Dawn Rebel


How To Master The Summer Clothing Swap

An easy checklist to switch sweaters for swimsuits

Retro women in bathing suits on the beach

"Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands." - Clint Eastwood

There is a season, turn, turn, turn. So it is with nature, life, and your sandals.

Twice a year, I make the pilgrimage out to the shed, bring in the seasonally appropriate clothing, and do the seasonal clothing swap. This is one of the things about being an adult that’s not as fun as being able to stay up as late as you want.

Thankfully, the switch to your summer skimpies is filled with joy. Especially after the winter we just survived, which looked a whole lot like:

So, with the smell of worms, leaves, sunshine, and happiness all around us, let us prepare for a triage—the clothing kind.

This particular choreand there is no getting around the fact that it is a choreis well worth the investment of your time and effort.

First, book the time. Crucial. Critical. In the best of all worlds, this switch-over should be done in one day. Like pulling off a Band-Aid. The slower and more protracted the experience, the tougher it is to do.

Secondly, be realistic about whether your kids and family can/should participate in this event. And, as all mothers soon learn, be flexible. Sometimes plans can get . . . sidetracked . . .



 Take everything out of the closet.

 Sort everything into 4 piles:

1. Pack away for next change of season (Fall/Winter wardrobe).

2. Pile for donation/give away. Here are some great places to donate:

Purging is a full-time hobby for me. If you have trouble with this step, just give me a shout. I've been known to take clothes directly off of my husband and put them in our donation bag. I've also been known to commit a little sock-icide every now and then . . . 

3. Pile for trash (not every item of clothing can, or should, be passed along).

4. Pile for items that go back in closetclothing that is multi-seasonal.

 Wash all clothes in the "pack for next season" pile (spit-up on shirt sleeves are much harder to deal with after a six-month set-in period), and put them in your storage container of choice.

 Label your "Fall/Winter Wardrobe" storage tubs. You can also use these EXTREMELY handy vacuum bags.


 Hang up clothes that are multi-seasonal.

 Unpack and hang up your "Spring/Summer Wardrobe."

***OPTIONAL  Do the "happy summertime dance," because you no longer have to wear socks.***

Shoes --> Repeat above steps.

Dresser --> Repeat above steps.

Coat cupboard --> Repeat above steps.

Children’s clothing --> Repeat… (you know)

There might come a moment when you're surrounded by clothes, shoes, bags, tubs, and other closet flotsam-and-jetsam, and you think, "Why bother changing over clothing for the change of seasons at all?"

Don't. Give. Up. If you stop now, I can guarantee you will not return to this task later. Remind yourself, "New beginnings are invigorating." Clearing out the unused stuff leads to quicker clothes selection, quicker dressing, and that’s a good thing. So crank up the summertime tunes, and purge your closets and dressers of the things that are no longer part of your easy, breezy summertime living.

If you're looking to do the REVERSE clothing swap, this summer to fall checklist is your place to start. If all this organizing has you in a purging mood, perhaps you want some advice on sock-icide?