The following is a guest post from Aimee Lyons, a twenty-something free spirit who loves crafting, painting, building, and anything else that lets her exercise her creative muscles. A born do-it-yourself kind of girl, Aimee started DIYDarlin.com to inspire others to embrace their inner creators and tackle projects with confidence. When she isn’t crafting, you might find her vintage shopping or taking her Corgi Champ out exploring in her hometown of Austin, Texas.
A few times throughout the year as the seasons shift, a big changeover occurs for our home and our wardrobe. We haul out our bins of stored seasonal clothes and home accessories, unpack them and then store away what we don’t need anymore.
Because it takes quite a bit of time (and energy), many of us complete this task in a mindless sort of way. We might also be tempted to just go out and buy new items because it can be exciting and we know our wardrobe and home could use a little “refreshing” for the season.
The Wise Way to Revive for the New Season
But before you go out and buy new things, consider a wiser way to revive your wardrobe and home for the new season, one that will save you time and money and create peace of mind! The following six steps will streamline your seasonal switch-over process:
1. Focus on just one season
Don’t try to revive both your winter and spring items all at once (that would be way too daunting and time consuming!). Put your out-of-season things away and focus on them when their time rolls back around. Place all of your focus and attention on your items for the current season. This will provide you with more motivation because a) it won’t take as long; and b) it is more relevant (you can wear your revived wardrobe and use your updated home items right away).
2. Take Inventory
Organize your items by category so that you can clearly see which categories are lacking and which ones are overflowing. For example, you may realize that you’ve accumulated a lot of tank tops or flip flops. This step will successfully allow you to complete the next action, which involves getting rid of unnecessary items.
Get rid of any items that are repetitive, old-looking or that you simply don’t use anymore. If they are in decent condition, they would make a great donation. If they show obvious signs of wear, then purge them. Now you can actually see what you have and what you need.
4. Be Resourceful
Before you go out and buy new items, look to see what you can upcycle or even create on your own. For instance, you may notice your spring flower centerpiece looks lifeless and pretty dusty. Instead of buying a new one, try reviving the flowers by using a silk flower cleaning spray, available at a minimal cost. In your inventory process, you may have noticed your luggage tags are tattered and worn. Instead of buying new tags for seasonal travel, try making your own tags using duct tape in just minutes!
Bored with some of your old clothes? Spice them up! Create a funky, cut-up back on a boring tee shirt or add a little pattern pizzazz to an old pair of jeans. You’ll end up with a new, one-of-a-kind article of clothing and probably won’t even have to spend a dime!
5. Make a list
After completing all of these steps, you now know exactly what you need and don’t need in order to put the finishing touches on your home and wardrobe collection. But before you go out shopping, make a list. Maybe you need to replace your scratched up sunglasses, or need replacement luggage for an upcoming trip. Write it down so that you don’t over-buy.
Now you can go out and shop with peace of mind! You can confidently give yourself permission to spend money (within your budget, of course) without feeling guilty or stressed because you are only buying items that you need. You can rest assured that you are shopping wisely, so take the time to truly enjoy your seasonal update shopping excursion!
A big thank you to Aimee for sharing her wonderful tips with us! You can find more great DIY ideas for your home and wardrobe over at Aimee’s blog, DIYDarlin.com.
I love how resourceful you are. I noticed that as I become more zealous about keeping my possessions low, I’m looking at everything I own with an eye toward double-duty. Also, my shopping trips are becoming less enthusiastic as I already know most of the stuff I want, I don’t need and it’s a waste of money.
Thank you also for highlighting DIY alternatives. I certainly have done more than a few DIY hatchet jobs on my wardrobe in my time. My favorite thing to do is to slightly alter something with my very minimal sewing skills, like changing out buttons, adding a small dart because I have a smaller bust, etc. It’s easier and cheaper for me than going to the tailor because my style is still not totally formed so I will alter something sometimes two or three times before I am fully satisfied.
I buy everything secondhand and typically people don’t like something because it just not *quite* right. I got a couple of coats from Goodwill’s outlet for $2.50 a pound (so about $5 to $10 each. They were amazing and rare finds and I have not seen such nice coats at Goodwill Outlet since. They both had significant problems though, but a little DIY fixed them. One was super long (to my ankles). I shortened it and it works great when I have to travel up north but is still versatile for colder SoCal days as well. The other was a lovely short red coat with no personality. I gave it black buttons, ala ZARA styling and then the coat really popped.
