelf or show it off on a dresser. Wire baskets are a stylish way to showcase your items—and they’ll help you see where everything is, which is essential when you’re rooting through a pile for a specific beanie or blanket scarf.
Functional items that will be removed when you arrive at work, school, or wherever you’re going may not require the same final mirror check, so you can keep them in the front closet. This also makes it easy to grab a hat or pair of gloves as you head out the door, which can be a lifesaver when you need to grab a hat and a pair of gloves to take the dog out in subfreezing temperatures. Entryway organization is also helpful for households with children. If your kids put their cold-weather accessories away near the front door, there’s less time for them to misplace the items and less surface area to search when a scarf is nowhere to be found.
Step 4: Store & Organize
Once you decide how to sort your items, you’ll need to carve out a place to store them.
Use hooks and hangers for scarves and light jackets to utilize vertical space as much as possible; this clears up more shelf space for stacks of folded sweaters and baskets for other accessories. Jackets, sweatshirts, and similar items can also be stored on over-the-door hooks to create more closet space.
If you’re using baskets or bins, you’ll need to clear some space to store them. Baskets are great to use on shelves as you can slide the basket out to browse your collection of accessories. Give each accessory type its own bin for easy browsing. That way, when you know you want to add a hat but aren’t sure which one, you don’t have to disturb your stack of neatly folded scarves. Just make sure you choose an option with smooth welds to prevent snags on woven materials.
Pro Tips for Organized Excellence:
- If there are multiple people in your household, separate accessory categories by person, too. Label baskets and hooks with names to eliminate confusion about which gloves are whose.
- Predetermine where to put wet hats, gloves, scarves, and coats to dry. Keep them near their landing zone, but make sure they don’t get balled up in a basket, where they can get musty. An indoor clothesline near the door can look charming and rustic when loaded with woven hats and mittens. Or, try gluing clothespins to a painted board to hang from a nail for the same effect.
- Create an entryway organization station to house all your winter accessories. Even if you don’t have a mudroom, this will prevent wet leaves, mud, slush, and salt being tracked into your house. Place trays beneath an open bench to hold wet boots and shoes, and install shelves, wall-mounted baskets, and hooks above the bench so everything has a place.
Hopefully, these tips will boost your closet and entryway organization and whip your storage into shape for fall and the impending winter. Use them to make a messy house into an organized home.