It’s that time again – seasonal clothes switch out and huge PURGE!

Let me start with a confession, I really don’t like switching out my clothes for the seasons. It’s such a chore but you know what I dislike even more? Summer clothes staring at me when it’s -40C outside (and yes it gets that cold here where I live in northern Alberta). I don’t want to see my shorts or my cute tank tops mocking me day after day. It’s so mean! So I stash them away out of sight, out of mind as I try to get through our long 6 months of winter without having a complete meltdown (although it still happens, usually around the 5 month mark). One of the other HUGE benefits of doing a seasonal clothes switch out is the purge that happens as a result. Wait till you see the three big bags I sent out of here. It’s so worth the hassle, trust me. It feels amazing to know that everything left in my closet are things I really want to wear, that actually fit and that don’t annoy me every time I put them on.

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

I’ve talked about my seasonal clothes rotation game so many times on the blog. But for those that are new here or want a refresher I have a system in place that I use to make this big task a little more manageable. It’s a process I do twice a year in the fall and in the spring. It all centers around four smaller totes that I found years ago, not even sure where now. They aren’t huge, they fit in my closet nicely and they act as a limiting container providing much needed boundaries to avoid excess.

First I start by pulling down these four bins from the shelf in my closet and stacking them on the bed. In the winter they hold, long sleeve shirts, Christmas sweaters and thick leggings. In the summer they hold, shorts, tank tops and Capri pants.

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Second, I then take out of my closet my spring/summer items of clothing that I want to pack away for the winter and throw those items on the bed as well.

Third, the bins get emptied and the fall/winter clothes either get hung up or put into one of these two bins below that sit on a shelf in my closet. I purge as I go, anything that no longer fits me or my needs goes. I would have done this step in the spring as well with these clothes but it’s always good to do another look over everything.

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

These brown baskets are used in winter for leggings and sweatpants. In summer they hold my tank tops and shorts. I can’t be bothered to hang these things up so the baskets work great to keep them contained and from spilling out all over the place.

I also have these canvas storage boxes in my closet that hold scarves and bathing suits. These don’t get rotated out. I like the windows so I can see what’s inside. They are similar to these ones on Amazon (affiliate link).

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Before packing away my summer clothes into the bins I go through the pile to determine what can stay and what can go. I’m always pretty ruthless especially if I didn’t wear something at all during the last season. Goodbye!

In this picture you can see my four bins stacked in the corner of my closet on the shelf.

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Org Junkie’s Tips for Parting with Your Clothes:

1. If you haven’t worn something in a year then out it goes regardless of condition, price or size. Why a year? Because you cover every season in that period of time. If you haven’t worn it during the year, you probably never will.

2. If you have a piece of clothing that you wear but are annoyed with it every time you do, seriously stop it.

3. If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.

4. If you hate to iron and your ironing pile sits there totally neglected while you wear all your favorite clothing over and over again, why do you still have an ironing pile?

5. I’m not opposed to keeping your “skinny” clothes (and I know we all do it) but for goodness sakes you don’t need to keep all of it. Styles change, your tastes change, your body shape changes so chances are good that when you get back to that size you’re going to want new stuff anyway.

6. If you absolutely love a shirt but never wear it because you have nothing to wear it with, well guess what, a mate isn’t going to magically appear in the night. Follow the one year rule.

7. Sentimental clothes that you aren’t wearing shouldn’t reside in your closet. Either take a picture of it and preserve the memory or limit yourself to one tote of “clothes to show my kids so they can laugh their heads off at me someday”.

8. Don’t hang onto something that is “just alright” because you don’t have something better yet to replace it. Let it go now unless it means you go naked, that wouldn’t be right.

9. You don’t have to do it all at once. Try organizing in stages and be motivated by your success. One day you could do shirts, the next day shorts, etc..

10. Try everything on. This one I can’t stress enough. Do not hold something up and say oh this is so beautiful I’m going to keep it. That’s too easy and what you might not remember is that, although it’s beautiful, the buttons gape at the front showing off your woman parts. Nope we don’t want that now do we. Get rid of it.

11. You only have the space that you do. Jamming your clothes into the closet and fighting with them every single day to find what you need won’t make your closet grow in the night. It will only make you grumpy…every single day. It’s not worth it.

Grab your FREE PRINTABLE of these rules to remember right HERE.

11 Rules for Getting a Clothes Purge Done

Here’s my final pile of clothes I donated this time around. Whew! And really the process is so much quicker than I always anticipate. I think it took me about an hour so I don’t know why it’s something I always procrastinate.I love that it forces a much needed purge as well. My closet feels so much lighter!

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Seasonal Clothes Switch Out & Purge at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Do you do a seasonal clothes switch out? How often do you do an intentional clothes purge each year? Got any questions for me about my seasonal clothes switch out and purge process leave them in the comments below.

  • This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you,  if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!

