Summer can be a joyous time with afternoons by the pool, barbecues and spontaneous vacations. However, fall also provides plenty of blissful moments with changing leaves, cooler temperatures and sips of warm apple cider. Autumn, which starts on September 22, also offers the perfect opportunity to clean your apartment.

Not that you have your living room and bedroom all tidy, the closet – one of the most intimidating places to clean – is next. Not only do you have to sort through clean and unclean clothes, you also have to store your summer wear and start replacing it with your fall and winter fashions as the weather changes.

The Closet

Apartment closet with hanging shirts

To begin your closet clean out, you’ll need some materials to help you get the process started. If you don’t already have one, invest in a laundry basket, dry cleaning hamper (optional for those who regularly dry clean), shoe organizer (if you keep your shoes in the closet) and plenty of hooks and hangers. You will also need two boxes, one for donations and one for items you wish to sell.

If you’re notorious for throwing clothes on your closet floor, start the decluttering process by picking up the items and dividing them into your laundry and dry clean hampers. Hang up or fold clothes that are clean or not wrinkled.

Now that your clothes are in their rightful place, it’s time to decide which items should stay in your closet, which should be donated and which you can sell. It’s important to have a somewhat strict mentality when going through your clothing. The goal is to keep the items that you truly get good wear out of.

Lorraine Brock, Founder and President of Get Organized!, a certified woman-owned professional organizing company based in Richardson, Texas, follows a one-for-one rule. “For every item that comes in, one item has to go out. For example, if I buy another T-shirt, I always try to see if there is one that can go. I also try to identify items that I can live without.”

With your clothes organized into categories, it’s time to start tossing items into your donation and sell boxes. You can also create a pile of clothes you want to give to family and friends. Having your sorting boxes in a visible location in your closet throughout the year will also help keep it organized, no matter the season.

Your last step is to make the switch between summer and fall clothing. Fold up the tank tops, short-sleeved shirts and shorts you know you won’t be wearing until next year and swap them for your jeans and long-sleeved blouses or shirts.

To really see which clothes you wear regularly, Brock suggests putting all of your hangers facing outward, or with the opening of the hook curve facing you. After wearing a clothing item, hang it back up and turn the hanger the opposite direction – with the hook curve facing the closet wall. At the end of the fall season, clothes on hangars facing outward will be ones that you haven’t worn – and can probably donate or sell. This method many not apply to fancier items such as suits or gowns.

Conquering your closet can be one of the biggest feats in your fall cleaning. To make sure that this space is given special attention, schedule a time and day on your calendar. This will create more motivation to actually complete your checklist.

Closet Checklist

  • Clear out your floor by organizing items into your laundry and dry cleaning baskets or back onto hangers
  • Add a shoe organizer and stack all shoes
  • Turn all your hangers backwards
  • Add “donate,” “sell,” and “give to family” boxes to your closet
  • Divide clothes that have not been worn into boxes
  • Transfer fall season clothes into main closet area and summer clothes into storage
  • Add hooks to your closet and hang up most-worn bags, jackets and jeans
  • Vacuum closet floor

Fall Cleaning Series

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