Nothing helps finalize the transition from winter to spring more than packing all your last-season-wear into storage. While it might be tempting to just stuff it all into boxes and shove it into the attic, or try to cram it all under your bed or into the back of your closet, these Band-Aid fixes can actually damage your items as well as cramp your space and your peace of mind.
Since you won’t be accessing these items until near the end of the year, the ultimate, long-term solution is to put your winter wardrobe into self storage. Here are 5 storage tips to help maintain your winter garments in their best condition.
- Location. You want to store clothing in a cool, dry place not exposed to sunlight. Areas like the garage, shed, attic and basement expose your items to humidity and temperature fluctuations. Too much summer heat can cause permanent damage. Your safest option is a temperature-controlled storage unit.
- Cleanliness. Stains get darker and harder to remove the longer they sit, and body oils and dirt attract pests like clothes moths. To prevent damage, all wardrobe items going into self storage should be thoroughly laundered (or dry cleaned) and dried. Items like boots, shoes and coats that can’t be washed can be wiped or brushed.
- Containers. As long as clothes are completely dry, you can store clothing in plastic bins. These stack easily and protect clothes. Try not to pack them too tightly as this can cause some items to lose their shape. Items made of natural materials like wool and silk need some room to breathe. Luggage is also an excellent place to store clothing, as are cotton and linen clothing bags.
- To help shoes and boots keep their shape, stuff them with tissue and don’t pack too many of them together.
- Label. Be sure to note the contents of each container so you can easily find any pieces you’re looking for. Containers could be organized into categories like sweaters, accessories, coats, boots and shoes, etc.