Have you been wearing the same dark, heavy clothes for months on end? Is your wardrobe begging for a little lightness, a bit of sunshine, a hint of…dare I say it? Spring?  After months of hiding under bulky sweaters and thick coats, your skin is probably suffering from a serious case of cabin fever. But never fear, there is an end in sight. With February coming to an end, the beginning of spring is only a few weeks away. And while the sunny weather may take longer to appear, now is the perfect time to break your wardrobe out of its winter rut.

Here are some tips to welcome the new season:

Find your inspiration. Before you go on a wild shopping spree, you have to know what you’re looking for. Learn what the hot trends are for Spring 2012 and decide which ones appeal to you and which are better left to the runways. Hit the magazine racks before the clothing racks and pick up a couple different options from high-end to low-budget. Mark off looks that you like with sticky notes or rip out pages to carry with you when you shop. The Internet is also a great fashion resource. Check out fashion blogs or boards on Pinterest to see what others love for the season. Create your own pin board with images that inspire you or specific items that you want to include in your spring wardrobe. Finally, get out in the real world and do a little window shopping. Department stores will be showing off their spring merchandise with eye-catching windows that can give you ideas about what pieces you like and how they might fit together.

Once you’ve collected your inspiration, it’s time to shop right? Not quite. Unless your closet has been recently wiped out, there’s no reason to start from scratch with each new season. Shop your closet before you shop the stores. Pull out all your warm weather clothes and go through them to see what still fits, is in good condition, and in style. Classic pieces like a crisp white shirt and well-fitting jeans just need a quick update with trendy accessories or a pop of color to be fresh again. Compare what you have against the inspiration ideas you’ve collected from magazines and the web to see what you might already have and create a wish list based on your budget. Remember that you don’t have to buy every item on your list, just a few pieces to liven up what you already own.

Okay, now you can shop! Keep it on budget by limiting the splurges to items you’ll wear all year round or for many years to come. A classic, well-constructed trench coat might be worth a seemingly eye-popping price if you know you’ll be wearing it for decades but a super-trendy accessory that will be outdated by summer certainly is not. Also, don’t waste your money on an item that doesn’t go with anything in your closet. Neon is a big trend for spring, but if that flashy blouse clashes with everything you own, you’ll never wear it no matter how great it looks on the rack. Similarly, think about your lifestyle. You might love those skinny white trousers, but if your days involve playgrounds and pasta sauce, it’s probably best to pass on that trend. Once you get your new purchases home, start mixing and matching the old and the new to create a seamless spring wardrobe you’ll love. And to make sure your purchases look just as fresh next season as they do now, pick a tough yet gentle detergent like Woolite® Complete that will get out wardrobe-ruining stains without destroying your new favorites.

Have more money to spend on that spring wardrobe by saving on new Woolite® Complete with a coupon you can find here and stay tuned for information about Smiley360’s first ever Twitter party where you can learn more about the perks of being a Smiley360 member. Until then, keep smiling.