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Clothing pile storage

As bulky sweaters and puffy coats start to fill your closets and drawers, you may notice your clothes from seasons past are taking up valuable space; pairs of shorts, tank tops, light jackets, summer dresses, and more. Rather than shoving everything to the back, here are some tips to find and use the existing storage space in your house to safely put away your summer clothes until the days start getting warmer again.

Assess your storage space

A small living space doesn’t have to mean you don’t have any place to store things. Your house or apartment probably has nooks and crannies that can hold extra stuff you didn’t even consider. Under the stairs, under the bed, even under the couch all provide options for storage. Before you decide on any of these spaces, make sure they’re cool, dry, and free of pests.

Does your house have high ceilings? You might have unused space in the tops of your closets. Consolidate your high up closet space by finding bins or boxes that occupy most of the space. That way, when you’re ready to store your clothes, the space will already be waiting for you.

Clean your containers

Once you’ve figured out where you’ll be storing your clothes, wash and vacuum out your containers. Don’t use any cleaners with bleach. Look for environmentally friendly cleaning products, and read the labels to ensure they don’t contain ingredients that might harm clothes. Make sure any plastic containers are totally dry before packing them.

Consider the clothes

Some clothes will store better folded while others should be hung. Save your garment bags for nice outfits and expensive materials, and put your everyday wear in bins or boxes. If you’re really strapped for space, consider those vacuum seal bags. They keep everything compact and have the added bonus of keeping your clothes safe from dampness and critters.

Certain items from your wardrobe will be useful for layering and transitioning to cooler seasons, so keep those summer items, like tanks, out. Season changes are also a great time to weed some things out of your wardrobe. If you have too many summer clothes to store, this might be a great opportunity to donate some of those items you haven’t worn in a few years.

Wash everything

Your clothes  that you will be storing until they are seasonally appropriate again won’t be in the sunlight for a few months, so make sure they’re clean and pressed before you put them away. You might also want to consider storing them with potpourri or dryer sheets to keep out any musty smells. Before you fold and put everything away, however, make sure it’s totally dry. Even one damp corner could wreak mildew havoc in the wrong environment. Cleaning your clothes first also helps protect against moths, especially if you would rather stay away from mothballs.

Protect your stored  clothes and your valuable closet space this winter. Keep them airtight, out of the way, and clean. When next summer rolls around, you’ll be happy to find your favorite items just as you left them.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.