Seasons come and go, often in the blink of an eye, and if you’re a shopaholic, then so will your clothing. However, if you have the knack for holding onto your clothing until it’s considered vintage, cleaning and storing them properly should be on your radar. These practices will maintain their quality and extend their lifespan. With the right cleaning tips and techniques, and correct storage practices, you can protect your favourite seasonal garments from damage, discolouration, and pests.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of cleaning and storing your seasonal clothing, ensuring they remain fresh and ready to wear when the time comes.
9 Steps for Cleaning and Storing Seasonal Clothing
Following a methodical process when organising and cleaning your seasonal clothing will always give you the best results. Follow the steps below:
1. Sort and Assess
Begin by sorting your clothing into different categories based on the season. Evaluate each item for stains, tears, or any repairs needed. This step helps you identify garments that require special attention before storing them.
2. Launder or Dry Clean
Before storing, clean all garments according to their laundry symbols and care instructions. Launder machine-washable items using appropriate detergents and settings, and for delicate or dry-clean-only garments, take them to a professional cleaner. Cleaning your clothes removes dirt, oils, and stains that can attract pests and cause fabric discolouration over time.
3. Inspect and Repair
Once cleaned, thoroughly inspect each garment for any hidden stains or damage that may have been missed during the initial assessment. Repair loose buttons, loose hems, or minor tears to ensure your clothing is in good condition before storage.
4. Fold or Hang Appropriately
Consider the type of clothing and its fabric when deciding whether to fold or hang. Light and delicate fabrics, such as silk or knits, should be folded to avoid stretching or misshaping. Sturdy garments like coats or blazers can be hung on sturdy hangers to maintain their shape.
Tip: Use padded hangers to prevent shoulder bumps.
5. Use Proper Storage Containers
Invest in high-quality storage containers to protect your seasonal clothing from dust, moisture, and pests. It’s best to go with containers made of breathable materials like fabric or acid-free cardboard, as plastic containers can trap moisture and lead to mould or mildew growth. Label the containers for easy identification in the future.
6. Add Protection Against Moths and Pests
To protect your clothing from moths and other pests, add preventive measures. Use mothballs, cedar chips, lavender sachets, or cedar blocks in your storage containers. These natural deterrents help repel insects and keep your garments safe. However, be cautious with mothballs as they have a strong odour and should be used in well-ventilated areas.
7. Select a Suitable Storage Location
Choose a cool, dry, and dark location for storing your seasonal clothing. Avoid areas with excessive humidity, direct sunlight, or extreme temperature fluctuations, as they can damage the fabric. Ideally store your clothing in a spare closet, under-bed storage, or a dedicated wardrobe.
8. Regularly Check and Rotate
Don’t forget to check on your stored clothing throughout the year. Inspect for any signs of pests or moisture. Consider rotating your stored garments between seasons to allow them to breathe and prevent permanent creasing or fabric damage.
9. Donate or Discard Unwanted Items
Use the opportunity of seasonal clothing rotation to declutter your wardrobe. If you come across items that no longer fit or suit your style, consider donating them to charity or giving them to friends. Discard any damaged or irreparable items responsibly.
Storage Tips for Seasonal Clothing
- Sweaters: Fold sweaters to avoid stretching. Use tissue paper or acid-free paper between layers to prevent creases.
- Dresses and Skirts: Hang dresses and skirts with proper hangers to maintain their shape. Cover them with breathable garment bags to protect against dust.
- Pants: Fold pants along the natural creases. Use clip hangers for dress pants to prevent them from slipping.
- Delicate Fabrics: Avoid hanging delicate fabrics like silk or lace for an extended period as they may lose their shape. Instead, store them folded in acid-free tissue paper or breathable fabric bags.
- Shoes: Clean and polish shoes before storing them. Stuff them with tissue paper or use shoe trees to maintain their shape. Store in shoe boxes or breathable fabric shoe organisers.
- Accessories: Keep accessories like scarves, hats, and belts in breathable storage boxes or drawers to protect them from dust and sunlight.
Properly cleaning and storing your seasonal clothing is crucial for maintaining quality and longevity. By following these comprehensive steps, you’ll have the privilege of being able to keep your clothing items from season to season and year to year, giving you more choices and saving you money. As your wardrobe grows, don’t forget to organise your cupboard in a way that everything is easily accessible.
If all the organising is taking away from your cleaning time, there’s a simple solution – SweepSouth cleaning services. The SweepStars you can book with have enough experience and expertise to transform your home professionally and efficiently, surpassing any expectations you have. Book today and find out why we’re SA’s #1 home services platform.