If you live anywhere that has all four seasons, you know how important it is to have multiple wardrobes for the different months. Living in Wisconsin, I find myself switching out clothes more than I care to admit. Sweaters to shorts, winter coats to swimsuits, and then back again.
One thing you don't want to do is keep all your clothes in your closet all year long. This creates a stuffed space and you end up moving ten things to get to the one you want to wear. It just doesn't make sense.
What does make sense if having a strategy for storing seasonal pieces. This means you pick a date to change them out, you know where you want to put them and then you follow through with the plans. I would suggest changing clothes out on the first day of each new season. They are as follows:
First day of Spring: March 20
First day of Summer: June 20
First day of Autumn: September 22
First day of Winter: December 21
Want to learn more about maximizing your closet space? Check out this stunning before/after story on how we transformed a stuffed closet into a thing of beauty. It gives you the step-by-step process to organizing any closet.
If you are looking for more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board on organization.
Quick Closet Organization Tips
Before we get started, let me give you my top ten tips for organizing a closet:
1. Empty the space. Before you start any project, always empty the entire space. It is a MUST!
2. Sort by color. But only if you want to! It definitely makes things look more polished and professional.
3. Make things easy to access. You shouldn't have to move ten things to get to that one item. Or get out a stool every time your getting dressed. Make everything in your closet easy accessible.
4. Sort by like items. One of the first steps to a clean closet is to sort. Always sort like things together.
5. Use durable storage. When choosing bins and boxes, always go for durability first and then style. You don't want floppy storage. Learn more about choosing the right storage by checking out this post.
6. Create a maybe box. Can't make a decision on a couple things in your closet? Keep a maybe box for those indecisive moments. Place everything in the tote and then revisit in six months.
7. Find the right system. Take time to consider the right closet system for your unique situation. This can be a big help in creating a setup that will work for you long term.
8. Utilize vertical space. Don't forget all the prime real estate that is up above in the closet. You can store lesser-used items on higher shelves and more frequent flyers withing easy reach.
9. Use baskets with labels. This makes it easier for you to pull down the exact basket of what you need rather than guessing to what's inside.
10. Break-up closet into "zones." Creating zones in your closet is a great way to make it more functional. Dedicated spots for workout clothes, formal wear and lounge wear can be a lifesaver.
Want to really kick your decluttering into high gear??? Join me for the most popular virtual event here at The Decluttering Queen....... our LIVE Decluttering Session! Yes, 90 minutes of dedicated organization time plus tips and tricks from a professional organizer. And this Zoom session is completely FREE! If you need accountability, I am here for you.
10 Smart Tips for Storing Seasonal Clothes
1. Utilize Plastic Storage Totes
I am a big fan of plastic storage totes. They are inexpensive and easy to find at pretty much any retailer. Plus they are stack-able!
When using plastic totes, don't forget to label the outside so know what's inside. It also helps to get a clear tote that you can see through to the contents.
2. Avoid the Vacuum Seal
Using one of those vacuum bags to store your seasonal clothing might seem like a good idea but thing again.
While this storage solution does take up less space, not everything you’re storing should be vacuum sealed.
Certain natural fibers in some types of clothing take months to return to its natural form when they are tightly compressed. It could even stay compressed permanently.
"Puffy" and "fluffy" or certain delicates should not be vacuum sealed. Here are some examples:
puffy winter coats and down jackets or vests
certain comforters (especially down)
anything made from wool, cashmere, or silk
3. Don't Hang Everything
Even if you have room to hang everything for long-term storage, there are certain seasonal clothing that won't hold up well being hung for months at a time.
Clothing with a delicate knit (such as sweaters) lose their shape when hung for lengthy periods of time. Your best bet is to fold these items and store in a drawer, plastic tote or under the bed bag.
If you do decide to use hangers, make sure to use wood or ones with a high quality padding. These offer better support than wire or plastic ones.
4. Consider the Storage Climate
No matter where you decide to store your clothing, it is critical to ensure it's a
climate-controlled area of your home.
You want to offer your seasonal clothing a space with consistent temperatures, the cooler the better. This will help better preserves your items.
The space you choose should also be clean. Be away for hot and dusty attics or those with any type of rodent or insect problems.
When it comes to open spaces, the darker the lighting the better. Sun pouring into a window onto the clothing will fade it over longer periods of time.
5. Clever Spots for Storage
If you are tight on space, it will be important for you to consider all the nooks and crannies in the home to maximize your storage. Think under the bed, in a large chest or even an attic (with proper climate control).
Seasonal clothing can be stored in tight spaces if you make sure to fold tightly and use the right size containers. You may even want to measure your shelf or closet to make sure your totes will fit.
To free up even more closet space, here are a few more clever spots to store your seasonal clothing:
larger walk-in closet
laundry room with extra cabinet storage space (a dehumidifier may be necessary to reduce the amount of moisture in the air)
mudroom or entryway
6. Use Mothballs when Necessary
Are mothballs still a thing? They sure are.
Mothballs are a great way to prevent insects from feasting on your clothes. In fact they are considered a pesticide.
Since they are a pesticide, special care must be used when handling mothballs. Toxicologists recommend handling mothballs with gloves rather than bare hands.
Still unsure? You can also buy chemical-free mothballs. Or use a more natural approach such as cedar blocks and cedar-lined chests.
Keep in mind that mothballs need to be stored in an airtight container or bag to be most effective. And it's important to also use the right amount. Don't forget to replace mothballs every so often.
7. Repair and Wash
There are few things worse than putting away stinky or damaged clothes! The time to repair and wash damaged or smelly clothing is before you put them in storage.
An easy to get the body odor smell out of armpits is a vinegar mixture. Follow these directions from the Farmer's Almanac.
8. Avoid Storing the Unnecessary
Do NOT store anything that you won't wear in the future. Take the time now to go through items and purge
One way to determine what to keep and what to toss is to consider what you have actually worn in the past six months. Did you wear that sundress over the summer? If not, you probably won't wear it next summer either.
9. Just Say "No" to Plastic Dry Cleaning Bags
It's never a good idea to use a dry cleaning bag for any type of long-term storage.
Liquid solvents are used in the process of dry cleaning. If these are completely dried out, moisture is trapped inside the cheap plastic bag. This can cause yellowing and mildew problems on fabric.
A great alternative is a breathable garment bag. This can be used to store winter coats, suits, formal wear and more.
10. Make a List
Don't forget to make a list of items you need to replace before you finish the storage process. Better yet, if it's the end of season, you can often find staples on sale at the clearance rack. Here is a FREE Shopping List you can print today!
I hope you were inspired with this list of ten smart ways to store seasonal clothes. And that you found one or two ideas that would work in your own closet! Don't forget to change out the clothes before the new season arrives.
Do you have any other ideas that you think I should add to the list? Please let me know in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you!
Also, remember to visit our Facebook page for more closet and clothes ideas! And don't forget to join me for the most popular virtual event here at The Decluttering Queen....... our LIVE Decluttering Session! Yes, 90 minutes of dedicated organization time plus tips and tricks from a professional organizer. And did I mention that this session is completely FREE!
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