It’s about time to pull out your capris, pastels and sandals to get your closet ready for spring. But what’s a girl to do with all of her winter clothes when they are out of season?
Proper storage will maintain the integrity of your clothes while also giving you space for your spring wardrobe. And by proper storage we don’t mean shoving sweaters, coats and thick pants into a cardboard box and not revisiting them again until next October. Your fashionista detective skills worked tirelessly to curate your fabulous wardrobe so don’t let all that hard work go to waste by not ensuring your clothes are well taken care while not in use. Here are some tips on how to store winter clothes during the off season:
Storage Containers: There are a variety of options for storing clothes. Cardboard boxes are not an ideal choice because they are acidic and the glue that binds them together often attracts bugs. Plus, they are flimsy and while they may cost less now, you’ll definitely have to replace them more often. Spring for plastic containers with lids to keep your clothes sealed safely. Be sure to pick a size that fits your storage space. For instance, if you’re stacking boxes in your closet, large, deep rectangles work well. For under the bed, shallow, long rectangles are preferable. You may want boxes with wheels that are easy to slide out from tight space or moveable from room-to-room.
Alternatively, you can use storage containers you may already have at home. Large comforter cases make great clothes storage bags. They are malleable and can therefore fit in many types of spaces. Suitcases are another terrific place to pack your off-season clothes because they are sturdy, spacious and you have to store them somewhere anyways. If you have to keep your clothes in sight, opt for fun bins or baskets with patterns that match your home décor. Place a blanket on top so it appears to be a basket of cozy rather than your entire winter wardrobe.
Storage Location: Cool, dry and dark locales are the best storage places for your clothes. You’ll want good air circulation as heat can damage clothing fibers. Plus, direct sunlight can fade fabrics so a darker space is better. Attics are tempting but can get very hot in the summertime. If an indoor closet isn’t an option, see what storage space you can make in your garage. Some crafty people hang tracks from the ceiling of their garage and dangle their storage bins overhead. Be sure the space is accessible so you can check on your clothes every once in a while. You’ll want to make sure there is no water damage or bug infestation. Both of these problems can be remedied if discovered quickly.
Wash Clothes First: Be sure to thoroughly clean your clothes before storing them. Stains, dirt or even particles left on clothes can stain them permanently. Bugs are also attracted to certain unclean scents that may linger on your wardrobe. You’ll probably want to wash clothes again before wearing them the following season.
Organize: Before you store winter clothes purge items that you haven’t worn in several years. Someone else less fortunate could probably get more use out of it than you. Also, pack like items together: sweaters with sweaters; pants with pants; etc… Label your boxes so you know where to find things should the spring weather take a turn and you need to pull out a few items on the fly. Put winter coats near the back of your storage space and potentially useful things closer to the front so they are more easily accessible.
Hang Only What You Must: Hanging heavy clothes for too long can cause them to lose their shape or stretch. Only hang items when it is completely necessary. Always use an appropriate hanger for the garment. Suits and coats will most certainly need sturdier and better padded hangers. Use the loops on your clothes to reinforce them on the hanger.