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5 Things to Do to Prepare Your Closet for Spring

It's this time of year that I get a bad case of Spring Fever. Here in Omaha, the weather doesn't really change for a couple more months, but at the start of March, everything in my body screams, "It must be Spring now!" After months of cold temps and snow and cloudy days, I'm ready to shed a layer (literally and figuratively!), and start fresh.

Sayonara heavy sweaters and boots!

C'est la vie drab, dark colors!

Spring has come, and I'm here for it.

Freshening up our closets for Spring is a great way to get you feeling lighter and brighter. Here are 5 things to do this month to officially say goodbye to Winter, and to get you and your closet ready for Spring!

#1 Rethink your layers

Here in the Midwest, our reality is that we have many cool and rainy days ahead, so we still have to dress for warmth. On any given day in the Spring, it can be 40 degrees and rainy, and the next 80 degrees and sunny.

So what do you wear?

You wear layers.

In Springtime, I like to change up the layers I wear from Winter. I pack away my heavy winter coats, parkas, and heavy sweaters, and opt for lighter layers like denim jackets, raincoats, trench coats, Moto jackets, lightweight sweaters, and all season fabric blazers. In general, I like to go with lighter or brighter colors: pastels, bright pops of color, white, ivory, beige,

Here is a roundup of my favorite light layers for Spring! Click the image below to shop these jackets, plus more of my top picks!

#2 Brighten & Lighten things up

Now is the time to pull out those cheery floral patterns, stripes, whites and brighter colors! It's one of the easiest ways to make your wardrobe feel more Spring-like. I tend to move away from darker, richer colors and lean into bright colors or pastel tones. For example, I love wearing patterns and florals with darker, richer tones in the winter - think blacks, grays, burgundy, dark greens, etc. In Spring, I reach for the lighter, brighter colors.

This is also when I love to lighten up my denim. Before you tell me there's no way you will wear anything but dark wash denim, lighter denim can be flattering on all body types. You just have to find the right shape for your body!

To give you an example of how one item can be transitioned from Winter to Spring, I styled this houndstooth blazer two ways below - one for Winter and the other for Spring. Notice how everything is so much brighter and lighter in the Spring version - from the color of the lipstick to the type of shoe.

#3 Change up your shoes

It's amazing the difference a shoe can make in your outfit! For Spring, I like to put away my tall boots, and go for booties instead. I like to think about color and material when I'm deciding what to store. For example, my black boots are typically packed away, as are suede boots. (Be sure to clean them before you pack them away!) Also stay away from faux fur details or sherpa. These all classically say "Winter!" and can really weigh an outfit down.

Springtime is also when I'm excited to pull out my flats and lighter colored sneakers, and on a warmer day in the Midwest - sandals! Finally - I can go sock-less! White sneakers as well as brightly colored sneakers are majorly on trend for this Spring. The brighter and bolder, the better!

In general, Spring is when I look for shoes with brighter colors or patterns that can add a pop of color and some playfulness to my outfit.

For example:

  • Bright colors or pastels

  • Patterns like polka dots, gingham, florals, tie-dye and lighter colored animal prints

  • Natural Materials like wood, raffia, denim

Take a peek at these Spring shoe trends for 2021! Talk about eye candy!

#4 Take a trip to the cleaners

At the end of the Winter season, it can be tempting to just toss those heavier sweaters and coats and gloves in a bin without giving it one final wash or cleaning. Even I have to force myself to do this, because I know that my clothes will last a whole lot longer if I take the time to toss them in my washing machine or take them to the dry cleaners. This also goes for your boots!

What's the point of cleaning before storing? Without cleaning your items, you risk attracting pests, mold, mildew, and lasting odors. Even if your clothes appear to be totally clean, it’s worth washing to make sure. Just the smallest bit of perfume, lotion, or perspiration can cause your stored clothes to stain and yellow.

So here's a general guideline of what to do to give your winter clothes the cleaning they deserve:

  • Machine wash all non-delicate winter items.

