18 October 2012

Changing seasons, changing linens and clothes (Part 1 of 2)

So the frost is on the pumpkin and it's time to dig the blankets and sweaters out of storage and put our summer linens and clothes away until spring rolls around again. It's a good time to clear out unstylish clothes; items that are irretrievably damaged; and things you just won't use again.

I'll list a number of tasks here. Maybe it's a lot of tasks. Maybe it's too many, and I'm looney-tunes for doing all of these things every six months. But you don't have to do all of them in one day, or even one week. I'm not even putting them all in one post. And it's most onerous the first time you do it: the work you put in now pays off in time and in your budget later on. Here goes!

  • Change the bed linens, whether they need it or not. Replace with "winter" linens, and put the summer-weight linens in the laundry. Do this item first, so that at the end of the day, when you don't feel like moving any further down this list, you'll have a freshly made bed to fall into.

  • Go through the closet and dresser and evaluate your summer clothes for cleanliness. Launder everything that was just airing out. For example, I keep a couple of loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts to wear as toppers over tank tops, to keep my arms from tanning unevenly. I'm vain. But these shirts don't get terribly sweaty or dirty after a single wearing, so I leave them on a hanger outside of the closet for a day or so before putting them away. They get laundered maybe once every two weeks. But the last time I put them in the closet, were they laundered first? If I have any doubt, I launder them in this last-of-summer batch. If they go away less than perfectly fresh, they'll impart a stale odor to everything else in the closet and attract linen moths.

  • Evaluate your summer clothes for mending needs. I hate fixing buttons and repairing seams, and I know you do, too. So I make it a twice-per-year chore (with emergency sessions during the year as needed) to haul out the sewing machine and do some needed repairs. Put on a movie, serve up a tasty beverage, and get to work. Or go to the tailor's and stop by a bar on the way home for a tasty beverage and a ball game. Either way, you'll thank yourself next spring when you pull these clothes out of the closet with joy at the return of warm weather, and you don't have to toss something aside because of a missing button.

  • Evaluate your summer clothes for "I never wear this any more." Be honest, and be tough. Is there anything among your summer clothes that you never wore, all summer long? (Not sure? Here's a trick I think I saw on Lifehacker: At the beginning of the season, hang your clothes backward in the closet, with the point of the hanger facing out instead of in. After you've taken it out and worn it, replace it in the closet with the hanger facing in, the correct way. At the end of the season, anything with the hanger still facing out wasn't worn. Proceed to the next step.) Then get rid of it! Don't wait until you lose weight, or that style comes around again, or you get around to having a tag sale, or whatever. Just hand the item down to a friend or donate it to charity. If it's super shabby, call your charity and ask if they take unsaleable items anyway. Locally, Philadelphia AIDS Thrift re-sells raggedy clothes as "weight": cloth by the pound that is recycled into carpet padding or put to other industrial uses. But please call your charity first to see if they do this; donated trash is no donation.

  • Evaluate your summer and winter clothes for "What do I need?" Make a list. Right now is an excellent time to buy summer clothing at end-of-season closeout prices, and to find the best pickin's of winter clothing at thrift stores, where they are often rolling out their cold-weather stock for the first time since last winter.

    More tomorrow!
  • 1 comment:

    ETO Sterilizer Uk said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.