It’s the tail-end of summer in the U.S., and with statewide lockdowns going on, you’re likely not going anywhere. That means your outdoor clothes, especially out-of-season ones, are going to sit in storage for a very long time. Just because they’re in the closet or attic, however, doesn’t mean they’re safe from damage. Improper storage can lead to a variety of problems like stretching out of shape, mold, and even insect infestations. Here are the best ways to keep your seasonal clothes.
Keep Them Clean
Just because you don’t plan on using them soon doesn’t mean you should leave them soiled in storage. Any dirt, food debris, or even sweat can lead to permanent discoloration. Not to mention that the scents they create can attract pests like silverfish, moths, and rats that can chew away at the fabric. Dedicate a weekend to washing your clothes and taking outerwear to the dry cleaner.
Fold or Hang?
Some clothes are best folded; others should be hung. Jackets, whether they’re part of your suit or winterwear, should be kept on a hanger with rounded edges to prevent permanent creasing. Shirts, shorts, and pants are best folded to maximize your space. Sweaters should never be hung, as gravity may cause them to stretch and lose shape over time.
Use the Right Containers
Leaving out of season clothes bare in your closet is an open invitation for pests and dust. Keep your jackets in plastic garment bags for maximum protection against insects, as critters can still chew through cloth bags. However, you should never use the ones from the dry cleaners, as they’re not made for long-term storage. Invest in a thick and zippable one. As for your regular cotton and wool clothes, covered plastic tubs are the best way to go. They’re affordable, stackable, and impervious against the elements.
Use Pest Repellents
If you’ve kept clothes in your attic or inside your closet for a long time without taking them out, you may notice that some of them may have developed holes. That is because pests like moth caterpillars and silverfish feasted on your shirt’s fibers, similar to how butterfly caterpillars munch on leaves. If you want to keep them away, toss in a few cedar or lavender balls into your closet and clothes boxes. Moths hate the aroma of cedar wood’s oils.
You could also use naphthalene balls, but only if your home is crawling with moths. The smell of these mothballs may stick to your clothes, giving them an unpleasant odor. Not to mention that their fumes are known to cause dizziness, headaches, and breathing problems if you ever inhale them. If your home is infested with critters, however, it’s best to call a pest control expert to help you get rid of them safely.
With winter still a ways away and statewide lockdowns are still in effect, you may not have much use for your outdoor clothes. If you want them to stay in pristine condition until you get to wear them again, use these tips to store them properly.