7 Tips On How To Store Your Out Of Season Clothes

Storing out-of-season clothes properly saves time and preserves quality. Follow essential tips on containers, moth prevention, ideal storage spots, vacuum sealing and more.

February 8, 2024
min read
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The changing of the seasons brings about an important ritual for many - switching over our wardrobes. As we put away our summer clothes in preparation for cooler weather, and our winter woolies when spring is in the air, properly storing seasonal clothing ensures our favourite pieces stay in great condition for years to come.

Follow these top tips to keep your out-of-season clothes protected from dust, fading, wrinkles, moths and musty smells.

1. Purge unwanted items from your wardrobe

Before packing up light layers and breezy dresses for next summer, take the time to purge items you no longer need. Be ruthless and only store quality staple pieces that fit you well and are still on trend.

Aim to cut down your wardrobe to half the amount of clothes you actually wear. This prevents cramming storage spaces and the frustration of fishing through unnecessary garments next season.

The same rules apply when switching heavier fall and winter clothes into storage come spring time. Check buttons and zips are intact, fabrics aren’t pilling or bobbled, and there are no stains or wear and tear issues. If it’s damaged or decades old, let it go.

woman looking at a well organized wardrobe

2. Wash and clean your clothes before storage

Washing or dry cleaning clothes before storage eliminates bacteria, sweat, deodorant and perfume stains and residues that could attract insects like carpet beetles and moths.

Check for loose buttons and torn hems and repair as needed so items are ready to wear again next season.

If washing at home, use a fragrance and dye-free detergent and turn clothes inside out before putting them in the machine. Wash on a cool, gentle cycle - never use hot water as this can cause fabric damage over time.

Line dry instead of putting clothes in the dryer to prevent shrinking. Steam iron if wrinkled and fold neatly before packing away.

3. Use proper storage containers to separate

Clear plastic bins are the best option for keeping stored clothes clean, as they protect fabrics from dust and dirt. They also deter insects who rely on eating natural fibers to survive.

Stackable plastic containers are available from hardware and storage solutions outlets in a range of sizes to suit wardrobe items - opt for ones with secure lids. It's better to underfill bins rather than overpacking them to avoid crushing delicate fabrics.

Label each tub clearly detailing the contents - knowing exactly which container your shorts/swimsuits or winter coats/woolens are stored in makes retrieving items simpler next season.

4. Use moth repellents properly for seasonal clothes storage

Moths like to munch their way through undisturbed natural materials like wool, cashmere, silk, fur and feathers. The larvae of clothes moths specifically feed on keratin protein fibers.

Using mothballs prevents eggs from hatching and larvae from developing - but use them properly for safety and effectiveness.

Mothballs slowly release toxic pesticide paradichlorobenzene to kill larvae trying to feed on your favourite sweater or winter coat. However, exposure to the concentrated chemical also poses health hazards to humans.

Put balls into an open container like a small perforated box rather than directly touching clothes. Use gloves when handling and never inhale close to your face.

Cedar blocks, lavender sachets or natural pest deterrents provide a non-toxic moth repelling option better suited to vacuum storage bags or more permeable storage containers.

5. Find a suitable place for your clothes

Your garage, attic or basement are typical storage spots for off-season clothing as their cooler dark environments discourage insects. Make sure no damp or leaks though, as moisture promotes mildew growth causing irreversible damage.

Under-bed storage is another good option for accessible small spaces. Flat plastic bins slide effortlessly underneath without obstructing floor space.

Wardrobes and dresser drawers reallocated for seasonal storage work well too. Just be wary of cramming too many clothes tightly on hangers or shelves without room to breathe – air circulation is key.

No matter where you store seasonal clothing, vacuum and sanitize spaces first and check regularly for any unwelcome guests like silverfish or carpet beetle larvae. Placing sticky traps or natural insect deterrents around boxes provides added protection.

folded wool sweaters

6. Be careful with the hangers

While hanging space saves room by keeping garments accessible and wrinkle-free, it’s not suitable for all fabrics.

The weight of heavy sweaters and coats on hangers causes stretching over time. Instead fold knitwear flat into breathable containers.

Delicates like silk blouses are prone to snagging and slipping off hangers – layer gently in lidded plastic bins with acid free tissue paper between each item.

If hanging space is limited, store lighter clothing like t-shirts, shorts and dresses folded inside vacuum bags, ottomans or underbed organizers. Just allow time to steam away creases before wearing next season.

7. You don't need to vacuum seal everything

Vacuum packing compresses bulkier off-season clothing like sweaters, jackets and bedding into manageable, space-saving stacks. But they aren’t the best method for every fabric type.

The intense suction flattens structured garments like blazers causing lasting wrinkles almost impossible to remove. Friction and tight compression also degrades delicate sequins and beading.

Stick to folding dressier pieces flat within roomy bins protected by acid free tissue layers if hanging space is unavailable.

Knitwear and linens with natural fibers along with outerwear designs tolerate vacuum compression well between seasonal wearings.

Most storage methods strike a balance between convenience, protection and accessibility when organizing transitional wardrobes. Follow these tips for keeping favourite fashion items pristine through many successful seasons ahead.

BONUS: Store things in a climate-controlled space - if you can afford it

Aim to store seasonal clothing in a space maintaining temperatures between 60-70°F along with a consistent humidity range of 50-55%. This cool, dark and dry zone prevents mold growth, stops fabrics drying out and reduces pest activity.

Garages and attics are often too cold, humid or hot for ideal storage conditions. Investing in portable air conditioning units for these spaces regulates warmer weather fluctuations during summer. Standalone dehumidifiers help control moisture levels through winter rains.

Vacuum storage bags are another good storage solution, especially for bulkier woolen sweaters and bedding. They compress fabrics to remove excess air and create an airtight seal keeping humidity stable within the bag once excess air is extracted.

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About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

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