Summer is coming to an end, and with it, summer fashion. Putting away the cutoff shorts, white cotton dresses, and colorful bathing suits might be a little sad, but proper storage will help protect your favorite summer items so you can love them again next year. Here’s a guide for storing different styles and fabrics through the winter.
Fabric Quality Matters
Not all clothes are created equal, and neither are their storage requirements. Check clothing tags and do a little research for unusual fabrics before storing them away. Luxury fabrics, like silk, need special attention when being stored for several months at a time.
Also, keep in mind that poorer quality fabrics and bedding with low thread count simply won’t last as long. For clarification, thread count is the number of threads present in a square inch of fabric, including both horizontal “weft” and vertical “warp” threads. The more threads, the better the material, and the more years you can use and store the item before disposal.
Clean Clothes Before you Store Them
Not only is storing dirty clothing kind of gross, but it also can damage the fabric. Any stains that might be present will be more difficult to remove after a long period of time, and food substances will attract pests that can chew your summer pajamas or leave droppings on your favorite skirt.
Choose the Right Container
Most bedding, pajamas, and clothing can be folded and stored in opaque plastic storage bins. Airtight containers are great for safeguarding against water damage, but don’t choose airtight containers for long-term storage, as non-synthetic fabrics need to “breathe.” For clothing that needs to be hung, choose garment bags made of fabric, not plastic, and avoid wire hangers to keep out moisture and help items retain their shape.
For heirloom-quality, natural-fiber clothing and linens, a cedar chest is an elegant solution. Cedar naturally deters insects and has the added benefit of keeping your Victorian nightgowns and decorative pillows smelling fresh through the winter.
Choose the Right Spot
Finally, finding the right place to keep your favorite seasonal items is a must. A location that is cool, dry, and dark is best. Don’t forget to check on your storage from time to time, so that no pests, mold, sunlight or water damages your beloved summer styles!