October to-do’s

It is fall! The weather is (finally) cooling down in most places to a seasonable norm — or does the concept of “norm” even exist anymore with all the climate change, etc.?

At any rate, if you live in an area where you experience cooler weather in the months to come, and you are like me, you are more than ready to put away the summer clothes and break out the boots, jeans and sweaters. And if you are like me and your closet space isn’t quite large enough to accommodate all your clothes at one time, this is a great time to do the wardrobe season swap.

I have used this rainy afternoon to pack away sandals and other summer shoes and pull out all things fall/winter. This exercise serves more than just accommodating closet space; use the activity to review, edit, and preserve your shoes.

Review what you own

Give a critical review of each pair of shoes as you take them out of the closet. Did you wear them this season? If not, did you wear them the previous season? If the answer is still no, are they even still in style? If you answer no to these questions, ask yourself why you keep unused shoes around taking up valuable real estate, i.e., closet space.

Edit the collection

Summer is rough on shoes. We wander around on beaches, dusty sidewalks, and all manner of tough surfaces in sandals and sneakers. Take a critical look at especially the sandals. If they are worn around the toe, it is time to let them go! (ok, the rhyme was unintentional!) But that is not a good look to be sporting around in the summer — a worn or damaged sandal is as bad as a neglected pedicure. Get rid of it! I worked with a client this summer in a closet re-organization and she had six single sandals missing their mates. The dog ate one, lost a couple on trips, one fell out of a boat — she had a number of reasons for this phenomena. However, the only thing of interest to me was, “Why in the world are the single shoes without a mate still taking up space in your closet?”


Do yourself and your closet space a favor. If you have worn out shoes or flips that have flopped — get rid of them!


You might be tempted to just toss the shoes into a storage bin or basket. But they will last a lot longer and look a lot better if you will take a moment to wipe them down before storage. Then store the shoes with care — don’t stuff a storage bin so full that your shoes come out next spring with a permanent crease melded into their surfaces. I keep all those little felt shoe baggies you get when you buy shoes just for this purpose. Wrap each pair together and put them in a plastic storage bin — no overstuffing! If you need a second bin, it’s worth it. I use the same bin for winter shoes, so while I am packing away the summer stuff, I’m pulling out the winter shoes. You will be a lot happier with the state of things if you put them away with care last May!

Repeat as necessary

This same exercise can be repeated as often as needed with summer clothes. Just make sure the things you are carefully packing away are clean and in good shape. Don’t bother to keep things that are stained, out of fashion, don’t fit, or are beyond repair.

Sarah Campbell is a professional organizer in the city of Chicago. She specializes in decluttering, organizing, preparing for moves and unpacking and setting up after a move for households and small businesses. Contact her at Sarah@arrangelife.com for help with your organizing challenges!