Storing Out-of-Season Clothing

It's that time again! Another season has come and gone. I have put together some tips for the best way to take care of the clothes you won't be wearing for awhile. First, it's important to make sure that the clothes are CLEAN, whether you store them or keep them hanging in your closet. Time causes stains to really set in, and sweat and body oils can attract bugs (yuck!). It is also a great time to edit; are there pieces that you have not worn in a few seasons? It's time to consider letting them go.

If you have room to store your out-of-season clothes, it can give you more space in your closet. If you do not, move those clothes to an area outside of your direct vision. Put those clothes you will be wearing for spring and summer where you will have the easiest access to them. This may sound pretty basic, but people have a tendency to keep everything mixed in together. Remember, if your clothes are too close to each other, the fabrics will rub, causing friction, pilling, and wrinkling.

As far as storing goes, there are some important things to keep in mind. Fabric degrades faster than you might think. Stored clothes should be folded and stacked LOOSELY, with heavier items on the bottom. This way air can circulate so there is less chance of mildew and mold damage. Probably the most important tip is to avoid plastic dry cleaning bags as they can trap in moisture. Fabrics need to breathe. Also, white fabrics can yellow from oxidation. 

Neatly fold clothes in acid-free tissue paper in an old suitcase or plastic bin. You can use cedar or mothballs, but neither is a guarantee, and THE SCENT OF MOTHBALLS CAN PERMEATE YOUR CLOTHES. This is a nightmare, and there is nothing you can do to get the smell out but hang them outside for a long time. Dry cleaning or washing does not help! 

If you keep special occasion clothes hanging, keep them on wide-arm suit hangers in fabric garment bags. This will protect them from sun and dust. Put tissue paper in the arms to help hold the shape. Make sure there is enough room for them to drape naturally. TIP: you can cut a slit in the top of an old pillowcase for the hanger to go through and use as a free alternative to garment bags.

Handbags and shoes should be stuffed with tissue paper before storing to help them keep their shape.Remember that leather can dry out or mildew! Store bags, shoes, boots, and leather belts in a dry, cool place. Always store clothes in a cool, dry area as well. LIGHT, HEAT, AND DAMPNESS are your enemies!

It just takes a little time to properly store your out-of-season clothes, giving them a nice rest. They will be ready to go next season! Do you have any storage tips you would like to share with us? 

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Alison Bruhn