It’s nearly fall, can you believe it? Before you know it, you’ll be putting away the floral dresses and sandals and replacing them with boots and sweaters. But even if you’re itching to give that credit card a workout, there is one step you must do first: clean out your closet. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but in the long run, it will be well worth it.

More than likely, you haven’t given a thought to your fall wardrobe for months now. Even if you were able to extend your wardrobe, you still may have forgotten what fall and winter clothes you own, or what needs to be altered. This is especially true for those end-of-season purchases you made in early spring and only wore once before the heat wave hit.

Here are some tips for getting your closet ready for the upcoming season:

Take Stock

Get all those fall clothes out of storage. Go through them piece by piece and separate them into your workhorses (the ones you wear season after season), trendy buys and those that simply don’t look so great anymore. This is the first step. So far, so easy, right?

Try Them On

I know what you’re thinking, these are my clothes, why would I need to try them on? Well first, you haven’t worn them in a few months. Second, trends have changed and in all likelihood so has your body. Finally, have you ever put something away for the season thinking “I really need to get this altered/repaired/dry cleaned!” and put it away anyway, figuring you would deal with it later? I thought so.

Try everything on. Hang up the clothes that are perfect, pile the items that need a little TLC (repairs, alterations, cleaning), and bag up the clothes that don’t make you look or feel good. Let that be your mantra for autumn.

Detailing

Now it’s time to take care of the errands you put off until “next fall.” Get those pants taken in or out, take your favorite sweater to the dry cleaners, get your LBD pressed. Next, donate the items that you know you’ll never wear again. It’s time to free up the real estate in your closet for something better.

You have finished cleaning out your wardrobe – which means it’s time for the fun part. Make a shopping list, browse Pinterest for inspiration and most importantly set a budget. When autumn arrives, you’ll be ready.