Tips To Store Your Seasonal Clothing

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

If you live in an area with a seasonal climate, then you experience an array of weather, moods, activities, and clothing. While spring and fall wardrobes can overlap a bit, there is very little in common between winter and summer clothing. As the weather warms up and cools down each year, you likely swap out your winter wardrobe with your summer one, and vice versa. But as you pack away your seasonal clothing, you must take the time to store it correctly.

When storing your seasonal clothing, use durable airtight containers, like plastic storage bins, and not cardboard boxes. Use vacuum-sealed bags for non-delicate items to save space. Store your seasonal wardrobe in a cool dry place, always avoiding extreme temperatures and humidity. Make sure clothes are clean and dry, and check all pockets before storing them away. Make repairs to clothes and take this time to make a donation pile.

Swapping out your seasonal wardrobes is a fantastic way to create more space in your closet. If clothes are properly stored, then you are also helping ensure they maintain their integrity. But there are several do’s and don’ts you need to know before storing your clothes each season. Keep reading to uncover the top tips for storing your seasonal clothing.

12 Tips For Storing Your Seasonal Clothing

1. Use Airtight Storage Bins

One of the most important aspects to consider when storing your seasonal wardrobe is the containers you use. People use all sorts of vessels to store seasonal clothes, from trash bags to cardboard boxes, and everything in between. You must use a reliable, durable, and air-tight storage bin like a clear plastic tote.

A clear plastic tote allows you to see inside the bin but helps climate-proof your storage items, protecting them from moisture, pests, and other potential hazards. Plastic bags and cardboard might be cheap and readily available, but they can rip or leak, and pests can easily get in.

2. Store Clothes In A Cool Dry Place

You should also consider where you plan to store your items. You should choose an area that is not only convenient and out of sight, but also one that is safe for your clothing. The best environment for your clothing will be a climate-controlled environment. Ideally, you can find a cool and dark place as well.

You don’t want to choose anywhere with humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can damage materials. You also don’t want your clothes exposed to direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade.

3. Make Sure Clothes Are Washed And Fully Dried

This might seem like common sense, but you must make sure all your clothes are washed and thoroughly dried before storing them. This includes dry-clean-only items and bulky items like winter jackets. If you pack away dirty clothing, it can promote the growth of mold, which ruins clothes.

You also want to make sure you always completely dry clothing before storing it. Storing items when they are even slightly damp can cause your entire bin to grow mold, or smell like mildew.

4. Check Pockets

The key to properly storing your seasonal clothing is taking your time. Don’t rush the process or mistakes can happen. This includes always making sure you check every pocket in each of your garments. You will be amazed to find out the items left in pockets.

From pens to mints to gum, there are lots of items left in pockets that can damage clothing when it’s in storage. By taking the time to check your pockets, you ensure that you won’t have any unwelcome surprises when you take your clothing out for the season.

5. Inspect Garments And Make Necessary Repairs

In addition to checking your pockets, you should give all your clothes a good inspection before storing them for months at a time. If you notice missing buttons, or a small rip that you can repair, take the time to mend it before packing it.

Storing damaged items means you are just delaying the inevitable. What’s worse, is you will likely forget the garment is damaged after so many months in storage. Make it a habit to only store items when they are ready to wear.

6. Consider Purchasing Vacuum-Sealed Bags For Some Items

When you store your clothing for the season, you want to ensure you are keeping it safe from any potential harm. Packaging garments in vacuum-sealed bags is one way to have your clothing come out fresh and preserved after many months in storage.

By removing air from the storage bag, you are also removing moisture and smells and other potential harms. Vacuum-sealed bags are also a great way to make more space when storing items under your bed or elsewhere in the home when space is limited. Just keep in mind that some delicate items should not be vacuum sealed, as they will take time to get back to their original shape.

7. Group Clothing In Categories

When you are organizing your seasonal clothes and preparing the garments for storage, take the time to separate the clothing into categories. Hats, gloves, and other winter accessories can go in one bin, sweaters in another, and so on.

This makes unpacking easy. It is also very helpful if you decide to take a holiday trip to a location with different weather, or if you experience unseasonal weather. It allows you to easily access exactly what you need without having to sort through every bin.

8. Use Labels To Help Locate Items Easily

Labels are also very helpful when you store your seasonal clothing. Try to be specific, especially if your bins are not see-through. Labels make it easy to identify your items, so you don’t leave them in storage by mistake, or struggle to find next season’s clothes when needed.

9. Add Scented Sachets To Promote Good Smells

Even when you take all the right precautions, you may still find that your clothing smells a little musty and funky after months of storage. Add scented sachets to each bin to ensure all your clothes come out smelling great. Lavender and cedar are popular fragrances (they also help keep bugs away). You can also opt to add dryer sheets instead, if sachets aren’t available.

10. Place Moisture Absorbers In Each Container

Even if you store your clothes in air-tight containers, and even if you store them in a dry location, there is still a potential for moisture. Moisture is one of the worst elements you can expose your clothing to, especially when it is sitting dormant and tightly packed for months at a time.

Use moisture absorbers in bins to help keep any unwanted and unexpected moisture away from your clothes. This will greatly reduce the risk of mold and mildew.

11. Before Packing Clothes, Make A Donation Pile

As you gather your seasonal clothes for storage, this is the perfect time to take a moment and sort through everything. The odds are there are a few items you haven’t worn the entire year, and others you are just tired of. As you sort clothes, make a donation pile. This will also help keep what you need to store to a minimum.

12. Use Mothballs Only When Necessary

Mothballs have been a fixture in seasonal clothing storage for generations. They are very effective at keeping harmful pests from damaging your clothing. But remember that they also contain harmful pesticides. Therefore, only use them when necessary. If you live in an area that doesn’t have moths or insects that damage clothes, and you properly seal your garments, then you can skip the mothballs.

Final Tips On How To Store Seasonal Clothes

As the seasons change, so does your wardrobe. While some people are blessed with giant closets, the vast majority of people living in seasonal climates have to store clothing when it is no longer practical to wear. As you pack away your seasonal clothes, use airtight containers, and make sure you label and organize the items, so they are easy to find later. Store clothing in a cool dry place, using scented sachets and moisture absorbers as necessary. Take the time to repair items before storing them, and use this time as an opportunity to donate clothes you aren’t wearing.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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