The best part about spring is when you finally hear, see and smell it. It's a sure sign that that warmer weather and summer are nearby!
This means that it is finally time to pack away bulky winter clothing (and fall attire too) to make room for spring and summer clothing. YAY!!!
We completely understand that most folks living in South Western Ontario are 100% done with winter at this point and are eagerly awaiting warmer weather and sunshine-filled days. We also know from experience that they’re in a hurry to say goodbye to winter and cannot wait to remove all traces of it from their homes. This means tossing seasonal clothing into bins or boxes or stuffing it into bags and closets before moving it somewhere they cannot see it.
Out of sight, out of mind, right?! Well yes...but all too often this approach damages or ruins seasonal clothing over the stored period, which let’s be honest - sucks, especially given how expensive clothing and footwear are, especially winter outerwear.
Storing seasonal clothing is not complicated. It just takes a little preparation and care to make sure that your clothing stays in the same condition it was before it was packed up and tucked away.
Here are 8 awesome tips for storing your seasonal clothing:
- Wash clothing thoroughly before storing
- Stains, dirt, and dust will set into clothing overtime, making it much harder to remove down the line when you take the items out of storage. It can also ruin the clothing the longer it remains on the material.
- It’s important to wash everything or dry clean items that require it and ensure everything is completely dry prior to putting into storage.
- Make sure to check all pockets for any surprises that could cause damage to your washer, dryer, or the other items you are laundering along with it.
- Winter outerwear gets a lot of use so make sure you wash hats, scarves, gloves, neck warmers, snow pants, splash pants, coats, etc. Also, if you have kids, be sure to remove any mitten clips that may still be attached to their winter coats as they can rust or bite into clothing during a washing or drying.
- Iron & repair where appropriate
- Just as stains will set in, so will wrinkles. To avoid permanent creasing and wrinkles that are very difficult to smooth out, iron everything so that it will come out of storage looking crisp and won’t require intense, and frequent ironing sessions.
- Storing items that are ripped or damage can result in further damage or make it frustrating when you go to wear them again the following season, and discover it's still torn or broken. Taking care of any needed repairs before storing is the best way to keep your seasonal clothing in good condition so it will last longer.
- Don’t store clothing in plastic wrap or bags
- Plastic bags and plastic wrap trap in moisture.
- Even if your items are completely dry to the touch, they may still hold some humidity from the air which can wreak havoc on clothes in the sealed environment created by plastic wrap or bags.
- When looking to store clothes, it’s best to use boxes or bins that provide a little airflow.
- Do not hang items that may stretch
- In order to avoid packing clothes away in plastic, you may consider hanging items.
- This is a good idea for some clothing items, but NOT all.
- Sweaters and knit items can be ruined through hanging.
- As a general rule of thumb, any fabric that stretches or is a looser weave (i.e. knit items) can lose their shape if hung on a hanger, so it’s best to store these items in bins and boxes.
- Don’t use vacuum storage bags for long-term storage
- Vacuum storage bags can be great for saving space, especially with bulky seasonal clothes like winter coats and snow pants.
- However, these bags compress and squish clothing, and if these items are stored in that position for a long time, like more than a few months, they may not decompress and take the same shape they originally held.
- Clean and wipe down footwear before placing them in storage
- Just like with clothes, it’s important to clean off shoes and boots before they go into storage, especially winter boots that may still have traces of salt on them.
- Once dirt and debris have been cleaned off, we suggest putting a protectant or polish on them to help deter dust and protect them from any damage.
- A great tip for keeping winter boots smelling 'fresh' is tucking a dryer sheet inside each boot. It's a little old-school, but it does the trick!
- Consider using cedar balls, instead of moth balls
- When people think of storing clothing, moth balls often come to mind.
- Moth balls can be harmful to children and pets and can also be hard on your clothing.
- Cedar wood balls are a much better alternative, as they are safe to use with all fabrics, repel moths, mildew, and musty odours and they leave behind a fragrant aroma.
- Consider the storage environment your clothes will be in
- The best conditions for clothing storage can be described as cool, clean, dark and dry.
- Cooler environments tend to not have as much moisture in the air, leading to a dry environment.
- A dark environment helps protect clothes from fading.
- Temperature controlled self storage may be the right solution depending on what clothing you plan to store.
Bonus Tip - Kids grow fast...and adults 'change' sizes too, so this is the perfect time to do a sizing check on your seasonal clothing and winter outerwear. By taking a little extra time now to see what fits, you will quickly learn what to keep, what to donate, what to replace and also discover any hidden stains or repairs that are needed (which may not have been evident until these items were put on). If you really want to be organized, make a list now of what you will need for the fall and winter, including possible sizing, and affix this list to the outside of the storage bin.
Oh, and if you don’t have space at home to store your boxes or bins of seasonal clothing (or you don’t want to give up your precious space for this purpose), consider renting a self-storage unit from a local self-storage facility, like Storage Solutions. We offer affordable, flexible and secure self-storage unit rentals in Milton and Woodstock. And with a large variety of sizes, including indoor temperature controlled storage units and outdoor drive up storage containers, we're confident that we have the right sized storage unit for your seasonal storage needs. If you have any questions about using self-storage for your seasonal clothing, call, text or send us an email.
Your friend in self-storage,