  • Clothing made from silk, wool, or cashmere should be dry-cleaned.

  • Clean and polish your winter boots and shoes. Start with a wet rag and make sure you wipe all the salt stains and dirt off to prevent permanent damage.

  • Clothing can be stored in sealed plastic bins or air-tight bags, in a cool, dark, dry location. Avoid storing them in basements if at all possible.

#5 Make a Wish List for Spring

The secret to shopping with more intention and avoid that mindless shopping binge is to create a wish list. Did I already lose you when I said make a list? Listen, whether you are an avid list-maker or a Pinterest board creator, or mentally create your lists, you need to create a list! I recommend creating a seasonal list, but at least twice a year will do. I know it sounds a little tedious to create a list of things you want to buy, but I can tell you that I have been consistently doing this for many years and it really does keep you on track!

Why? For one, writing things down makes it so much more visible and conscious. Secondly, when temptations arise this list will keep you grounded to reality! And believe me there will be plenty of temptations in the Spring. Retailers are banking on you to impulse buy.

The beauty of a list really comes out when you go shopping. Imagine you find an item that catches your eye. In the past, you may have blindly purchased it and perhaps regretted it. But now you now have a list to bump it up against. If it’s on your list, great! Buy it! If it’s not on your list, then decide if it’s worth adding to the list, or if you can live without it.

If you think I have this all figured out, let me assure you that I am not immune to purchasing something I didn’t really need! I think we can all remember a time when we’ve made an impulse buy. And boy, do I feel the guilt and regret sink in when that happens! For everyone’s sanity and checkbook this Spring, I’d love to help you avoid these negative feelings and gain more control.

Have I convinced you that making a wish list is going to be a good thing for you? Good. So now how do you go about making a wish list?

  1. Jot down items that will help fill holes in your wardrobe. Since you've already been going through your closet to pack away winter clothes and pull out Spring items, you are getting a sense of what you have to work with. Don’t own a single white tee? Add it to the list. How about a light wash pair of jeans? Add it! No special pieces that will elevate your basics? Ding ding! More Zoom friendly blouses to elevate your look? Add that one, too. You get the idea.

  2. What would you love? I’m sure you are already receiving tons of emails from retailers with ideas and you’ve probably seen items or looks that you would love to try. Maybe you have a Pinterest board with ideas of your ideal style. Look for patterns. Do you always pin a certain type of blouse? Would you love to add a denim jacket or blazer? A skirt? A colorful pair of sneakers to pair with your spring dresses? You get the idea. Put your most loved items on the list.

As you make your list, jot down what inspires and excites you without too much judgment. The number of items you come up with isn’t important. That will be personal only to you, your needs and budget. However, if you are feeling like you have too many items on your list, go back and edit it down to the things you love most or would add the most value to your closet. You can even order them starting with the items you’d most love to own if that is helpful!

As you buy things, check it off your list. (My list people will love this part!) If you find something that isn’t on your list but feel will add to your closet in a significant way, or you just really love it, consider taking off another item to compensate. This list isn’t finite. It’s meant to be your guide and your key to rational, conscious shopping.

Need Help with a Spring Wardrobe Refresh?

My Complete Style Transformation is a way to refresh your closet without doing all the work! I will help you assess what's in your closet, so you know what to toss and what to keep - based on your personal style, lifestyle needs, and body type. Then I help you determine what pieces would need to be added in order to round out your wardrobe and make it easier to create outfits. The best part? I do all the shopping for you! I search hundreds of brands online to bring you only the best options for your style and budget. Then I get to put it all together for you - creating outfits, mixing and matching your clothing, and sharing them with you on your own personal style website, which you can access 24/7 as an app on your phone. Say goodbye to not knowing what to wear or the stress of putting together an outfit! Learn more about this service, or set up a free 30-minute style consultation with me to chat about how I can make your style transformation a reality!

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