It's that time of year again and the dreaded day is not far off. Could be Sept. 27 or Sept. 30. Sometimes it's Oct. 3 or Oct. 11. I never know what day it will actually be; I just get up one morning and I know it has arrived.

It's the day I take my summer clothes down to the basement and bring my winter clothes up to my bedroom. This might be a good time to breeze through your paper and see if there is a more worthwhile article to read. On the other hand, you might be one of many who are saying, "Gee, I guess I'm not the only one who does this. I better stick this column on my fridge."

The first big issue is how to time this annual event. I usually wait until October, but last year I had some free time in September so I tried to sneak it in and get it over with. I was pretty proud of myself until we had a hot spell, then I felt pretty stupid at the neighborhood barbecue party in black corduroys and a black turtleneck on an 85-degree day.

Every fall I also promise myself that I will wash or dry-clean all my spring and summer wardrobe so that when April 12 rolls around (or March 7 or March 17, or April 23), I can just go down to the basement and take everything fresh off the rack. This is an odd plan, since I don't have any racks in the basement. My golf shirts are hanging on the hot water pipes; my pants are in an old bureau draw that has no handles and my short-sleeve shirts have been deposited in a black plastic garbage bag in the crawl space. I would donate some of the outdated clothes to a charity, but they're pretty musty, and I don't want to create any ill-will at Goodwill.

There are advantages to this clothing transfer. You get to learn a lot about your basement that you never knew. Just last year, when I was digging for my wool sweaters, I came upon an odd-looking thing on the wall that my neighbor said contains something called circuit breakers. I had never seen this door before because my pale blue leisure suits were draped over the metal box and had hidden it from view. Apparently, circuit breakers are important in an emergency if things get too hot. That's the way I feel about my leisure suits.

I also found my tax records from l978 in a mildewed storage box on a top shelf behind three pairs of gray flannel pants stuffed in a torn lampshade. I remember that '78 was the one year I kept really, really good records, so I hope if I ever get audited by the IRS, they pick '78. I think I could impress them with my accounting acumen and classic fashion sense, especially if I wear those pants, which are also from '78.

I found some high school term papers inside a pair of rubber galoshes. I read the first two or three essays and was impressed with what a good writer I was when I was in high school. Then I realized these were term papers I had assigned when I was a teacher and never got around to returning them.

I just had a great idea. This year I'm not going to switch my summer clothes for my fall and winter clothes. I'm going to move my bed down to the basement. That seems a lot easier.