How to store your winter clothes

keep your wardrobe in tip top condition
Store away your winter clothes safelySusumu Yoshioka - Getty Images

An organised space really can help to make your life easier. Knowing exactly what's in your wardrobe makes the process of putting an outfit together a piece of cake, so as winter turns to spring, it's time to store away your knitwear so you can easily reach for your favourite dresses, skirts and t-shirts.

The big swap around can feel like an overwhelming task, so we've broken it down into simple steps to help you get the job done.

Keep it nice and airy!

Cramming clothes into the wardrobe will make them misshapen and encourage mould and mildew. Sort through your things regularly and give away anything you haven’t worn for over two years.

Make extra space by sorting items by season and pack away any you don’t currently need. Air should be able to circulate freely to help moisture evaporate. Charcoal briquettes placed in the corners of the wardrobe will help to absorb any excess moisture.

keep your wardrobe in tip top condition
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The best way to store clothes

  • If you are putting away clothes for the winter, wash (or dry-clean) everything first. Make sure the items are completely dry. Don’t iron clothes that are to be stored, or use starch, as these will make the fibres more brittle and prone to tearing along creases.

  • Special items can be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to help prevent creasing and provide further protection.

  • Avoid using ordinary cardboard or paper boxes as they aren’t waterproof. Chemicals can leach into your clothing and pests are attracted to protein in the glue used to stick the boxes together.

keep your wardrobe in tip top condition
Camelia Ciocirlan / 500px - Getty Images
  • For short-term seasonal storage, you can use vacuum storage bags such as Packmate. These work by removing air, using your vacuum cleaner, creating a more compact storage solution whilst protecting your clothes from dirt, damp and pests.

  • For longer-term storage of items, such as wedding dresses, the best option is an acid-free storage box, available from stationers or archiving suppliers. Make sure they're not completely airtight, as the clothes fibres need to breathe.

  • Don’t store items in direct contact with wood. All wood contains acids that can damage textiles over a long period of time.

  • Place the container in a cool place, off the floor and away from damp, sunlight and direct or indirect heat.

Don’t put things away dirty

Don’t put clothes away straight after they have been worn or if they are damp. Wash and dry them first – moisture will attract mould, and stains that are unnoticeable when fresh, such as perspiration, can oxidize and discolour over time. Human bodily fluids also attract pests, such as moths, so keep things clean!

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