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Filed under: Closets, Purging


19 Responses to It’s that time again – seasonal clothes switch out and huge PURGE!

  1. 1
    Becky L says

    I need to do this purge soon too. I have a few things not worn. Ones for special occasions and fit me so it stays put. Containers do help organize. I’ll wait til another week since we’re having a big celebration next Sat and I need to focus on the details for the event. I wash my clothes I’ve not worn in months before reusing them. Thanks for the reminder, Laura!

  2. 2
    Claire says

    About two days ago I started to put away my sun dresses, and then today it’s supposed to reach 86F/30C here in Philadelphia. I cannot wait for fall clothes- I bought some fantastic gaudy leggings (like kittens in space) I am desperate to wear.

    • 2.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Those leggings sound so fun! I love leggings, they make me so happy!!!

  3. 3
    Kirrily says

    What are those white bracket things you have got above the hanging closet to separate piles of jumpers please? They look useful!

  4. 4
    Lesta Little says

    I just can’t seem to purge I just hate getting rid of clothes. I keep thinking I might want them someday. I still remember things I got rid of years ago and and wish I hadn’t. Don’t know what to do. Have 2 large bags sitting in my craft room that I just can’t take to the thrift store yet. Any hope for me????

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Always hope. It’s so hard I know especially if you are like me and want to be prepared for all the things. How long have those bags been sitting in your craft room? You haven’t needed them and they are taking up space. You are almost there girl, you can do it. I’m cheering you on over here!!!

  5. 5
    Katie V says

    Thank you for this article. My closet is so unbearably small – I really need some serious help getting that thing in order. I can’t even go through my clothes when I’m trying to get dressed because there is too much stuffed in there. Now I have a pile started OUTSIDE the closet of what I wear more frequently so I can get to it. Makes so damn sense – I’m taking this advice and running with it. Oh – and I wanted to tell you that the link to the bins with windows – Amazon says that product is currently unavailable so thought you might want to change it so you can get credit for any sales. I wanted to buy some, but can wait if you want to change the link! 🙂

    • 5.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      You are so sweet Katie, thank you. I have updated the link, thanks for letting me know! Happy organizing 🙂

  6. 6
    MARGIE says

    I live in Virginia Beach VA. We can have snow one day and 70° the next. I do not rotate clothes. I do turn the hangers backwards on things I am thinking about purging. If I do not wear them in a 6 month time period, or find reasons not to wear them…they go!!

  7. 7
    Kathy says

    Cleaning out my walk-in closet…it is taking longer than it should…I have hauled one load off and starting on another load…I just had too many clothes…all fit but too much of a good thing… next my yoga room…that will take time…love this site…it make me want to clean and organized.

    • 7.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      That’s awesome Kathy! Don’t beat yourself up about how long it takes, instead celebrate the small accomplishments always 🙂

  8. 8
    Patricia Woodburn says

    Hi Laura,
    I read tons of organizing articles and I have two I like very much, but this morning I found you and it has given me renewed energy to swap out my clothes and purge. What did it? Your photo of the 65 items on your bed. Now I won’t feel so guilty purging and thinking of all the money spent and the sentimental pieces. Unlike you, I’m going to have a meltdown if the Fall doesn’t start soon. We are having an extended summer here in the Philadelphia region. But I have renewed energy now. TY.

    • 8.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      That’s so wonderful to hear, yay! So glad I could help, you’ve got this!!

  9. 9
    Andrea Morgan says

    My husband Dick and I are renovating a small bedroom in the old house we just purchased for our retirement into a walk-in closet. I love your article because it’s my spouse who has tons extra of shirts and socks he never wears and is so worried about where to store them. The purge idea should ease his anxiety before we draw our design ideas. He also buys 6 of everything such as pocket tees or baseball caps until the closet is crammed and he can’t even see the excess he has bought. I know the habit developed after 5 years of combat in the Army when he barely had any changes of clothes due to constant moving around. When he sees me purge then he follows suit.

  10. 10
    Abby says

    I am working on cleaning all my tabs up on my iPad browser and am pinning away things I want to remember! Do you know by chance what the brand name of the hinged plastic bins or where you purchased them? I realize you have had them for awhile, but they look like they are the perfect size for offseason clothes which i need to pack away…I am determined winter is done!

  11. 11
    Kera says

    I do seasonal switch out because I have very limited closet space & I also have a bin with smaller size clothes for when I do lose weight 😀 I am in Midwest and I find myself rotating my closet every 2-3 months instead of 2x a year like most normal people because A) I get bored of the same ol clothes after 2 months and B) I feel like I need a separate wardrobe for transition weather C) my closet is so small I can’t keep transition weather cloth + hard core winter clothes at same time

  12. 12
    Marie says

    Hello. Just finding this on Pinterest. I have a small apartment, three closets. No additional storage space. These three closets hold all my seasonal clothes, Christmas decorations, old photo albums, 30 years of marriage memories. I want and need to organize and get rid of some things. I just do know where to start. Where is my starting point???

    • 12.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      One type of clutter at a time. For instance, pull out all your Christmas decorations and sort through them. In the off season you may be less attached to things and better able to let things go. Then move to something else. Give yourself boundaries and limits using containers. One tote for memories for example and then purge until it fits!


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