19 October 2012

Changing seasons, changing linens and clothes (Part 2 of 2)

A few more tasks to get through, and then we're good to go . . . until spring, when we'll change everything back for summer. (See Part 1 here.)

  • Literally rotate clothes and linens from back to front. Set aside a block of time to empty your dressers and closets completely, move summer things to the back, and move winter things to the front. In the process, check for linen moths. If you find moths, deal with them immediately. Discard (do NOT donate) unsalvageable items by tying them up in the trash and putting them outdoors; clean, treat, and mend the items you can keep; and vacuum the closet and furniture (PDF). After you've vacuumed, put cleaned clothes away (PDF). Finally, try to remember if you acquired any of the moth-infested items at a second-hand shop. If so, consider never shopping at that particular store again, or at least quarantining and prophylactically dry-cleaning items you buy from that shop in the future.

    In the coat closet here at Rowhouse Livin', this means moving my summer hats to a higher shelf and bringing down my winter caps, scarves, and gloves. Plural, because I'm a cold-blooded person, in more than one sense of the word. This year, I found a hole in an upscale name-brand knit hat, one in a color that's still fashionable this year, and knit in a toasty-warm and soft cashmere and wool. "Curses!" I said when I found it -- until I remembered that I'd literally picked the hat up off the sidewalk a block from my home last year, around midnight when the street was deserted. Hey, free hat! So one of my mending tasks this year is to kludge some kind of repair, likely involving a crocheted flower or star over the hole, and hopefully something that's not Regretsy-worthy.

  • Check your shoes, too. Empty out your shoes' storage area and clean it. Clean, brush, and polish the shoes. Deodorize, if needed, using one or more of the following methods: (1) Leave them out in the sun or in a very sunny window for a full day; (2) Spray the interior of the shoes with 91% rubbing alcohol, which will kill viruses and bacteria; (3) Spray the interior of the shoes with white distilled vinegar, and leave them in the sun; (4) Fill old socks loosely with baking soda, place the socks into the shoes, and literally bake the shoes at your oven's lowest setting for a few hours -- but do this last one at your own risk of melting cheap shoes. After treating the shoes and letting them dry completely, stuff them with paper and store them away. Whether put in their original boxes, or in a home organizing solution, or simply off to the side of the closet, the shoes should be stored so that they won't get dusty over the next several months or get marred by muddy, salty winter shoes stored near them.

  • Plus bags and other accessories. If you use different handbags, backpacks, or totes from one season to the next, now is the time to check them out, too. (For example, one handbag I love to use is made of lightweight, light-colored canvas and has flip-flops embroidered on it. I could be ironic and use it in February, but of course I only ever take it out when it's sunny and warm. It coordinates with a sundress and sandals, not a parka and snow boots.) Empty the bags out -- really look to make sure there isn't a lonely granola bar down in a hidden pocket, or cash, or some paperwork or anything you've forgotten. Launder them, if you can, or take them for professional leather cleaning and repair, if brushing them off or wiping them down won't get them clean enough.

    Hats: Since of course you wear a broad-brimmed hat in the summer, you'll need to move these to the back of your closet now, too. Launder, or clean gently by wiping, or rinse and re-block, depending on the type of hat. Most baseball caps will have washing instructions sewn in. Very importantly, let everything dry completely before putting it away, or you risk creating a mold problem in the closet. And mold is much, much easier to prevent than to eliminate.

    And now you're done. Your clothes and linens are switched out for the season and you're set until warm weather returns. Did I leave anything out?
  • No comments: