It's that time again! It's the seasonal wardrobe switchover, that tiresome but necessary task of sorting through your clothes and storing them away while relinquishing those staple pieces you look forward to wearing for the months ahead. There is a bit of knack to doing this, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you my top tips for switching and storing your clothes seasonally to get the most out of your wardrobe.
Please bear in mind that these tips are only really intended for items that are being stored for short periods, i.e. for six months or less. If you want to store things for longer, or very delicate, treasured items such as a wedding dress, you'll need to take some extra steps to ensure your pieces are well looked after.
TIP #1 - WASH AND DRY
Your first step is to wash and dry everything thoroughly as dirt residues can set in deeper over time, as well as attract unwanted beasties intent on damaging your clothes. It's probably best to do this gradually and set items aside for storage after you've washed them so it doesn't feel like such a chore come the changeover day.
Resist that temptation to iron (as if that's very difficult anyway!) as ironed-in creases can set in further and conversely weaken the fibres of your clothing. It's far better to give everything a good airing and a press when you retrieve them in six months' time.
TIP #2 - FIND SUITABLE STORAGE
It's preferable to have clothing folded in storage rather than hung so as not to give gravity a chance to do its thing. So you'll need to find a suitable container or containers to store everything in. Although more convenient, cardboard boxes are probably the worst thing to keep your items in as they can get damp and won't keep away pests. Plastic boxes with a lid or a clean suitcase lined with acid-free tissue paper are better options for short term storage.
Vacuum packs seem like a good idea but use with caution; many sources tell me they trap moisture which can create mould and unpleasant odours if using for a long period of time.
TIP #3 - PACK HEAVIEST TO LIGHTEST
This tip is pretty self explanatory in that you don't want heavy, sturdy items crushing your more delicate things. So stick heavy, crease-resistant things like denim at the bottom of your container and place lightweight jerseys or knits on top. Wrap more delicate things in acid-free tissue paper to add an extra layer of protection - you can buy reams of the stuff quite cheaply online.
TIP #4 - PACK WITH SPACE AND CARE IN MIND
It's really important to allow some breathing space in your containers as you still want air to be able to circulate and prevent things going musty. Make sure you don't pack everything in too tightly and it should help to keep your items fresh.
TIP #5 - STORE SOMEWHERE COOL + DARK + CLEAN + DRY
Once you're all packed up you need to look for the optimum place to keep your items safe - this should ideally be somewhere cool, dark, clean and dry. Space is often a premium but if it's possible to find a spot above a wardrobe, under the bed or in a spare room, this should be ideal. However, a loft or an attic space can work for short periods, so long as you keep your items off the ground, dry and the environment clear of pest infestations.
TIP #6 - CHECK IT
Probably the most important of this list is to check on your items regularly to make sure everything is in order. If your items get exposed to damp, or worse, attacked by pests, you'll be in a much better position to fix it then, rather than receive a nasty surprise when you come to retrieve them later on.
MORE TIPS + TRICKS!
Hope you liked these handy hints for switching over your wardrobe! If you're planning on getting rid of items during your wardrobe switchover, you might also want to check out my post How to Clear Out Your Wardrobe Responsibly for some great ways to declutter without sending things to landfill. Otherwise, for more useful wardrobe tips and tricks, head over to my #slowfashion and #howto blog sections for more articles.