The spring equinox has been and gone which means warmer weather and all things summer are just around the corner. Of course, a change of season means a few changes in our lives as well. From clothes to duvets, hotter weather will see us switching to a whole new wardrobe.
This change can often be tricky to pull off when you’re limited on space. Having winter items hanging around for the months they’re not needed can lead to a lot of annoying clutter, and some people simply don’t have the space to sacrifice.
How to store your winter clothes and items
While it may seem like a lot of pain and effort for the sake of a season, storing your winter items can save you significant space and make your everyday life a lot easier. Instead of constantly moving jumpers aside to get to your t-shirts, you’ll find you have a lot more space and organisation in your wardrobe and storage spaces.
It’s also important to make sure all your clothes and other winter items are stored properly. Fabrics can fade, discolour and lose shape if stored incorrectly, not to mention the dust, mildew and damage caused by moths and other storage problems. To keep everything in good condition and ready to wear next winter, here is our simple winter storing guide.
Before you start its important to inventory all your winter-specific items that you won’t need to access over the next few months. Making an inventory of all your winter clothes and accessories means you can make a plan for the amount of time and storage you’ll need. Without a plan, you run the risk of running out of time or storage halfway through and leaving the job half-done.
Washing and cleaning all your winter items for storage is extremely important. Storing anything dirty is a one-way ticket to mildew and even mould, and moths love unclean fabrics. Even clothes that are mostly clean may have lingering oils from deodorants and perfumes which can discolour items and leave them smelling musty when it’s time to unpack them again. As well as washing your clothes, make sure they’re all completely dry before you pack them.
This is also a good time to sort through your clothes and have a good decluttering session. Get rid of anything you don’t wear anymore or is no longer in a wearable condition and make up yourself a donation box to drop at your local charity shop. If you spot anything that’s damaged, either set it aside to get it fixed or get rid of it.
Top tip: Clean is good, ironed is bad. While it may seem like the logical next step, avoid ironing or starching anything before your store it. You run the risk of weakening the fibres which can misshape and even tear.
Get the right storage
Sealed plastic storage, whether its solid plastic bins or soft zipped plastic box bags, is generally the best bet for short-term seasonal storage. While plastic vacuum bags can be tempting for their space-saving design, many fabrics like wool and natural fibres need air to breathe. When it comes to packing, don’t overstuff and leave a gap at the for air to circulate.
If you’re storing anything especially delicate or are looking to store for a longer period of time, natural fabric storage like cotton storage bags is ideal. Whether short term or long term, however, try to avoid wood, paper or cardboard boxes. All of these materials are more susceptible to water and damp, plus they can contain chemicals that are harmful to some fabrics.
Top tip: Use opaque storage boxes as transparent ones will let in light that can damage, fade and discolour your clothing.
Get extra protection
It can be tempting to hang delicate and expensive items in plastic dry cleaning bags, but this type of storage can actually damage your clothes. The plastic can trap moisture and doesn’t allow fabrics breathing space, both of which can result in yellow staining. Instead, use cotton bags for anything that needs to remain hanging.
For delicate items and other fabrics like natural fibres that need to be folded to help keep their shape, layer some extra protection with some acid-free tissue paper between each. Simple acid-free tissue paper will do, or shop around for some specialist scented tissue paper that can help keep your clothes smelling fresh.
Finally, get some moth repellent protection for all your clothes. Rather than traditional mothballs which can contain harmful insecticides, you can easily and affordably create your own moth repellents with the help of some cotton or muslin bags and some lavender. You can also buy lavender sachets or cedar balls as an alternative. Bonus: They smell great too.
Get cool and dry
Once you have everything packed properly, make sure you store everything in a cool, dry place. Direct light and bright environments can cause clothing to fade and discolour, while anywhere damp is undoubtedly lead to mildew and mould. Keep the area of clean and dust free to avoid any musty smelling clothes come the winter season.
Top tip: Keep your clothes off the floor and away from wood, which contains acids that may damage fabrics over a long period of time.
Typical winter item storage
Here’s a rundown of the most common items people store away for the spring and summer with our top tips for storing each. For all your remaining summer items, why not check out our top storage hacks for around the home to help keep everything organised.
Coats and jumpers
Both jumper and surprisingly coats are typically made of natural fibres and can easily misshape if hung up. We recommend folding these items, including your coats, and storing with plenty of breathing space and extra protection with tissue paper.
Furs and dresses
If they’re not delicate you can fold your dresses, otherwise, hang them up in cotton garment bags and don’t forget to add some lavender for good measure.
Boots and shoes
For tall boots, it’s best to get a boot form or boot tree so that they keep their shape, while other ankle boots and shoes can just be stuffed with loosely scrunched tissue paper. Make sure you polish and clean them all, then simply stand in your closet or in a shoe organiser if you have one. You can add a cotton t-shirt or muslin boot bag as well to keep the dust away or store them in their own plastic bin if you’re short on space in your wardrobe.
Top tip: You can sprinkle a bit of baking powder into boots and shoes to help soak up odours and keep the smells away from your clothes.
Hats, scarves, gloves and other accessories can all be stored in the same storage box or basket. If they’re made from an especially delicate or expensive material, then put them in a smaller separate box or wrap in acid-free tissue paper.
Duvets and bedding
Duvets are the one thing we give the go-ahead to vacuum bag. The material will hold up fine and bulky winter duvets can otherwise take up a lot of precious space. With bedding, store as you have your other items depending on how delicate the fabric is but keep bedding in its own box for good organisation.
Tight on storage space?
After some winter shopping and a pile of Christmas presents you might be faced with more to store than you were last year. If you’re especially tight on space in your own home, then a small storage unit is an ideal way to store your seasonal items when you don’t need them. For a surprisingly affordable price, you can free up some much-needed space in your home, from short-term seasons to long-term seasonal needs. Contact us today to find out more.