Seasonal changes bring changes to your wardrobe. If you live in an apartment or have little space, it can be hard to find the clothes that you want to wear. People often think that we can tidy up our clothes by using moth balls and hanging them up – but that is not the case. That’s why we decided to provide you with some tips and common mistakes to avoid when it’s time to store your clothes to make them last longer:
1. Wash Your Clothes Before Storing Them
When storing your clothes, you should wash them before you put them away for the season as antiperspirants, soaps, sebum and many other products can acidify and damage your clothing fibers. Moths love dirty fabrics, so wash them in hot water or dry clean them before putting them away for the season.
A little advice for people who wear suits, always dry clean the two pieces at the same time anyways to prevent it from wearing out in different spots. Another interesting trick, you can soften itchy wool clothing with hair conditioner. It will make the fabric feel more silky.
2. Clothing Fibers Need to Breathe
Your clothes need to breathe, even when they are stored, so avoid packing them too tightly in the same bin. The place where you store them should be well ventilated. To store your clothes, choose canvas storage boxes and bags. The natural fibers allow your clothes to breathe. Plastic storage bins are handy, but they trap moisture.
For more protection, wrap your clothes in clean, white sheets to prevent them from directly touching cardboard if you choose to store them in boxes.
3. Avoid Exposing Clothing to Light
When storing your clothes, avoid exposing it directly to artificial light or sunlight, as it can cause some fibers to yellow and become damaged. Your garment covers and storage bins should be black, if possible. Heat can also be damaging to clothes, so store them in a room or closet that is slightly colder or where the temperature can be controlled. The heat or any significant temperature changes can create moisture which can lead to mold and mildew in clothes.
4. Moths, Your Clothing’s Enemy
It’s not actually moths that cause holes in your clothing – it’s their larvae. They are attracted to cashmere, wool, fur and other fabrics made from animal hair. As mentioned above, it’s important to keep your clothing clean to avoid infestations. You also should ensure that your closet is dusted and vacuumed. Proper storage and keeping your clothing and closets clean are your best lines of defense.
Remember that mothballs and cedar balls aren’t always effective – the fumes from these items are only toxic to moths at very high levels and they do dissipate, so they need to be replaced constantly. Boxes with airtight seals are the only way to make these options work. Moth balls can be toxic to you, so read and follow the instructions if you decide to use them. Other natural moth repellents are not scientifically proven to work.
5. How to Store Your Clothes
This last tip applies as much to the clothes you have in your wardrobe as those you store. All your t-shirts and knits should be folded on shelves or in drawers. If you can’t fold them because you ran out of space, use padded or wood hangers to prevent damage. Note, that knitted clothing cannot be suspended year-round because it will lose its shape. Your jackets, suits and coats must be hung at all times even when stored to prevent deep wrinkling and other fabric damage.
You should only use wooden, velvet and padded hangers as they will cause the least amount of clothing damage. The contents of your wardrobe should consist of basics and clothes of the current season only, the rest should be stored. The more crammed wardrobe is, the harder it will be to pick your outfits. For your clothes that tend to pill and for jeans, wash and store them upside down, this avoids friction, the main cause of pilling. If you don’t have a lot of traditional storage place your clothing in a bin under your bed or over a cabinet top. You can also get storage ottomans to maximize your space.