One of the challenges you may be experiencing after the winter season is how to store clothes you’ll no longer wear for the next couple of months. It can be quite stressful, especially if you don’t have a spacious closet where you can store your bulky clothes, such as sweaters, coats, jackets, and long cardigans. Also, if you live in an area with a temperate climate, you can still have a hard time with the seasonal items you use for vacations, like swimsuits, ski jackets, or summer dresses.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can store your off-season clothes that’ll make your life much easier, keeping your place organized and functional. Here are some tips to properly store your off-season clothes:
Wash all clothes before packing
Before you start packing your seasonal clothes, make sure you’ve thoroughly washed and dried them first. It may sound like a lot of extra work, but it can actually save you a lot of effort cleaning them in the future. It’s important to make sure you don’t leave any dirt or stain on your clothes, as they can get worse over time and potentially damage the fabrics once in storage.
When that happens, you may not be able to remove them anymore. Dirty clothes can also attract insects in storage, which can leave dirt and holes in the fabric. (1)
Use the right storage
Your clothes also need to breathe. Keeping them in tight plastic bags or cardboard packaging may put them at risk of yellowing, insect infestation, and mildew growth. To allow air to circulate, you need to leave a bit of space in the storage containers. You can do this by using clean plastic storage containers. This is better than using cardboard boxes that may eventually fold or fall apart and are also prone to infiltration from insects. (2)(3)
However, when using plastic storage containers, make sure you don’t choose one that’s completely airtight. Look for a container that’ll allow air to pass through. It’s also advisable to opt for transparent storage so you can easily see the clothes stored inside. When storing, either in transparent storage or an over bonnet storage, make sure that you also stack the storage containers properly––with the heaviest at the bottom to keep the stack from falling over. (4)
Look for the right storage spot
Aside from choosing the right type of storage, picking the right spot is also important. To make sure your clothes will stay in good condition, use an area that’s not only clean, but also cool, dark, and dry. Also, it shouldn’t be exposed to high heat and not be prone to excessive moisture or flooding.
If you have a small home and no longer have any space in your bedroom, you can look for other areas you can use as storage, like the spandrel or the space underneath your staircase. You can also consider making under-stair storage or built-in drawers under seating to maximize the space. Try exploring unique and creative ways to incorporate storage under your stairs, like using sliding drawers or floating shelves. If you prefer just adding a door under your staircase, you can simply install rods and hooks to hang your clothes. (1)(5)
Ideally, the right storage spot should allow you easy access to your clothes when a new season arrives and you need them again.
Hang your clothes properly
Heavier clothes, like coats and pants, don’t necessarily have to be in storage containers. It’s usually fine to just hang them properly so you can easily pull them out when you need them. However, when hanging your clothes, avoid using wire hangers and go for wood hangers instead. Wood or padded hangers offer more support for clothes and can help avoid deformation.
Generally, when deciding which clothes to fold, choose items that lose their shape more easily, like silks and synthetics, then use hangers for the rest. Also, when hanging your clothes, if you won’t be using them any time soon, it’s best to wrap them in plastic to protect them from dust. Better yet, use a breathable wrap like a fabric garment bag since there has to be enough room for air circulation when storing your clothes. (1)(2)
As the seasons start to change, you don’t have to stress over storing the clothes you won’t wear for months. You can follow the tips above to help preserve your off-season clothes during storage. Putting in a little effort can be rewarding when the time comes to unpack for a new season.
1. “How to Store Your Seasonal Clothes”
2. “5 Tips for Storing Your Out-of-Season Clothing”
3. “9 Clever Seasonal Clothes Storage Tips Everyone Should Know”
4. “How To Store Your Seasonal Clothes, According To Expert Organizers”
5. “6 Tips For Storing Off-season Clothes”