If your closet is overflowing, you’re not doing your clothes or yourself any favors. Garments need room to hang freely, so they don’t get crushed or wrinkled, and you need to be able to see what’s in your closet, so you don’t end up wearing the same five outfits over and over again. By putting your off-season clothes in storage, you free up space for a few new items and get the chance to take stock of your seasonal wardrobe. So now that school days are once again drawing near, it’s time to put the tank tops away.
It’s best not to blindly pack every summer piece you own. If you come across something that you haven’t worn this season, it’s probably time to donate it to charity. Among the things you’re keeping, make a separate pile of things that need to be repaired. By fixing fallen hems and sewing on missing buttons before you store them, you’ll help make the transition to wearing them next summer seamless. Extra buttons that come with new clothes can always be stored in a small Easy Find Lids container.
Did you know that moths and insects are drawn to dirt, stains and odors? It’s true, so fire up the washing machine and make sure everything is clean before packing it away. Skip the fabric softener this time around, though, because it can leave a residue that is also attractive to pests. Better yet, use storage containers that are nearly impossible for pests to access, such as a Rubbermaid 31 gal. Roughneck tote. Best to deal with any stubborn stains now, though, because the longer they sit, the harder they are to get rid of. And if you’ve got items that have been newly dry cleaned, remember to remove them from the plastic bag. Leaving them wrapped can result in moisture build-up and potentially mold.
Clothing can lose its shape if hung for too long, so the best option for storage is generally folded. However, keep things loosely folded and avoid stuffing containers until they’re full. Leave a little extra room so you don’t create any permanent creases. If you like to keep things smelling fresh, try adding a little lavender sachet or cedar block to the container. It’s best to avoid any sort of mothballs, which are not only smelly, but can also be harmful to pets and children. If do have items that need to be hung, such as heavy leather jackets, be sure to use quality wooden hangers and cover them with a cloth garment bag rather than plastic, to avoid trapping any moisture within.
If you don’t want to be rifling through containers of holiday decorations next spring, label your bins of summer clothes clearly on each side. Just a piece of masking tape and a Sharpie marker will do the trick. To further prevent any confusion, consider using transparent containers, such as Rubbermaid’s Clever Store tote, so you can tell from first glance what’s stored inside.