Seasonal Clothing Storage in Six Easy Steps

Whether you're short on closet space or you simply prefer a more organized closet, storing seasonal clothing is a great way to make room for your current wardrobe. It's also a good reminder to go through and get rid of items that you're not wearing before they go out of style. This guide to seasonal clothing storage in six easy steps will help those who are new to seasonal clothing storage, but folks who are more familiar with this biannual task may also find some helpful hints here.

  1. Start by tidying up your room. You're going to be taking everything out of your closet, and this is less overwhelming if the rest of your room is already clean. Then, take all of clothing, shoes and accessories out of your closet and organize them by season. Typically, fall and winter clothing can be grouped together, as can spring and summer clothing.
  2. Next, set aside anything that you didn't wear during the previous season. Unless you're sure you'll wear it next year, now is the time to sell, donate or consign it before it goes out of style. It's not worth taking up storage space if you're not going to wear it next year. You have many options for selling and donating clothing, including Craigslist, eBay, local consignment shops, and Goodwill or Salvation Army donation centers. Set these clothes aside or box them up, depending on what you plan to do with them. (For eBay and Craiglist, you'll need to take photos. Many consignment shops require you to bring clothes in on hangers).
  3. Once you've decided what to keep, it's a good idea to clean out your closet, including vacuuming and dusting. Once you put the upcoming season's clothes back in, you probably won't be cleaning it again for another six months. If you're having any issues with mildew or insects, this is the time to take measures.
  4. Now that your closet is nice and clean, you can put back the upcoming season's clothes that you've decided to keep, organizing them well. If you do a good job of arranging everything now, it should be easy to keep your wardrobe organized and easily accessible for the entire season. How you choose to organize is a personal preference: For instance, you can group clothes together by color or by occasion (work clothes vs. play clothes, etc.).
  5. After your current wardrobe is organized in your closet, it's time to get back to storing last season's items that you plan to keep. Make sure that everything has been laundered before storage so it's nice and fresh. Many options are available for seasonal clothing storage, including fabric storage bags, plastic totes and vacuum-sealing systems. If you plan to use fabric bags, run them through the wash first. If you're using totes, it's a good idea to clean them with disinfectant spray first.
  6. Once you've decided on your storage system, make sure all your clothes are folded appropriately. Items that would normally be hung should be rolled to avoid creasing. Sweaters and knits should be folded carefully rather than hung, as hanging them can stretch them out. Don't wrap the clothing in plastic, as it is best if it is allowed to breath. Unless you're using plastic totes or a vacuum-sealing system, avoid storing seasonal clothing in damp basements, garages or attics. Under the bed is a good option, or in a guest room or spare closet. The location you choose should be well ventilated, cool and away from light.

Now that you know how to handle seasonal clothing storage in six easy steps, you're ready to tackle your closet and dressers. Not only can you make the most of a small closet, but you can keep your current wardrobe organized and easily visible. Organization is the key to making this process more manageable each season, so its well worth the extra effort.

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