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Clear out your wardrobe and put a spring in your step!

Access Self Storage speaks to a seasonal style expert about keeping on-trend in hotter temperatures – and finding a good home for your out of season cold weather gear.

T.S. Eliot famously called April “the cruellest month.” We don’t know about that – April, after all, has Easter, and we LOVE Easter at Access Self Storage – but it’s definitely true for fashionistas. The bobble hat collection, the carefully curated coat rack, the cashmere turtleneck…all useless until October. Such a waste.

You’ve got three options: move to Siberia and wear your cold weather gear all year round, let your winter gear hog valuable closet space, or do a little spring cleaning. We don’t like clutter at Access Self Storage, so we tend to go for the third choice (don’t move to Siberia – there’s no WiFi).

  Messy overfilled wardrobe

But it’s a big undertaking, and you often don’t realise how much thought and decision-making the process actually requires until you’re underway. Fashion blogger, Laura Byrnes, knows all too well how difficult it is to stay on-trend as the temperature increases, so we asked her for some expert insights into seasonal styling and clearing out your winter wardrobe!

Should it stay or should it go?

The first rule of spring-cleaning? Don’t wing it. Devise a process – and stick to it.

“As soon as winter is over, I want to make space for all of my spring essentials”, says Laura. How does she go about this? “I’ve divided my wardrobe into sections: one for spring, one for winter”, she says. “Some items go immediately – for example, as soon as there’s any sign of warmth, those chunky coats are gone.”

model in striped coat 

She adds, “I keep out light jumpers, knits, ankle boots, and hats as I can still wear these throughout spring – you don’t want to be unprepared if the weather suddenly turns. Everything else gets the boot: usually the loft, or if I really don’t want the item anymore, eBay.”

Laura admits that this approach has its drawbacks. “More than once, I’ve gotten all excited about getting my winter gear out of the attic…and then found that after a few months, they’re stuck with this lingering loft smell. So I’ve been looking into storage elsewhere lately.”

Sensible words – there are a variety of 24/7 self storage options at your disposal, all free from unwelcome funky loft odour.

Handle with care

When storing away clothing and accessories you must bear in mind that certain fabrics need special care during the four seasons. Rushing to pack away the winter wares can lead to costly problems, particularly when handling leather, hide, or real and faux fur.

As ever, a bit of preparation can help avoid common closet pitfalls.

“Suede obviously needs a lot of looking after in the winter, but wet weather at any time of year can stain the material”, advises our expert Laura. The weather may be heating up, but it’s worth remembering that April is infamous for its rainfall, and an unexpected shower can destroy your favourite shoes without warning. As it can any month in the UK!

“I would recommend getting a spray protector and a suede shoe brush in case your tootsies get hit by unexpectedly poor weather”, she adds. “The bristle brushes are amazing at removing marks and keeping the material in good condition."

Winter clothes

Laura suggests paying close attention to winter woollens and storing these in lavender vacuum packs at home or in safe storage unit if you don’t have the space during the warm months. Moths love woolly jumpers and suchlike so invest in some products specifically for keeping these pests at bay.

To make the most of your clothing and footwear investment she adds, “you should always try to keep your wardrobe in the best possible condition.”

Fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-fashion

You’ve locked away your winter gear, you’ve worked out how to protect your sensitive materials, but now comes the hard part: working out what to wear when the weather turns. Us Brits should be used to overcoming this problem, but even our expert admit it’s a toughy.

surprised girl in pink dress

“Styling during transitional periods is very tricky”, says Laura. “All the gorgeous spring and summer items are out, but the weather just isn’t warm enough yet. One of my favourite fashion bloggers is ASOS’s Megan Ellaby – she’s been nailing it this season with plenty of denim, suede, and 70’s dresses.”

“A perfect item for this time of year is a light mac or trench coat. These have been super popular in the early months of 2015, and for good reason: they’re spot on for casual styling, and have the bonus of adding a street-style edge to the look.”

Of course, that’s not all there is to it. In terms of style, it’s easy for even seasoned (no pun intended) fashionistas to feel like they’re caught between worlds. “It’s important to be versatile”, she says. “For example, I’ve opted for nudes and colours – the on-trend colours – but the best advice I can offer is to think about layers, especially if you’re regularly darting inside and outside.”

“Include tees, knits, and jackets so you can take off – or add – a layer whenever you need to. It always pays to mind your surroundings!”

Laura’s Little Locket has all the seasonal style advice our dedicated followers of fashion could want.

Don’t cram your heavy furry coats and favourite jumpers into the back of the wardrobe when the sunshine hits – Access Self Storage has plenty of room for it in London and across the country.