As the season changes, so does your wardrobe, and depending on what climate you live in, the change can be dramatic. Most of us do not have the luxury of large enough closets to hold all of our clothes at once without feeling overly packed and making it difficult to find items you want. Storing seasonal clothing is an excellent option to create space for the necessities, but it’s important to take special care when storing your clothes away to maintain their quality. Here are some tips on how to store your seasonal clothing:
Clean the clothes first (even if you’ve only worn it once)
When dirt, sweat, or simply the oils from your skin sit in clothing for an extended period of time, they are nearly impossible to get out. If your clothes are not entirely clean when you pack them away for storage, you could be severely disappointment in their quality when you unpack them again. Not only will this create some unpleasant smells, but also not cleaning your clothes before storing them can cause discoloration and even begin to break down the fabric.
Plastic storage containers
Plastic storage containers are your best friend for storing your clothing. Bags and boxes can allow moisture and pests inside while your clothing is in storage, but a plastic storage container provides durable protection. Plastic storage containers come in many different shapes and sizes to fit your storage needs from under-the-bed storage to stackable storage. Vacuum seal bags are great space savers, but you must make sure to be careful not to trap in moisture when using them.
Ditch mothballs and use cedar chips + lavender instead
Even if you have an excellent storage container, sometimes moths and other insects can make their way into your clothing while it’s in storage. Instead of reaching for toxic mothballs, use cedar chips and lavender sachets to naturally keep pests away. Not only do these work just as well as mothballs, but they leave your clothing smelling fresh when it comes time to unpack.
Heavier items at the bottom
Your clothes will settle when left in storage for long periods of time. Make sure your heavier sweaters and pants are packed at the bottom so lighter blouses do not get crushed into compromising shapes or stretch in unfavorable ways.
Store in a cool, dark, dry place
The atmosphere you store your clothes in can majorly affect their quality. Bright light and excessive heat can make your clothes fade and lose shape and moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow in the fabric. For this reason, garages and attics are generally not excellent places to store clothing, as they tend to be difficult to regulate when it comes to temperature and moisture (not to mention are a haven for insects and other pests). Choose instead to store clothes under beds, on high shelves, or in the back corner of closets. If you simply cannot find the space, a storage unit is an excellent option.
If you have clothes that are delicate or are worried about creases and wrinkles if you fold them store them, you can also store your clothes by hanging them. Never store your clothes in dry cleaning bags. They trap moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew. Garbage bags are inexpensive and are airtight if you tie them off, but garment bags are best to allow garments to breathe while providing a barrier against moisture. Do not hang sweaters or other knitted material so they will stretch over time.
Everyone makes storage work in a unique way depending on available space and his or her own storage needs. Do you store away your seasonal clothes? How to you ensure that your clothes maintain their quality during the off-season? Tell us in the comments below!
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