How to Prepare Your Closet for Summer

How to Prepare Your Closet for Summer

Well, I don’t know about you, but, I wonder if this weather is ever going to change!

I spent a lot of years living in England and am not much of a winter person because of it. Back then, there were only two types of weather, sweater/coat weather and dress weather. We were lucky if dress weather lasted 4 to 6 weeks out of the year.

Even though I have lived in beautiful, sunny California for 20 years now, I can’t express how much I still dread getting out my winter clothes. And I can’t wait to pack them all up as soon as any sign of warm weather appears.

 When will this sweater weather end?

This year, it seems like sweater weather is never going to end! It’s almost May for God’s sake! And all we have to show for it is storms, arctic fronts, and crappy weather all together.

When I had my mastectomy, summer was nearing its end. Because of this, I have had a long time to get used to my new body, while also having many opportunities to cover it up. Scarves are our best “uniform” because they help disguise our missing parts without anyone being any the wiser.

Prosthetics – heavy and sweaty…

A lot of women I have had the opportunity to chat with, dread the summer months because the heat can mean less clothing and prosthetics can be heavy and sweaty. Never fear I’m going to have plenty of different ideas for you on how to wear lighter clothing this upcoming summer season without feeling exposed.

Until then, let’s tackle how to organize your closet, what to put away, and how to prepare for summer.

Out With The Old:

Step 1: Gather all your winter items.

I know most people do not have clothes in every room of their home. I don’t necessarily. My kitchen is a clothing free zone – unless we are counting aprons!

Okay, the truth is out! I do have clothes stored all over my house. So the first step of transitioning my wardrobe is to gather all my clothes that I have had out for the season.

Step 2: Make sure all your items are laundered.

This step includes making sure everything that is in the laundry gets washed. There is nothing worse than putting everything away to store until next winter only to find that you left out your thick alpaca sweater at the bottom of the laundry bin.

Step 3: Sort clothing into three piles.

This is the process where we go through our clothing and make three different piles:

Pile #1: Clothes we are going to keep in our closet for summer.

You probably have some t-shirts that you have been wearing (you know I have a ton of white t-shirts that will stick around for the summer) that you will continue to wear this summer. Also, it is good to keep several warmer sweaters for summer evenings and camping trips (Heck NO I don’t go camping! But some of you must do this dreadful thing once a year. Lord knows my daughter does). You also may want to keep around your jeans that you’ve been wearing during the winter. These all go in the “keep” pile.

Pile # 2: Clothes we are going to give to local charity shops.

I am lazy and do not usually take my clothing to the consignment store. Basically I have only done this twice in my life. The items that I’d spent a small fortune on? Those women in the shops turned their noses up at them. And the crap I got from the Goodwill? They thought was the bomb. When offered 3 bucks for a pair of $125 shoes that I only wore once, I got a little sour. Needless to say, I didn’t go back and they still probably have my name written on a little piece of paper behind the cash register.

Anyway, I prefer to giving my clothes to a local charity shop. I care not which one but if there is a local cancer society store, you bet I’ll take it there! I sprinkle my clothing to many different charities and I also buy from them regularly.

You are going to get rid of the following:

Clothes you didn’t wear. A good example being this green sweater. I bought it and literally NEVER put the thing on!

Clothes that you are “OVER”. I have worn this black and grey sweater now for 3 or 4 seasons. And I am over it. Actually, I was over it last year. But so many people complimented me on it that I kept it for another year. But I know that if I put it away only to take it out next winter, it will make me feel depressed that winter is coming again. Plus, sometimes it’s good to have something to look forward to. If that means actually buying a new sweater once the weather gets cold again, I’m doing that!

Clothes that have seen better days. This will include things with marks that you can’t get out, sweaters with pilling (those pesky little balls that form around the armpits), and anything with holes (even if they have holes because they are your favorite item and you may never live your best life without them. I promise, you can do it).

Pile #3: Clothing we are going to put away until next winter.

Put all the items in this pile that you want to put away until the chill of winter arrives once more. Sometimes, even though I could wear some of my items all year round, I like to put them away for a while. Then, it’s like Christmas when I go to see what has been packed up for four or five months. Suddenly I’m overjoyed with “Oh, Goodie! I love this. I forgot I had it!” Those are great moments!

Handy Tips:

You may prefer to do this chore in small chunks so that you’re not overwhelmed. I sure do. Start with items that are in your drawers such as tops, sweaters, pants etc. Then tackle clothes hanging up in your closet like skirts, dresses, jackets, etc. This is a great way to discover how many of each item you have (and probably don’t need). It also makes it easier to organize your clothes when you stored them.

Once we have everything in their proper pile, we will do the following: (1) put the “keep” items back in our closets and drawers; (2) bag the items that are going to charity; and (3) pack away our winter items for storage. I like to store my items in either plastic, see through bins with lids, or, in suitcases that I can easily store under my bed.

In with the new.

Now that you have put away your winter items, it’s time to bring out your summer wear.

WARNING! DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY IF YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE YOUR MASTECTOMY.

I beg you not to make any hasty decisions. There are some items that I got rid of when I first had my mastectomy. Items I love a lot. Items I thought I could no longer wear. Items I now realize (with remorse) I could have still worn.

At that time I wasn’t used to my new body so I simply discarded almost everything that I loved because I thought those items would make me miss how I used to look in them.

I literally went out a week after my surgery and bought a ton of clothes to make myself feel “better.” Unfortunately some of those items are still hanging in my closet unworn because I was not clear about my body and had not gotten to know it yet.

In order for you to possibly avoid this same scenario, I encourage you to take out your summer items and make sure everything gets freshened up (either by ironing or by airing them out).

A good example of not being to harsh with your clothing is this top. I bought three of these in different colors last year. After wearing one of them I realized that there was a gap in the placement of the ruffles where my nipple showed through. I honestly thought I had thrown them all out. I didn’t, and guess what? I don’t have a nipple on that side anymore! And these tops are PERFECT for disguising my one breasted body!

Now put everything in your closet. You will know by the end of the summer (or even within the first month or so) what you feel comfortable continuing to wear and what you don’t want to wear anymore because it no longer suits your body shape.

I hope we will all be sporting our summer wear sooner rather than later. Until then, I’ll be heading to local charity shops and big brand stores to find new clothes that can suit our bodies. And as always, I’ll let you in on all my discoveries and top secrets.

Stay tuned and get organizing!

 

 

 

 

 

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