Summer days may be a little further around the corner, but as we are now officially in British Summer Time, it is a good time to start thinking about a wardrobe rotation and packing away those chunky winter knits (you might want to wait until after Easter, actually, as the Beast from the East’s extended family looks set to return for more unseasonal snow!) But with today marking the start of longer daylight hours, I thought it an appropriate time to share some tips on spring seasonal storage.
As the weather warms up you won’t be needing the chunky jumpers, blanket scarfs and winter woollens that have kept you cosy during the winter months, so it is a good idea to pack some of these garments away to free up space in your wardrobe for your spring and summer wear. Winter knitwear takes up a lot of space, so even packing away a few jumpers will free up a shelf or drawer for garments that you are more likely to wear in the coming months.
Clothes are at the greatest risk of damage when in storage if they are not protected properly, so ensure that you take the correct steps to protect your garments – especially woollen knitwear, which is prone to the scourge of the moth. Moths attack only natural protein fibres (cashmere, wool), so your winter wear is more susceptible than summer wear when in storage. If you have ever been the victim of a moth attack you will know the despair that comes with losing your favourite woollen jumper! And they never munch a hole in a discreet area like the cuff or underarm – somewhere that won’t be too visible; it’s always bang in the middle of the chest, ensuring there is no hope for hiding or fixing it, even if you are the most skilled of seamstresses! So, if you want your favourite luxury knits to embrace you next winter after their summer in hibernation, then follow my top tips for spring storage.
- First, ensure that everything going into storage is washed, clean and thoroughly dry. Dirty clothes will attract bugs – any natural protein fibre clothing with old food stains or perspiration will attract moths and carpet beetles which cause damage to the clothing fibres. Some stains are colourless, so even if the clothes aren’t visibly dirty it is best to wash/dry-clean them first before storing.
- Never store clothing in polythene bags or plastic garment bags, especially if the garments are made of natural fibres, which need to breathe. Condensation will form inside plastic bags and could cause mould or yellowing of fabrics, leading to permanent staining.
- Garment bags should be made of a breathable material, like calico, and large enough to hold each garment.
- Garment bags and boxes can be bought from department stores and specialist storage companies such as The Holding Company Remember to check the measurements of boxes before purchasing. I once bought 2 under-bed storage boxes only to realise on delivery that they were too tall to fit under my bed. So of course my solution was to buy a new bed! (My old one was on its last legs so it was about time anyway!)
- For added protection you could separate precious knitwear from other clothing and place it in special breathable jumper storage bags such as these from Hangerworld.
- Place an anti-moth lavender sachet at the top of each storage box, or hanging on the garment bag, to protect from moths and other pests.
- Place the storage containers in a cool damp-free area away from direct sunlight and heat. Above wardrobes or under beds are the most obvious places. Attics are not the best place for storing clothes as they are likely to become quite hot in summer and possibly damp in winter. They are also likely to be very dusty places as, unless you are the most devoted of housekeepers, it is unlikely that you regularly dust your attic!
If you are selecting clothes for storage, now is also a good time to have a wardrobe detox and get rid of things you don’t wear anymore – freeing up even more space for pretty summer clothes! See my post on detoxing your wardrobe for more tips on how to organise and clear out your clothes.