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Organize Your Sweaters

Make grabbing your favorite cool-weather knits a breeze in three steps

  1. Pare down your collection

    Know which sweaters are wardrobe essentials and donate the rest (along with anything that is damaged beyond repair, stretched out, or too small). Count on needing a few thin crew or V-neck knits for layering under jackets, and consider the following too: a sweater coat for transitional months, a classic cardigan or two in lieu of a blazer, a casual boatneck or hoodie sweater for weekends, a tunic sweater that can be dressed up with a belt, and a sexier one such as a deep V-neck or off-the-shoulder style for day or night. Blustery where you live? You’ll need a heavy knit or two, as well.

  2. Clean all knits

    Because of their weaves and bulk, sweaters can provide ideal hiding places for bugs. Dry-clean them once once or twice a season. Still not sure if your knits are insect-free between cleanings? Place suspect pieces in large plastic freezer bags, seal, and store In your freezer for two days. This will kill anything, including eggs lurking within the fabric, without damaging the items.

  3. Sort and fold

    Always stack your sweaters. Hanging can distort their shape. Divide into go-to piles such as work, weekend, evening. Bulkier sweaters go on the bottom of the stacks since they may tip piles if placed on top. Shelf dividers ($16; closetlady.com) will also help keep stacks from falling over. Also, if shelves aren’t at eye level, be sure to place stacks so that the collars (and their labels) face out for fast identification.

-Michelle Hainer

Our experts:

Melanie Charlton-Fascitelli, Clos-ette; Suzi Johnson, Souchi; Tina Lutz and Marcia Patmos, Lutz & Patmos; Linda Rothschild, Cross It Off Your List