Solutions: Think seasonally as summer approaches

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

As we take a long-awaited break from our layered wardrobes to welcome the summer months, it’s a great time to rethink the way we store the clothing and accessories in our homes.

■Not everything has to be hidden away behind closed doors. A decorative coat rack or dress form can display a favorite outfit or the one you plan to wear the next day.

■Who says a hall tree needs to be in a hallway or a mudroom? Place one in a bedroom for jewelry and shoes or in a bathroom to stash towels and robes.

■Hooks offer a practical landing spot for just about anything. They can accommodate heavy coats in the winter and beach towels come summertime.

■They can also catch fashion accessories, like hats and scarves, which can change seasonally while their method of display stays the same.

■While assessing your current situation, take the previous season’s pieces in for cleaning and repairs. Add a donation bag to your closet to keep your giving consistent year-round.

■Donate what you haven’t worn in the last year or so, especially if you know you won’t wear it again. When in doubt, try it on for a reality check.

■Slim hangers can also free up space in your closet, where a spare dresser can provide an affordable alternative to custom storage.

■Strategically placed bins or bags can be filled with clothing that needs to go to the cleaners and miscellaneous store returns.

■Shoes often seem to multiply overnight, especially when you have multiple family members. Stash away winter boots and consider a shoe rack or two for additional storage.

■Seek out a unique display piece for smaller items like a ring holder for jewelry that you wear each day.

■Turn sentimental items into works of art. Consider framing a special childhood dress or showcasing a vintage necklace against a black velvet background to lend sparkle to any space.

■Search your house for surplus furniture that can be put to good use, like a spare dining chair that acts as a temporary holding spot for freshly folded laundry.

■An industrial crate on wheels can easily be transported from one room to the next when picking up shoes, etc.

■Utensil holders and other dividers help to organize your bathroom drawers, leaving more room for hair accessories and other odds and ends.

■Over-the-door organizers come in a variety of styles, from simple hooks to jewelry holders and more. This is a great way to add a mirror in a modest space.

■An umbrella stand comes in handy as you head out on a rainy day. It can also corral wrapping paper in the winter.

■Three-in-one storage systems pack a lot into a tight space, like a wall shelf that includes a few cubbies and key hooks along with a narrow ledge.

The best part about reassessing our current wardrobe storage systems is that we often accept the same less-is-more attitude that we embrace all summer long.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at