Thanks for sharing some of your DIY tips here, Jane. I like the idea of changing out buttons and I have done that in the past, too. I sometimes alter things two or three times, too, but since I’m unable to do most of these things myself, it can get pricey. How wonderful that you were able to get nice coats for only $5 to $10 each! Having sewing skills seems to have helped you a great deal with getting the most for your money and being about to tweak things to work better for your style. The short red coat sounds lovely!
I do this in reverse. As I change out my wardrobe, I review my current wardrobe because I am more familiar with it. I can be critical about fit, condition, and the number of times I wore it, Then I pull out the new wardrobe and put all into my closet on backward facing hangers. As I select and wear these “new” pieces I assess whether they work or not. I keep a donation bag handy and if I struggle with a garment I ask my self the hard question and make a decision. It’s easier to do this with a “full” closet of the wardrobe I haven’t seen in a while. When I have gotten into the season by a month or so, I review the hangers unused and force myself to wear these or make the crucial cut. Sometimes they are the special capsule pieces or sometimes they are orphans and or fantasy life pieces. I don’t do a major purge but an as I go. This seems to help me not purge and then have the scarcity fear that triggers a re buying splurge. The article on a “don’t buy ” list was eye opening and helpful. Because I thrift, I do have a tendency to buy backups for crucial garments but have limited this category to 2. I find even basic workhorses need to be revamped on a 2-3 year basis.
I think for culling purposes that the outgoing season is the ONE season to focus on. Your feelings and memory about whether something should continue on in your wardrobe is fresh. I don’t have endless storage space and there isn’t a reason to wash/clean things for storing if they aren’t keepers.
Very good points, Kathy and Ginger. I actually review BOTH the outgoing season’s wardrobe AND the one for the season that is just beginning. It’s easier to review the outgoing items because they are free in our memory and we can pretty easily assess what should stay and what should go. For the incoming items, I look at what still suits my style and I sometimes try things on to see if I still find them flattering (especially if my body shape/size has changed even slightly). I just did this for my summer wardrobe and found some pieces that I’m not longer in love with. I keep everything in one closet but typically hold on to things I’m considering letting go of in another closet for a month or two before passing them on. This helps me to feel more certain of my decision. I don’t bring things back to the main closet very often, but I do on occasion. I can be moody and sometimes I am hasty with my purging decisions. We learn what works best for us as we go.
I always use the “hanger trick” in my closet and it helps me a lot. I turn the hangers around on January 1st and see what I wear over time. Most of my summer items still have the hangers turned around, but in the next few months they will start to be worn. It’s great to have a quick bird’s eye view of what we are and aren’t wearing.
Thank you for the wonderful tips. I always find I have packed away beloved items in the fall and thought they were perfectly wearable, and inevitably need to reassess for wear in the light of spring. I generally do this as I unpack and handle each item before putting it away (or purging).
Just a note: you can donate textile items that are showing wear rather than trashing them! Many charities resell these for downcycled uses. Mark your bag or box of worn clothes clearly as “rags.”
I like to go through my items for the incoming season as well, Jay. I don’t pack anything away anymore, but I still like to look at them and try them on to see how I feel about them after 6 months or so have passed.
Good suggestion about donating items that are too worn to be used as clothing anymore. I haven’t seen this tip before, but it makes sense. It’s better for the environment for things to be used as much as possible throughout their entire life-cycle and there are many uses for rags.
I really like how you encourage working through a process before confidently going out to shop for anything that is genuinely missing for the new season. I keep ALL my clothes in my wardrobe now regardless of season (as I’ve more fully embraced minimalism over time), but I still like to review what I’ve got for the upcoming season regardless so I can make sure that part of my wardrobe is fresh and addresses my lifestyle as it is now. I’ll be using your tips to have another look at my wardrobe for our Australian winter, thank you!
I like Aimee’s process, too, Kim. I do the same as you these days in terms of keeping everything in my closet (I don’t think I’m quite a wardrobe minimalist yet, but I do have a pretty decent sized closet) and reviewing my wardrobe for the upcoming season. We do experience shifts in our bodies, lifestyles, and style preferences, so it’s a good idea to look everything over. Best wishes to you in getting ready for winter!