Helpful tips for storing seasonal clothes

Whether you're trying to sort through a pile of wet winter gloves or stowing your shorts and sandals for next summer, how you store them will affect how long they last and how easy they are to find when you need them. Here are some helpful storage tips.

Helpful tips for storing seasonal clothes

Choosing the right container

Storing off-season clothes in transparent containers will make it a lot easier to find your favourite wool sweater or cotton T-shirt when the seasons change. As a bonus, transparent and semi-transparent plastic boxes are tidy and stackable, keeping your clothes clean and dust-free.

  • Place transparent storage containers away from sunlight to keep colourful clothes from fading.
  • If you don't want to invest in storage boxes, save the clear zippered bags you get when you buy blankets and bedding.

Special care for summer items

Shorts, bathing suits and sandals take up less space than their winter counterparts, so you can enjoy having some breathing room in your closet and dressers.

  • Keep in mind exposure to sun, sea water and chlorine can affect warm-weather clothes. Be sure to rinse out bathing suits before drying and storing them to remove corrosive salt or chemicals from the fabric.
  • Keep bathing suits, caps, goggles and other swimming gear in wire baskets when they are not in use, so they dry thoroughly.
  • Hooks that support coats in winter can hold baseball caps and sun hats in summer.
  • The boot rack with a waterproof tray is useful in summer too. If sandals and sneakers are left by the door in the tray, your family won't track sand or garden soil throughout the house.
  • Post an umbrella stand or wall rack near the entry door to make it easy to grab umbrellas when a summer rainstorm threatens.

Storing delicate clothing

When preparing your favourite clothes for storage, pay particular attention to those made of beading, chiffon, rayon, silk or taffeta. Here are some key points to remember about caring for these delicate fabrics.

  • Roll items when possible to avoid the stretching and creasing that occur on hangers or in folded stacks.
  • When you fold delicate garments, pad them with white, acid-free tissue paper (available in art supply stores). Refold them periodically to minimize creases.
  • Give breathing room to clothes made of natural fibres, such as cotton, linen, silk and wool. Store them in ventilated containers in a ventilated area.
  • Keep out dust and bright light by covering stored clothes with washed muslin or old cotton sheets. Don't use new sheets; chemicals in unwashed fabrics can have a corrosive effect.

These tips should help keep your clothes fresh and ready to wear when that unexpected cold snap hits or that early spring gets you anxious to break out the shorts and sandals.

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