When your doona starts living in a rumpled pile at the end of your bed, your jeans make you sweat just looking at them and those bulky jumpers are taking up precious wardrobe space, it is time to spring clean your wardrobe!
5 steps to winter clothes storage
Ensure that your winter woollies will be in pristine condition when you go to pull them out again in 6 months time by following these helpful tips:
1. Clean your clothes before putting them away.
The general rule of thumb is the better you take care of your clothes during the season, the better they will last for the next season. Clean clothes according to their care label regularly during winter and pay particular attention to underarms, sleeves, collars and crutches.
If stains are left untreated they can permanently weaken and damage the fabric of your clothes. Sometimes, stains are invisible and clothes can be put away thinking they will be fine for another wear before they need to be washed. Over time, these stains oxidise or eat into the fabric. Stains can show up when they have been kept in storage or when they are exposed to heat during the cleaning process. You may find the fabric in that spot is brittle and may fray easily, essentially destroying your garment. In order to avoid this happening to the clothes you’ve invested in, clean them as soon as possible after they have been stained, clean them after wearing, even if they didn’t get dirty and clean them before you put them in storage.
3. Suitable storage containers
The sub-tropical weather on the Gold Coast means that we have to contend with all 3 main enemies of clothes storage: insects, moisture and sunlight. In this perfect storm of poor clothes storage conditions, the way we store our garments is just as important as the condition we store them in.
- store hanging clothes like dresses and jackets in proper garment bags, not the plastic dry cleaning ones – they are meant for short term use only. You can even cover them with a calico cloth. The covering will protect from dust and the breathable fabric will prevent mildew.
- Consider your hangers. Exposure to moisture and heavy garments can cause wire to lose quality and shape so invest in some wooden or padded hangers for clothes that will be hung when stored.
- Choose airtight containers for folded clothes so insects can’t get in.
- When storing boots, purses and leathers, stuff them with newspaper and leave them open so moisture can escape.
- When storing valuable garments, consider wrapping them in acid-free tissue paper. Ask us next time you are in store and we will be happy to provide some at a small cost.
4. Suitable storage locations
Unless your wardrobe looks like this, you will need to find somewhere creative to store your clothes. Keep in mind that you want to them to be away from insects, moisture and sunlight. If you are storing them at home it is best to keep clothes inside the house rather than up in the roof or beneath. Consider the top of your wardrobe, the linen closet, under the bed or couch, or in a guest bedroom. Keep valuable garments in a cool, dry area or use an air-conditioner or de-humidifier to keep them in pristine condition.
5. Keep them fresh
There is nothing worse than the distinctive musty smell of clothes that have been kept in storage for a long time. The first way to prevent this is by following the first 4 steps outlined above. In addition to these, you could try:
- A bag of lavendar or cedar chips to keep moths away.
- Newspaper, silicone packs or absorbent crystals can help keep moisture at bay.
- Ensure there is air circulation in the storage area. Keep storage containers ajar for periods of time or leave the door to your wardrobe open when the air conditioner is on.
- For fresh smelling clothes you could consider adding an unopened refill packet of fabric softener or a dryer sheet to the box.
Happy spring cleaning! Please don’t hesitate to ask in store if you have any further questions about winter clothes storage and be sure to tell us about all possible stains when you bring clothes in so we can help you to preserve them.
Helping your clothes stay clean as can be,