Spring Closet Switchover

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Hello, my friends. It’s great to be back on the blog. I have had a good week off. Getting my house in order, so to speak. Which means I didn’t actually do any housework. Ha. But I did get my head in order. And my closet.

There’s nothing that reduces stress for me like organizing my wardrobe. Along with list-making, organizing is one of my most favourite things. My closet is so small that what’s in it at any one time is effectively a capsule wardrobe. Pieces I know I will reach for the most depending on the season. So a seasonal closet switchover is a must, in my opinion. How else would I manage with such a small closet? How else would I know what clothes I have, what I still love, what still fits, and what I don’t love anymore?

What I wore after my closet switchover. Paige jean jacket, H&M long-sleeve tee, Aritzia sweatpants, Ray Ban sunglasses.
Spring on the river… time for a closet switchover.

I filmed much of the process this time. Breaking it down into the steps that work for me. Packing fall and winter clothes away. Unpacking spring and summer, sorting out what can go directly into my closet, what goes back into storage until the weather is a bit warmer, and what no longer fits and will be donated.

The video is a bit shorter this time. I am trying to contain my yammering. Not always succeeding, but trying. Ha. I had issues with the wind and the sound outdoors. But my equipment and my editing ability are not exactly professional, so I hope you will make allowances.

Now, pour yourself another cup of tea, or wine depending on the time of day you are watching this, and enjoy.

I hadn’t quite finished a total switchover when I finished the video. I still had to sort out my exercise gear, sweatpants and sweatshirts which I keep on the shelf in my closet. Pack away ski gear, bring out cycling shorts and the like. I also switched out my winter bags, shoes, boots, and scarves for the spring summer stuff. Plus coats and outdoor jackets. That took me a day in itself.

Everything is done, now. Until the weather warms up in June, when I will bring out my summer pieces. And switch my light cashmere sweaters for sleeveless tanks and white jackets. My closet is organized. My shoes are all lined up nicely, bags stacked or hanging tidily, scarves folded neatly. What a great feeling. The hooks you can see behind me to the left, in the picture below, now hold my straw Eric Javits bag instead of that heavy, burgundy Mark Jacobs tote. And I smile contentedly every time I pass it.

Smiling because my closet switchover is all done. Max Mara blazer, Club Monaco cashmere hoodie, earrings from Magpie jewellry in Ottawa.
An organized closet is a wonderful thing. Sigh.

I have set aside a few spring and summer pieces into a “maybe” pile. Maybe they might be factored into spring 2021, maybe they might be donated. I’ll let you know how that goes. I thought I might do an Allison Bornstein-style analysis of some of the pieces about which I am ambivalent. You know, the method she uses where she styles some of her “maybes” using some of her “regulars.” If you are new to Allison Bornstein’s closet editing system, you can check out my post here, or her video here.

I want to take a minute now to enthuse a little about my green cashmere sweater from Club Monaco. Can I pick them or can I pick them? I bought that sweater mostly because I saw in my head a vision of it with jeans and my navy spring jacket. I loved the sweater as soon it was delivered a month ago. It looks lovely with my green tweed fall jacket. But I was excited to see today that it really does look great with my navy spring blazer. Phew. I think that my investment in that sweater will pay off in the long run.

Before I close, I want to thank all my lovely readers for hanging in here with me on my blog. I really appreciated all the kind comments on my last post. All the queries about my mum. Who is still in hospital, but is slowly improving. I want to say thanks for your continued reading and commenting through a long year of lockdown whining, wobbles, and isolation diaries. Some weeks my creativity deserted me, and other weeks it was just plain weird. Nothing as weird as Hubby singing his lumberjack song in the December vlog, though. I promise you I had no idea what he was planning, and I could NOT restrain him. He is inordinately proud of the woodcutting part of that vlog. Ha.

If you are new around here, I hope you know that you are joining a wonderful group of intelligent, interesting, and supportive women. I cannot believe that my little retirement project has grown into such a community of friends. Friends who have definitely made pandemic living so much more bearable for me.

So… thanks for that. For all of it. xo

Now enough of this mushy stuff. Tell me… have you done your closet switchover?

