‘Tis the season for change. While the upcoming holidays may be something to look forward to, the change in weather may not be. Here are some tips on how to clean, organize and store your out-of-season clothes, making your closet easier to use and items easier to find.
If all your clothes are lying in a pile or are stuffed inside your closet haphazardly, you certainly won’t feel like organizing them. But you have to get this done, so give yourself a pep talk, play your favorite music, and attack your clothes!
Get all your clothes out of the closet and onto the bed or on the floor. Bring together all the clothes that are strewn around your house. Start separating clothes into two piles- clean clothes and unclean clothes.
Separate the clothes in the clean pile according to the seasons. Set aside out of season clothes so you can store them properly. Remember to leave a few off-season items within easy reach for layering or for use on holidays to places with different weather.
Storing clothes with food stains and other problems will attract pests like moths which can cause irreparable damage to your clothes. What’s more, stains that sit on clothing for long can be very hard to remove! So go through all your clothing items carefully and spot treat stains that you can see.
Once you’re done treating stains, wash the clothes according to manufacturer’s instructions or as you normally do. Be sure to launder or dry-clean all your out of season clothes before putting them away even if they look clean. Some stains like sweat stains may not be visible now, but can set and become impossible to rid of in 5-6 months.
Note that scented detergents and fabric softeners can attract bugs and rodents, so refrain from using them. Also, remember to dry clothes well as moisture can encourage the growth of mold and mildew.
Your off-season clothes are now ready to be put away. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Use the Right Storage Option
Using cardboard boxes is a strict no-no as they can absorb moisture and encourage growth of mold and mildew. Cardboard boxes can also attract rodents and other pests.
Clear plastic containers are your best bet, but be sure to line them with acid-free tissue paper first. You can also store off-season clothes in old suitcases that have been thoroughly cleaned and properly aired.
Vacuum bags may not always work as some clothes need air circulation. Avoid using thin plastic bags to store clothes as they restrict airflow and can lead to moisture build-up.
While hangers are great for storing clothes, you shouldn’t use them to store woolens and materials like silk for months. That’s because such clothes will develop unsightly bumps near the shoulders and can also misshapen over time.
If your skirts and blouses have hanging loops, you can use hangers to store them. Woolens are best stored folded and placed flat.
- Protect from Pests
Group items hung on hangers together and cover with a garment bag to repel moths and other insects. You can also consider using cedar hangers to repel moths.
Place cedar blocks or cedar balls inside closets or plastic boxes to keep your out of season clothes smelling fresh and free of pests. If you’re using mothballs, be sure to keep them away from kids and pets. Also ensure that the mothballs don’t come into direct contact with clothes and plastic bins.
Caring for your out of season clothes will only keep them looking as good as new and ready to wear whenever you want to!
Now that you know you can put away your off-season clothes in three easy steps, switching out clothes as the seasons change shouldn’t be a problem. While separating and organizing clothes according to the seasons is a labor-intensive process, once you get started, you’ll find it relatively easy to keep up with the changes.
So don’t keep putting off this chore; get started as soon as you can!
This post is a guest post courtesy of Eva Hines @evaphines
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