As the seasons begin to shift, it’s time to start thinking about swapping out your summer clothing for extra-long layering shirts, jackets, and sweaters. While many types of summer clothing can be transitioned to fall, certain articles are best suited to warm weather—we’re looking at you, crop tops and flip-flops. To avoid letting clothing that you’re not going to wear for the rest of the year take up precious space in your wardrobe, it’s a good idea to send summer items to storage. For tips on how to store your summer wardrobe without causing permanent wrinkles, sun damage, or even mold, continue reading.
Wash Your Clothing—Even If It Looks Clean
Before you start packing away your warm-weather clothing in boxes and shoving them under your bed, it’s essential to wash them first. Failing to wash your clothing before storing it for several months can cause any oils, dirt, or sweat left on the clothing to seep in and cause permanent stains. Plus, pests will be more attracted to any food or sweat on the fabric. As such, you should always throw your clothing in the laundry before storing it—even if it looks clean.
Opt for Plastic Over Paper
While cardboard boxes are typically the storage container of choice, the glue used to hold them together can attract pests to your favorite pieces. Plus, the average cardboard box that you find at the grocery store is typically made from wood pulp that can seep acids into your clothing and stain them.
As such, it is often more advantageous to opt for a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid to keep pests out. When choosing a plastic storage bin for your clothing, ensure that it is made of polypropylene so that it is safe for clothing. You may even consider lining the bin with a cotton sheet to prevent the clothing from touching the plastic.
Fold and Lay Flat
Simply balling up your clothing and stuffing it into a storage container is a recipe for wrinkles. If your clothing is bunched up or squished for several months on end, they will likely incur permanent wrinkle damage that a quick wash or ironing won’t be able to fix.
To ensure that you’re able to actually wear your favorite summer pieces once you take them out of storage next year, make sure to fold them carefully and lay them flat or roll them to prevent hard creases from forming. You should also give them plenty of room to breathe and avoid stuffing as many articles into one box as possible.
Find a Dark and Dry Location
Our last tip on how to store your summer wardrobe is to place them in a dark and dry location. Storing your clothing in an area that receives a lot of sunlight will likely result in sun damage that fades the color of the fabric. Storing articles in a humid area is also harmful because moisture facilitates mold and mildew growth, which can ruin your clothing. While attics, garages, and basements may seem like obvious areas to house your clothing for the cooler months, think twice about storing them there unless they are well-ventilated and closed off from sunlight.