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56 thoughts on “Spring Closet Switchover”

  1. Sort of. But the weather veers from sunny and warm and then back to winter – so many jackets hanging at the foot of the stairs now. I have been buying a few bits for warmer weather and look forward to finally giving my winter boots a polish before they go away and taking my coat to the dry cleaners. STILL trying to put on my new blazer but no luck yet.
    Re organising. If I feel a bit disgruntled or helpless, I make a cup of tea and take it upstairs so I can give the bookshelves a proper tidy. Yes, subject order. Yes, chronological. People might look askance but when they ask me where a book might be, I can give precise and crisp instructions.

    1. I have worn a blazer in the to walk to the car, walk from the car to the door of a local store to pick up our olive oil order, back to the car, and back in the house. Still, if felt great to be driving somewhere, anywhere. I haven’t taken my winter coats to the cleaners yet. Saving that outing for later. After our stay-at-home order has expired. 🙂 Lots of celebrating about the end of lock-down where you live this week; hope everyone stays safe.

  2. Thank You Sue for keeping on with regular posts over the last year, even when you felt at a loss for content. It has never felt like that from my perspective. I have brought in the Spring tops and jackets, and have packed away the heavy knits and long puffer coat. Still chilly though. Lise

  3. I was already impressed by many things about you, Sue. But I am even more impressed when I see that you can organize (and fit) all of your amazing fashion choices into a closet that is not large! Kudos on every level!

  4. I am a fairly new subscriber (6 months), and I have enjoyed your blog completely. I am a newly retired middle school English teacher in the US, and my daughter married a French Canadian and lives way across the country and way across the border. Honestly, reading your blog has helped me understand the isolation she faces in Canada.
    I’ve switched over my closet, and have been ruthless with what makes the cut! There was a retirement edit of work clothes, and that has made the organizing of spring/summer items easier. Love your focus on quality items, not quantity. And love your focus on books. Thanks Sue!

  5. Enjoyed the video Sue . Feel like some of your pieces are my old friends too ! I don’t plan on much of a wardrobe shuffle this spring . With our succession of lockdowns ( I’m losing count ) my clothes are just not getting any outings . So if there’s a summery day I shall go up in the loft & dig something out . Not very organised , I know . Your seasons are way more extreme than ours . You have a definite summer & a definite winter – that doesn’t always happen here . Our seasons can slide together . I’ve a friend who has the same wardrobe all year . She just puts another layer on . Which works quite well with current layered fashion . But , like you , in normal times I prefer to bring out something new …. even if it’s old .
    Our latest lockdown lifted a fair bit last Monday & soon I have my first hair appointment since last November . Decisions have to be made . Perhaps we’ll be locked down again before then & I won’t need to worry 🤪

    1. I can imagine that you recognize some of my clothes. Bringing them out reminds me of Mum unpacking the big cedar chest when we were kids. The anticipation! I almost decided to go back to colouring my hair a few weeks ago, but instead went with the lowlights again, and bit edgier cut. And those small changes have made me love the white hair again. Good luck with your appointment.

  6. Hoping Mom is feeling better and has her jab scheduled soon!
    Packed away the heavier sweaters and moved some coats to a less used closet, but that is about it. About to have a great deal of remodeling done (two bathrooms completely reconfigured, as well as all the interior doors replaced, including closets. Oh, and the exterior doors, too, so there will be a great deal of chaos and dust around for some months to come. Having the all closet doors (bedrooms, linen, hall) replaced means I really, really have to clean out the closets before the work begins. Wish me luck (and some sanity).

    1. I guess you have to move everything out of the closet before the work starts. The last time Hubby and I had work done like that, we stored everything in the basement. And after the work was finished we edited everything. Sometimes when I can’t find something I remember we used to own, Hubby says, “It didn’t make the cut.” Good luck with your “editing.”

  7. LOVE your blog! I enjoy your thought process about your clothes and the way you mix new with old. How do you remember what year you bought everything?!
    Hope your mom gets her shots soon.
    Take care.

  8. A thought about a small closet: humans are like reptiles – and some fish and lizards. Many of these critters are indeterminate growers, so if you keep providing them with a bigger tank, they’ll keep growing. So how are we similar? If we allow ourselves lots of spaces to store things and to continually add things, then we never organize and we never purge our closets. This explains my three 1990s prom dresses that I can’t part ways with (although even I’m surprised with how often I still wear them: when an event calls for “formal” it never specifies according to which decade….)

