Sweaters are great for December but do you really need your summer dresses and shirts after summer is over? When the seasons change, so does our wardrobe. Unfortunately, closets are often too small, and even walk-in closets don’t offer enough clothes storage if you are sharing with a roommate or spouse.
The solution? Seasonal clothes storage will instantly give you more closet space. However tempting it may be to store extra clothes in the garage, basement, or attic, these spaces can be detrimental to your clothing. Especially, if it is hot or humid where you live. Where and how you store your clothes determines how long they last.
Seasonal clothes storage will inspire you to declutter your closet and keep it organized. We offer you a few simple steps and the best solutions to keep your clothes fresh and ready-to-wear when the seasons change.
WASH CLOTHES BEFORE STORING
You might be tempted to grab, fold, and pack your out-of-season wardrobe without ensuring clothes are clean and stain-free. If you store dirty clothes, you take the risk of odors and stains becoming permanent. To avoid this, pretreat stains before laundering and dry clean expensive clothing such as business suits, leather jackets, and formal wear before storing them.
Do you own expensive cashmere or wool pullovers? The Laundress—a high-end New York-based clothes care store—recommends de-pilling with a sweater stone before washing. Hand wash delicate sweaters and remember to dry them on a flat surface, so they don’t lose their shape.
If you don’t have an extra closet to transfer your seasonal clothes storage to, renting a small 5X5 or 5X10 storage unit is always an option. Investing in reusable wardrobe boxes or rolling racks will make seasonal clothes storage easier.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check pockets for gum, chapstick, or other miscellaneous items to avoid damaging your clothes.
HANG CLOTHES FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE
Investing in the right hangers will keep your clothes happy. You probably don’t want your Banana Republic or J. Crew sweater to come off the hanger sagging and with misshapen shoulders. Wire hangers are a wardrobe’s worst enemy—they will ruin the shape of your clothes over time and aren’t supportive enough for heavier fabrics. Better options include wood, velvet, and padded hangers.
Plastic Tubular Hangers
Plastic tubular hangers are great for men’s t-shirts, tank tops, and blouses. However, hanging jeans or other heavy items on the bar of the hanger is not advisable for long-term storage. Tubular hangers will eventually sag and break under the weight of jeans and trousers or heavy jackets.
Wooden hangers add a touch of elegance to your closet and are available in a variety of finishes. These sturdy hangers can easily hold everything from heavy wool coats to men’s suits. You can buy cedar and lavender scented wood hangers on Amazon to keep your clothes smelling fresh whether they are in the closet or storage.
If you are using wardrobe boxes for your seasonal clothes storage, be sure to add one cedar sachet to each box to discourage vermin and keep clothes smelling fresh.
Wooden clothes hangers are more expensive than other types of hangers, so you may want to leave as many as possible in your closet.
Pro Tip: Transfer the lighter weight hanging clothes to less expensive plastic tubular or velvet hangers for seasonal clothes storage.
These hangers are a newer type of hanger design based on the invention of the huggable velvet hanger by Joy Mangano—creator of the Miracle Mop and other household helpers. Velvet hangers are mass produced making them affordable and in most cases, durable.
The non-slip felt or velvet surface prevents clothes from falling off the hanger, and there are indents to keep strappy tops and dresses in place. Velvet hangers are also ideal for men’s dress shirts because they keep shirt collars and shoulders in alignment and are space saving, which makes finding the right shirt every morning easier.
Padded hangers are recommended for delicate fabrics. Silk, satin, lace, and linen clothes all appreciate hanging in your closet on padded hangers. You can also hang sweaters and other knitwear like polo shirts on padded hangers to prevent unsightly stretching at the shoulders. When storing these lighter weight items, wrap them in tissue and pack them in stacking storage containers to save space.
FOLD FOR FLAT CLOTHES STORAGE
Flat or folded clothes storage is recommended for items that are heavy and stretchy. Knit dresses, jumpsuits, and heavier sweaters are better suited for flat storage because hanging storage will shorten their lifespan. Have plenty of white tissue paper on hand to place between garment folds and help prevent wrinkling.
How do you keep your clothes smelling fresh during storage? You can easily make your own sachets and sprays to make your clothes smell incredible. Herb sachets and scented drawer liners will pamper and protect your garments, and keep your clothes from developing unpleasant odors while in storage.
Wrap a bar of soap in fabric to place in drawers and on shelves, but don’t put them in clothes storage boxes. Instead, line the bottom of your clothes storage containers with scented drawer liners or give folded clothes a light spray of scented linen spray to keep them smelling fresh between seasons.