The seasons are changing here in New England and it’s time to switch out your clothes and home goods. It’s a labor-intensive process that many people don’t like, but some preparation can make this process smoother.
Step 1: Before you dash off to any store to buy containers, first take the opportunity to sort through your clothes and eliminate any that are torn, stained, stretched, out of style, etc. Make sure to empty all of your pockets of coins or other items left.
Step 2: Launder or dry clean clothing before you pack it away, even if you have only worn it once.
Step 3: Sort clothes by fabric type. Protein-types like wool, silks, and leathers should be packed together in breathable containers to prevent drying out or cracking.
Plant-type fabrics such as linen, cotton, and rayon should be packed separately.
Step 4: Choose the right storage solution for you. For breathable storage, think canvas or mesh. For airtight storage, I prefer the Sterilite 66qt bin with the white lid. Target always has them and I like their sizes. You can also use “Spacebags,” they are similar to large ziploc bags that you vacuum air out it minimize space. If you choose to, place the compressed bags into the bins, this will help keep any moisture out. I like the bins as they are stackable.
Step 5: Invest in some sort of moth repellent. Cedar is a good choice. Just remember to give the pieces a light sanding between seasons to reactivate the oil in the wood.
Step 6: Keep everything labeled in case you need to access it during the season.
Step 7: If you want to store clothes hanging (dresses) in hanging bags, like your favorite dress or outerwear make sure its a cloth or muslin bag. Using a plastic bag or dry cleaning bag, traps moisture inside and mold and mildew can be created and it is terrible for your clothes.
Step 8: Depending on what kind of space you have in your closets, nesting things will save space. Smaller bags inside larger ones. Tall boots can be put up on the top shelf if the ceilings are high enough. I like to stuff the boot shafts with paper so they keep their shape. Jackets should be hung on a sturdy hanger, wood if you have them. Hang the items by length first, long coats and jackets all the way to one side so you can see the floor easily. I always like to hang things by color and sleeve length, vests with vests etc.
Gloves and hats can be kept neat by using a basket or clear bin. If there is room, one basket/bin for each person.
Step 9: Choose your storage location, store things in a cool, dry place. Work within the space you have, if the only place you can store things is the attic or basement it is okay unless the basement gets wet or is damp, moisture invites mold and mildew.
Guest bedroom closets are great for off-season storage. Under the bed works well if your bed is high enough. If you’ve got room in your main closet, stack the boxes in the back of it.
If you have any off-season clothing storage advice, PLEASE share! Do the same with any questions, and I’ll comment to offer an answer!
Hope you all enjoy the adventure of going through your summer clothes as you store them away. Watch out winter is on it’s way!