    Anywho, don’t bemoan your small closet, Sue, as it’s forced you to be smart about what you buy and keep!

    Speaking of keep, please do keep the white blazer w/ the black buttons and the belt – you showed it at 9:10 in your video. I think it’s hip and will suit you, but instead of styling it with a white tank underneath, try a colour: something like the colour of your green cashmere hoodie. Or hot pink would look awesome. Perhaps I can see this in person sometime in the summer if this lockdown ever ends!

    1. Good analogy, Jo. So I guess when people buy a bigger home with more closets to fill they are like lobsters, which shed their shells and grow a bigger one. Like when you were a kid and your mum bought you clothing she hoped you would grow into. Ha.
      You know, you’ve been threatening to wear those prom dresses for a while. I’d like to see them one day. 🙂

  9. Luckily not :). I’m out and about last couple of days (bussiness -not pleasure) in my coat and ankle boots ,all cashmere and wool jumpers in rotation. After beautiful spring weather , it is cold and wet again (a lot of snow at Plitvice and Lika).
    Your jackets are beautiful-the new Club Monaco hoodie is a gem (I’m repeating myself here,but I like it very much)
    Sorry about the numbers,ours are high again as well,but stores are still open….
    Dottoressa

    1. I kept my light down jacket out and one pair of ankle boots. Just in case. Stay safe, my friend. The world needs kind, erudite, fashionable women like you. 🙂

  10. Glad to hear your mum continues to improve; she feels like a dear acquaintance after your descriptions and stories! We are alternating between spring and the beginning of summer type weather (which here means uncomfortable heat and humidity) and I did indeed manage to put away the heavier fleeces and sweaters, bulky wool socks, etc, but it feels to soon to put the lighter winter stuff away. Not too urgent since we don’t really go anywhere but medical appointments and neighborhood walks, to which I do not bring the level of elegance that you bring to errands!

    ceci

    1. Ah, thanks for that, Ceci. I kept a lot of my light winter stuff to hand as well. You never, ever know for sure that spring is here to stay until June. And then if you live in Newfoundland you still don’t know. Or so my cousins tell me.

  11. Mary Lou Hartman

    So glad to see you back. You always inspire me. I need to tackle my closet but it is really hard to get motivated when I only go to the grocery store, work in my yard or walk outdoors. I’m grateful to have the ability to do those things but don’t feel that I need to be stylish for those activities. I’m focusing on books, decluttering and skincare during this prolonged time at home. Hope your mother continues to improve and that you get your vaccine soon.

    1. I have trouble wearing my good clothes, even just tee shirts and jeans or trousers if I’m only walking or chatting to Hubby in the backyard. I have started to wear my better tees around the house. Then I change before I exercise. But I still can’t sit around in my good sweaters.

  12. Hi Sue,
    Congratulations, you did an amazing job with organizing your closet, I am so impressed with all you accomplished. It’s probably cathartic for you, gets your mind off those things that are
    troubling you. Like Covid fatigue and going into lock down for another month.
    Stay safe and be well.

  13. Sue, I really enjoyed your blog, it looks like we spent the last few days doing exactly the same thing! I just finished this afternoon. It was a real chore for me this time around knowing that so many pieces, like me, would be “retired”😊
    I couldn’t believe how many items in your closet I could relate back to a fun day spent together in the dressing room. I loved when you would come in at the beginning of each season with your list (always organized), having done your homework, knowing exactly what you wanted to add that season to your wardrobe.
    I had to laugh when you referred to some of your items as vintage, I thought to myself, I sold her those pieces! And looking back to when, would definitely make them vintage!
    We do go back a few years Sue!
    I look forward to new get togethers soon, after all I did move to your neighbourhood!

    1. Ha ha. Did you recognize that Lida Baday jacket? Or the Elie Tahari giraffe print silk dress. I love that dress. We’ve had so much fin over the years, haven’t we? I miss your Holt Renfrew “Personal Shopper” suite. I always felt like a VIP when I shopped there. I am looking forward to lunch with you on the Black Dog patio this summer!

