How To Properly Store Seasonal Clothing | Percival Menswear

How To Store Your Seasonal Wardrobe

If you find that your closet is constantly overflowing with clothes that you only wear a couple of months out of the year, you might want to critically consider storing your seasonal clothes. It’s a great way to free up space in your closet and ensure that your clothes are in good condition when needed. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Purge Your Closet

The first step to storing your seasonal clothing is to purge your closet. Go through and get rid of anything that you don't wear or that doesn't fit. Donate items that are in good condition, and throw away anything that is damaged beyond repair.

While it may be tempting to keep everything "just in case," you must be realistic about what you will actually wear. If you haven't worn something in a year, chances are you won't wear it again. Get rid of anything that you don't love or that doesn't make you feel good.

Other tips for purging your closet:

  • Get rid of anything stained, ripped, or otherwise damaged;
  • Get rid of clothing you've never worn or only worn once to twice;
  • Consider selling items that are in good condition, but don’t fit you;
  • Look for items that are out of style or no longer fit your taste;
  • Return anything you've borrowed from friends or family.

Once you've purged your closet, you can see how much space you have to work with and more easily decide what to keep and store.

Clean and Repair Your Clothes Before Storing 

While it may not seem like a big deal in the moment, storing dirty or damaged clothes can cause them to deteriorate more quickly. Before you store your clothing, make sure to wash and repair everything. Start by reading the labels on your clothes to see if there are any special instructions for washing or drying.

Some fabrics, like wool and silk, require special care. If you come across these fabrics, follow their care instructions to avoid ruining the clothing. For example, some materials like wool clothing, twill clothing, or flannel clothing may shrink, bleed colour, or change shape if not washed properly. Similarly, take a minute to learn how to remove common stains, like sweat stains before storing your clothes.

Likewise, repair any holes, missing buttons, or broken zippers before storing your clothing. Again, it's much easier to fix these problems now than when you want to wear the clothing item again.

Use Air and Water-tight Storage Bins

Once your clothes are cleaned and repaired, you must find suitable storage containers. It's important to use air and water-tight storage bins to protect your clothing from moisture, pests, and other damage. These bins will also prevent dust, dirt, and other debris from collecting on your clothes. You can find air and water-tight storage bins at most home improvement stores or online.

If you’re worried about pests, you can always carefully use moth balls or cedar chips to help save your clothes from being eaten alive.

Consider Where You're Storing Your Clothes

Where you store your seasonal clothing is just as important as how you store it. Avoid storing your clothes in areas prone to extreme temperature changes, like attics and basements. These temperature swings can cause your clothes to warp or change shape.

Other places to avoid storing your seasonal clothes:

  • The back of a closet: Clothes stored here are more likely to get wrinkled.
  • Near windows: Sunlight can fade your clothes over time.
  • In cardboard boxes: Cardboard is not as durable as plastic bins and is susceptible to moisture and pests.

Instead, try to find a storage space that is climate controlled. If you're using a storage unit, ensure it has climate control to protect your belongings. If you're storing things at home, consider using a spare bedroom or closet that you don’t use frequently. This will help keep your clothing in good condition until you need it again.

Other save spaces in your home:

  • Under the bed: Utilize the space under your bed by storing clothes in plastic bins.
  • On high shelves: If you have high ceilings, take advantage of the extra space and store seasonal clothes on high shelves.
  • In trunks or chests: Trunks and chests are great for storing out-of-season clothes. Just make sure they are properly sealed to protect your clothes from moisture and pests.

Depending on your needs, you may want to store your seasonal clothing in multiple locations.

Label and Organise Storage Bins

Once you've decided where to store your seasonal clothing, it's time to start packing everything away. To keep things organised, label each storage bin with a brief description of the clothing inside and the season. This will make it easier to find what you're looking for when you need it.

You can also use different coloured bins or boxes to further organise your seasonal clothes. For example, you could use yellow bins for summer clothes and blue bins for winter clothes.

Other tips for organising your seasonal clothing:

  • Use vacuum-sealed bags for bulky items like coats and blankets. This adds an extra layer of protection against moisture and pests, and may save you some extra space.
  • Place heavier items on the bottom of the bin and lighter items on top. This will prevent more fragile clothing items from getting damaged or wrinkled. 
  • Pack similar items together to make unpacking easier. For instance, store all your sweaters in one bin and all your jeans in another. This will make it easier to find what you're looking for.

Finally, keep a list of what each bin contains. This will come in handy if you need to find something specific or forget what you've stored.

Learn What To Hang

Not all clothes should be stored the same way. Some items, like suits and dresses, should be hung to prevent them from getting wrinkled. Others, like sweaters and jeans, can be folded and stored in a bin. Here is a list of clothing items that should be hung when stored away:

  • Dresses;
  • Skirts;
  • Blouses;
  • Pants;
  • Suits;
  • Coats.

When storing these items, use hangers that won't damage the fabric. Plastic or padded hangers are a good option. You can also purchase specialty hangers for different types of clothing, like skirts and pants.

To further protect your clothes, you can place them in garment bags before hanging them in storage. Garment bags are made from a breathable fabric that will keep your clothes dust-free. They also come with a zipper to seal out moisture and pests.

It's best to take care not to damage your clothes when storing them. With a little bit of planning, you can keep your seasonal wardrobe in good condition until you need it again.