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Tips and tricks for storing out-of-season clothing

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clothes hung on a rack

As seasons change, our clothes change with them. For example, winter clothes can be a true nightmare. They are bulky to provide warmth, and often come in high numbers due to layering. This makes your closets work overtime. But, the bigger problem shows up when it is time to store away those clothes until the temperatures drop again. You either have too many clothes or too little space. Whatever the case may be, you need to learn about storing out-of-season clothing. Many choices, from hiring Oakville movers, renting a storage unit, to finding a compact solution in your own home, are available. storing out-of-season clothing is not easy, so you have to read up on advice on how to do it best.

Everyone knows the hassle of storing clothes. It needs to be done right. You can’t simply toss all your clothes in a cardboard box and shove them in the attic. Neither of those are good for clothing. It has become almost a tradition to pack everything into large plastic tubs when the weather starts changing. Nobody likes dealing with packing clothes, so everyone looks for a fast solution, which can be bad for the clothes themselves. Here, we have prepared a couple of tips on how to store clothes until they are ready for use again.

clothes folded on shelves for storing out-of-season clothing
When storing clothes long term, they need to be cleaned and folded

Declutter before storing out-of-season clothing

It is smart to get rid of excess clothes before you start doing anything storing related. Packing away seasonal clothes to make room is definitely a smart move. There can be a problem, however. In that pile of clothes, there surely is something you absolutely won’t wear again. Sometimes we purchase things we think may come in handy later, but in reality, we will never use them. You can approach this problem from many angles. For example, the best movers in Hamilton Ontario can help with junk removal and relieve you of the trouble. However, it’s better to give the clothes to someone who could really use them, for example, a charity or a shelter.

Before you store anything, clean it

This is the only logical first step. Seasonal clothes such as jackets or sweaters are not something you normally wash after every use. Make sure you dry-clean and wash them before storing them away, to ensure they remain in their current condition. Otherwise, you may have some problems. Body oils, perfume, sweat, and dirt, all stick to clothes and can over time attract insects such as moths. Any untreated stains on your clothes will only seep deeper into the threads, become darker, and even more impossible to clean.

In case you are dry cleaning your garments, avoid using starch as it is also a moth magnet. To further protect yourself from moths, when storing out-of-season clothing, add lavender sachets to the stack. Not only does lavender smell nice, it is a natural moth repellant. Whatever you do, stay far away from mothballs, they are toxic on only to moths, but to pets and humans too. Make sure to iron your clothes after washing them.

Hang your clothes, but not all of them

Even though hanging items reduces space since you can line up more things on a rack, it’s not smart to just hang everything. Cardigans, sweaters, pullovers or other knit items can quickly warp out of shape if not stored properly. Especially if they are left to rest for a long period of time. Too many good sweaters have been stretched beyond repair due to bad storing. In general, anything that has a risk of losing its shape should be folded. This includes knitted clothes, synthetics, and silks. Neatly fold your clothes and place them in the storage container. Heaviest items should go on the bottom and the lighter garments on top. Stack everything lightly and don’t press down on the clothes to allow them to breathe. Keeping clothes stacked loosely gives air room to circulate, which is good when storing out-of-season clothing for longer periods.

multi colored shirts hanging on a clothes rack
Go for the thick hangers for added support, and avoid the thin wire ones to prevent creases

If you do decide to hang clothes, do it with the utmost care. Outerwear, for example, is fine to go on a hanger. Use all of the available hanging loops to keep the clothes in shape. When using hangers, avoid using the thin wire ones, they will do more harm than good. Instead, go for hangers made from thick wood or use padded ones. These offer more support and won’t leave a line across the shoulder area. Pants can be hung as well, however, you should use the hangers that have two boards on them. With these, you can lock in the hem or the cuff to avoid creasing the pants.

Properly storing out-of-season clothing

If you plan to store clothes for a prolonged period of time, plastic containers are fine, but if there are any insect eggs in the clothes already, they are going to have a big feast. Cardboard boxes should only be temporary storage. Not only can they also attract bugs but are also very good at retaining moisture, and that is not something you want in a clothes storage. Another good idea, which may help with organization, is to label everything before storing. Here are a few suggestions for storing clothes:

  • Unused suitcase – This is a great storage solution since that is exactly what they are designed for. Thoroughly clean it and line the insides with acid-free tissues.
  • Plastic boxes – They beat cardboard boxes in every way. Cardboard can easily be chewed through by bugs and it sucks up moisture. Plastic moving boxes are much more durable and have secure lids that prevent stuff from getting inside. Make sure to remove any moisture from the box.
  • Vacuum seal – There is a lot of debate on vacuum sealing clothes. Many people say it will destroy your clothing, but that’s not really true. Removing air from the wrapping will keep the clothing’s shape, and you will save a lot of space. You won’t have any problems using this method.
stacked suitcases with different colors
Suitcases are a good method of storing out-of-season clothing

Another important factor for storing out-of-season clothing is the temperature. On average, your clothes should be kept in rooms at around 23 degrees. Keep everything in a cool, dark, and dry spot. Attics and basements are cool and dark, but they are definitely not dry. Avoid moisture at all costs. This is why it’s wise to rent out a good storage unit. With it, you will know that your clothes are safe and secure, in temperature-regulated conditions.

In conclusion

Storing out-of-season clothing is not as simple as dumping everything into a container and stuffing it in the basement. Thoroughly wash and fold your clothes, and pack them accordingly. Fold your sweaters, and hang your shirts, but carefully. Most importantly, check on your stored clothes from time to time, this way you can spot any problems early on. Follow these tips and your precious clothes will survive through the season and be ready for their time to shine.