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Storing out-of-season clothes

When the Winter weather starts to turn into Spring and you start looking at what you will be wearing this Summer, its time to pack away your Winter clothes.  Sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, and thermals are all thrown into the nearest container and tossed into some out of the way place. Or, if you are feeling organised, you’ll take some time one weekend to sort out and store your clothing properly.

Follow these tips to make life easier at the next season change.

Clean all your Winter clothing items thoroughly before sorting and packing.  Bits of dirt and other particles left on items can not only stain and set into your clothes during storage, but will deter insects from getting into the clothes and dining on your sweaters and woollen coats.

Get some plastic containers to use to store your winter clothes,. You can choose from hard plastic lidded containers on roller wheels or soft plastic zip up bags. If you have room under beds, try to get containers that will fit into that space.

You can use cardboard boxes for temporary storage. Make sure you use new clean boxes to avoid staining and insects.

Old clean suitcases are also useful storage containers for out of season clothes.

Line containers with acid free tissue. Cedar blocks can be effective against insects, but keep in mind that it is not a  complete guarantee.

Fold your items for storage and stack the folded items from the lightest items on top to the heaviest items on bottom. Stacking items loosely will allow air to still circulate.

If you have spare wardrobe space, you can leave some items like coats and skirts hanging. Use all of the extra hanging loops to keep the clothing from becoming misshapen. Wrap the clothing in something breathable (e.g. old sheets) and make sure the clothing has enough room to breathe. This will keep down the risk of mildew and mold. It will also keep the clothing from wrinkling and creasing during storage.

This is also a good time to decide what you need to keep and what you don’t, A good rule of thumb is to get rid of clothes that you haven’t worn for two years. There are lots of options for your unwanted clothes. Good used clothes can be offered to second hand clothing shops. Look in your local phone directory or on-line yellow pages for places. Dress for Successwill take good professional clothing to assist disadvantaged women. Go to http://www.dressforsuccess.org/locations.aspx to find your nearest DFS drop off point.

In the Autumn, reverse the process to cleanand store your Summer clothes and pass on your unwanted items.

Some storage don’ts

Don’t hang sweaters or other knit items that can become misshapen by long term hanging. Instead carefully fold the items and place into the storage container.

Don’t use mothballs, especially if there are young children around. Although mothballs certainly keep insects away, they are poisonous if eaten. Plus you have to air your clothes for ages to get rid of the smell before you can wear the mothballed clothes again.

Don’t store clothes in tightly closed plastic bags as they will not breathe.

Don’t store clothes near heating sources or in sunlight. You need a cool dry dark place to prevent fading, mildew and deter insects.