Tips for storing clothes

Using the right laundering method is one key way to prolong the life of clothing, but you should also know the way you store clothes can help them last longer. Whether you have a makeshift rack in your bedroom or a full walk-in wardrobe, there are some useful tips and techniques you can use to store clothing.

General storage tips for clothes

  • Always make sure your clothes are washed, dry, and ironed before you put them away. This prevents smells or dirt being transferred to other garments and that they’re ready to wear as soon as you pull them out.
  • Never store clothes in plastic bags. The plastic traps moisture and creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, especially if you’re storing clothes for long periods of time.
  • Likewise, avoid cardboard boxes for long-term storage. Cardboard boxes aren’t immune to rodents and insects, and if they become damp that damp could seep through into your clothes.
  • Get rid of wire coat-hangers. These hangers may be a cheap option, but they can leave rust stains on clothing, bend under the weight of heavier clothes, and cause straps and sleeves to slip off. Choose wooden or plastic hangers instead.
  • Use baskets in your wardrobe for small items like scarves, hats, purses, and corsetry.
  • Look for other places to store clothes. Wheeled bins that slide under beds are a great place to store clothes you don’t use all the time, such as hiking or skiing gear.
  • Spring-clean your wardrobe. Wipe down shelves and coat hangers, send clothes away for alterations and repairs, and sell or donate anything you haven’t worn in the last twelve months.
  • Drawer dividers help you to easily lay your hands on matching socks, underwear sets, and gloves.
  • Use the backs of doors for mirrors, hooks for bags/belts, or shoe racks.

Storing clothes seasonally

If you’re particularly organised – and not all of us are – you might like to store clothing you don’t need during certain seasons. This gives you more closet space for the clothes you wear all the time. At the end of the season you can swap out your summer clothes for winter garments, and you’ll have a fresh new wardrobe.

When storing clothes seasonally, consider these points:

  • Store somewhere clean, cool, dark, and dry. To help protect your clothes, make sure your storage conforms to these four key elements. A clean space prevents dirt and dust transferring to your clothing, cool, dry air will help stop mold and mildew, and darkness prevents fading.
  • You don’t need to hang everything. Certain fabrics and knits will become misshapen during long-term hanging. Check clothing care labels and instead of hanging knit items, fold them neatly and store in a drawer or plastic box.
  • Be careful with using mothballs – they may help prevent damage, but children and pets can often mistake them for toys or food and ingest them. Instead, check clothes regularly and look for storage solutions made from cedar, that has a natural insect repellent.

For a range of certified natural laundry and fabric cleaning products, see the Green store.

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