If your closet feels like it’s bursting at the seams as you tug out summer shorts with wool sweaters still piled on your shelves, it’s time to consider a better way to manage your seasonal clothes.
Properly storing off-season clothing is not only an effective way to keep your closet tidy, but it can also prolong the life of your favourite pieces. It helps to preserve their quality, so you’ll know they’ll be in great condition as soon as the weather turns chilly again. Here’s our step-by-step guide to putting your winter clothes in storage.
1. Clean them first
Before you store any items, it’s essential to clean them thoroughly. Washing and drying your items will remove dirt, stains, and odours that have accumulated during the winter months, which make your clothing more attractive to pests and stains impossible to remove. Check the care labels carefully for specific instructions, and follow them accordingly. It might seem like a lot of work now, but who wants to pull out a dirty sweater when you’re all ready to cozy up with a pumpkin spice latte? Save your money for the coffee house by taking care of your winter clothes now so that you don’t have to replace them next year.
2. Do necessary repairs
Once your items are clean, check them over to see if there’s any damage or loose threads that need to be repaired. Tighten buttons, replace broken zippers, and sew up any small tears now so that you’ll be confident that your clothing is ready to wear next winter. Even if you take your favourite pieces to a seamstress, it’ll be far less costly than buying new clothes.
3. Sort and declutter
If you have items that you can’t be bothered to clean or repair, it’s a good indication that you won’t get a lot of future use from them. Instead, set aside any items that are in good condition to donate. Get rid of anything you no longer wear, that doesn’t fit, or that isn’t your style. It’s always best to save your storage space for the things you actually intend to wear again.
4. Buy some storage containers
Once you’ve decided what items to put away, make sure that you have an adequate place to store them. Clean, sturdy containers can protect your clothes from dust and humidity, keeping them fresh for next season. Label bins clearly or opt for plastic ones that allow you to see what’s stored inside. Make sure you avoid materials like cardboard that attract moisture, causing your clothing to mildew.
5. Consider garment bags
If you’re storing special items like dress clothes or suits, it’s worth investing in a few sturdy garment bags. These bags keep your items clean and protected, and are especially useful for structured items like blazers, jackets, and dresses. Padded hangers will help the items keep their shape. Plus, garment bags can be repurposed when you’re traveling with all the money you saved, since you won’t have to buy a new wardrobe next year!
6. Find a good location to store your clothes
A cool, dry, and well-ventilated area of your home is ideal for storing off season clothing. Avoid areas that get direct sunlight, as this could damage your fabrics. Basements are common storage options, but make sure yours isn’t prone to humidity or pests. Storing clothing under your bed can be a convenient option if space is limited, as can vacuum-sealed bags that eliminate air and make your items more compact. Another option is to use the top shelf of closets in temperature-controlled areas of your home.
7. Check periodically
No one wants to take out their boxes of winter clothes on the first cool day of the season only to find that everything is ruined. While keeping your clothes tucked safely away is the best way to preserve their longevity, you’ll want to make sure that they aren’t affected by any issues like mold or a pest infestation. Regularly check that the boxes are safe, clean, and dry.
8. Don’t forget about your outerwear
It’s not just your clothing that needs a little TLC at the end of the winter. It’s also important to wash or dry clean your outerwear to remove stains and dirt before they become permanent. Once you’ve cared for your coats, carefully launder your hats, scarves, and gloves, and tuck them away with your winter clothes.
9. Take extra care with your favourites
As an extra precaution, add layers of acid-free tissue between delicate items to help avoid moisture buildup and damage. Lavender sachets or natural cedar can repel pests and give off a pleasant scent, keeping your special items protected while in storage.
10. Thank yourself later
While it might seem like a pain to spend the first warm days of spring sorting out your winter clothing, investing the time now can save you a lot of trouble later. Not only is it expensive to replace items, but it’s also inconvenient, requiring time and effort to source items that you already owned. Think of it as an investment instead of a chore.
At Coronet Equipment, we offer a full range of laundry solutions that make tasks like putting away your winter clothing easy. With options for gentle cycles for your delicate knits and bulky ones that can handle winter coats, caring for your off season clothes will be a breeze, and get you back to enjoying the new season in no time.