Are You Properly Storing Your Clothes In The Off-Season?

Last week I finally got around to ‘swapping out my closets’. The great thing about having small closets (I tell myself) is that it forces me twice a year to go through my clothes. I donate what I no longer wear to The Wardrobe, take all my winter clothes out of my bedroom closet, transfer them to my daughter’s unused closet, and vice versa. This process is not as easy as it sounds since I play both the client and professional organizer roles.

Me as the organizer, “Janet, when was the last time you wore this?”

Me as the client, “Well, it’s been a while, but I can’t bear to part with it”. 

The internal conversation can get a bit hairy, as you can imagine! But I digress as the topic of this article is how to store your clothes in the off-season. Here are the guidelines I use for myself and our clients:

  1. Take any natural fiber garments to the dry cleaners at the end of the appropriate season.  Moths are attracted to dirty clothes containing traces of sweat or pieces with stains. They thrive in cluttered closets – another good reason to do a twice-yearly edit!
  2. Handwash any woolen or cashmere sweaters or take them to the dry cleaners
  3. Remove the dry cleaner bags from your clothing as soon as possible. Plastic dry cleaner bags prevent your clothing from ‘breathing’. This leads to discoloration. Replace with cotton garment bags for items that need long-term protection.
  4. Use the correct hangers. Remove your garment from dry cleaner hangers, especially if your dry cleaner uses hangers with foam. I’ve seen too many garments ruined by the disintegration of the foam on those hangers. A good quality wooden hanger is recommended for coats, heavy jackets, and suits. Velvet slimline hangers work well if your storage is climate controlled.
  5. Store your garments in a climate-controlled space. The extreme temperatures of an attic will adversely affect your clothing.
  6. Fold anything that will stretch or lose its shape if hung and hang anything that will wrinkle if folded.
  7. If you must store items in clear storage containers, make sure they are properly clean and dried with lids that seal properly.
  8. Turning our attention to footwear. Make sure winter boots and shoes are clean to get rid of any grime and salt which will lead to deterioration if not removed during the warmer season.

If all this seems a little overwhelming and you live in the Philly area, give us a call and let us help you with your twice-yearly edit and clothing storage.

Cheers to the warmer weather!