  14. Love your closet organizing and I love doing it too. Took a bunch of tops to sell and what was not wanted Goodwill got. Always feels good to clean out. I have switched as it was 80 on Easter Sunday, but this week we have had 30’s and snow. Luckily hubby and I are fully vaccinated and down in Fort Lauderdale. Also why I needed to find summer clothes. Reality will be harsh as always as does not look like much of a warm up next week. I am glad your Mum is hanging in there. Our parents are 80, 84, and 87-fathers, so thankful they are vaccinated and have survived this isolation. It has been difficult as my husband’s side is large and card playing, coffee and chit chat about the kids, grandkids and great grandkids keep them busy along with basketball games. All that was paused so they were so lonely. Aging parents are a challenge at times. Thankful ours made it through this past year too. Glad your week off was good and glad you are back.

    1. I worry a lot about my mum. But she is well cared for, and seems content. Getting her daily exercise, and growing stronger bit by bit. She misses our Great British baking Show marathons, and of course out yearly watching of Pride and Prejudice. Hopefully this summer we’ll do that all again. Fingers crossed.

  15. I’m a new kid on your block, but I love your sensibility on the thought that cleaning and organizing a closet can be the best stress reducer. 😊
    Southern California can be a bit tricky transitioning into a new “season”. It’s never safe to eliminate the “winter” clothing. It’s early April and we’ve transitioned between very warm to downright cold. (I put seasons in air quotes) since we truly have very little change in temperatures between January and December.
    I look forward to hearing more about your adventures.
    Thank you,
    Karen

  16. Love reading your blog. I think you mentioned you enjoyed the book “The Women in Black”. I saw the movie was recently added to Netflix. Thought I would pass that on – I watched the movie last night and found it to be very entertaining.

  17. Hi Sue, Welcome back! I loved this vlog … as always. Once again, I feel as though I’ve seen you for a chat! I’d definitely keep the white double breasted jacket, it’s a lovely style ( love the buttons) … and it has potential! Interested to see how you may style it in the future.
    I was about to pack away my puffa coats and warmer jackets then the temps dropped and the snow came! We’ve had a few sunny but chilly mornings since, with the promise of warmer weather this coming weekend. So I’m planning to do it next week.
    Then if necessary, I’ll just layer under a lighter coat. Although it’s probably worth keeping a warm coat, hat, scarf etc handy for sitting outside, if we do venture out in the evening.
    So pleased to hear your mum’s improving and hopefully not feeling too bored. I imagine she’s keen to be home. How frustrating that she still hasn’t had her vaccinations …. seems as though she’s slipped through a crack somehow. Good she has you to advocate for her.
    The same happened to a much loved neighbour , also in her 90’s who was admitted to hospital. I’m slightly perplexed why “vulnerable” people , either by age or health, are admitted to hospital and not automatically vaccinated, if they haven’t been.
    As Wendy mentioned, our Covid rules are relaxing slightly. Shops are open and I’m so happy to have had a hair cut this week! I’m not in a rush to go back into shops in general but relieved and happy to support some smaller, local ones. Mainly, I’m just happy we can meet people in our gardens … up to six. I hope things improve soon for you.
    Take care , hope your mum continues to improve and by the way, I loved Stu’s “Lumberjack” rendition and found all the wood chopping/stacking chat, fascinating!
    Rosie xx

    1. Thanks, Rosie. It worries me that everyone seems so blasé about Mum getting her shot. I kept a light-down winter jacket and one pair of ankle boots out. Just in case. Of course we’re not in the eating outside phase here. They are trying hard to get a handle on our rising numbers, but so far the stay-at-home order has had little effect. So frustrating.

  18. I have no idea how anyone in Canada does a closet switchover because our seasons overlap so much….my efforts do not go as smoothly as yours. It has been said that in Canada you can have winter boots, rain boots, shoes and flip flops all in the front hall at the same time because the weather can change so much one day to the next. LOL
    Your link to your green Club Monaco hoodie takes me to nordstrom.com (I assume that is a mistake). Canadians are no longer allowed to buy from that site and must shop from nordstrom.ca which has a VERY limited selection…..almost every item a US fashion Blogger posts from nordstrom.com in not available on nordstrom.ca One of the things I like about your Blog is sources where Canadians can buy…..where did you buy your hoodie?

  19. Welcome back Sue! I’m so glad to hear your Mom continues to improve. I enjoyed reading your archived posts over the past week and thoroughly enjoyed this new vlog. As for me, a “preliminary” closet turnover is where I’m at currently. The weather last week had me motivated but this week it has turned much cooler and so has my motivation. Closet turning is such fun for me. I look forward to seeing “vintage” friends along with new ones. I’m sure I’ll get my mojo back soon. 😉

  20. Hello, I do hope you the best for you and your mum. Time is complicated enough without adding any more stress.
    I still have my winter closet here: winter here is still gripping hard France (there have been several severe frost during nights and lots of fields, vines, fruits and vegetables have been lost for this year. No crops unfortunately) so I am still keeping all my jumpers, coats and heavy woollen scarves.
    If everything goes right, I will make the switch by mid May. Time then to assess again my wardrobe and see what will be worth to sell, donate, ditch or make rags to clean shoes/kitchen.
    Again, take care of you and your family and I wish your mother will improve soon.

  21. Welcome back, glad your Mother is on the mend. So happy a bit of closet turning has helped, it’s helped me too. I tackled every dress I owned. Really was ruthless. Lots donated, a few kept for memories (Mother of the Bride dresses), only kept the ones I knew I would wear. Sue, thank you for your blog, cleaning, turning and evaluating my clothes has been a very helpful adventure through this covid adventure. I write this through a huge, wet snowstorm with our Governor opening everything up in the state tomorrow, though we are to continue to wear masks. I am afraid, plan to wear my mask for months…hope the population behaves and then we can all get out and wear Spring clothes…after the snow melts!

  22. So glad you’re back, Sue! Thanks for updating us on your Mum. I really hope she gets her vaccine soon! I’m getting more and more frustrated with how fragmented our country is over this whole Covid thing, how the rules are constantly changing, and how they differ so dramatically from province to province.

    As for my closet, I haven’t done my seasonal switch yet, but today’s warm weather and now watching your vlog have inspired me to get started!

  23. Well, I’ve made it to Portugal with a suitcase of clothes that will have to do me until our container arrives mid-May. I tried to pick Spring-y/layered stuff, but in the end it was a bit of a rush and we’ll see how I did as time goes on! I kind of messed up on shoes, and didn’t bring sandals or slip-on flats (not quite sure how that happened) but brought two pairs of ankle boots, of course!

    Glad your mum is on the mend. Talked to a friend of mine over the weekend who lives in New Zealand and hasn’t seen her 97-year-old mother in SoCal since early March of last year, and isn’t sure when she’ll get to do so.

  24. I LOVE that green hoodie! You can definitely pick ’em!
    Currently in a mini “heatwave” here — supposed to reach 19 by the end of the week, but in the sun feels even warmer and I saw at least one bikini-wearing making the most of it yesterday. I’ve been hand-washing my woollens, a few a day so there’s room for them to air-dry, before I box them up for a few months. But we don’t need as drastic a change here and much of my closet will keep working right through, save for the three or four weeks of high 20s, low 30s, we might get. Plus I’m much more haphazard than you anyway, not nearly as organized.

  25. So nice to have you back and with an organised closet too – I can “feel” the calmness emanating from you all the way down under. Very happy that your mum is improving. I hope she’ll be home soon and that you can see her before too much longer. And that sweater is definitely a winner; the colour is sublime!

  26. Dear Sue,
    I have read all the lovely previous comments and follow them when I say: Thank you dear Sue for blogging and vlogging due to this hard Covid-times.
    It is so touching, that worldwide women have similar feelings and tasks. Aging parents… lockdown weary…, solitude because of not seeing friends, family, sports buddies. And the big wardrobe change from one season to the next. Your blog is consolation and joy together.
    Update from Cologne: Lockdown three…. ban on going out between 22:00 and 5:00 o’clock, rising numbers of patients in the intensive care units and “what we are still missing” several people “Covidiots” who are demonstrate for their freedom and negate the virus by getting together in a big crowd (8.000 people) today in Berlin. Of course, without mask and distance. Incredible!
    So, Sue, sending you a ray of sunshine – nevertheless…
    Hugs, Susa

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