At McMahan Cleaners in Denver, we have a number of clients who want to get ready for fall soon. Here is how to store your summer clothes before you pull out your fall boots and sweaters.
Preparation is Key
Gather all the storage supplies you will need to put your summer wardrobe away. Having them out and ready will allow you to inventory what you may need to add, replace, or purchase. Here are a few items to consider having on hand:
Hangers: If you plan to store some of your freshly dry cleaned clothing on hangers, be sure to use sturdy hangers. Choose hangers that will not rust or discolor your clothes. This means you should avoid thin wire hangers. Have skirt hangers for pants and skirts. These will allow you to hang them by the waistband. Have some hangers that are flocked or padded for some of your silky or slippery fabrics. Also, you may want to have shaped hangers which will support the shoulders of some of your office blazers, for example.
Storage Boxes: Any clothes which may be stretched or lose its shape while spending time on a hanger, should be stored in storage boxes. Your knit sweaters are a good example of such an item. You can use plastic boxes—polypropylene is best. The number 5 in the recycling triangle will alert you to such plastic containers. Alternatively, they may be labeled with a “PP” for polypropylene. These containers are safe for clothing.
If you want to use cardboard boxes, they should be acid-free. Other boxes can leach acids that may yellow or stain your clothes. Additionally, such boxes often use glue that attracts insects. Do not use wooden containers for storage either. The acid from wood can damage fabric permanently.
Storage Bags for Clothes: Fabric storage bags are great for storing clothing. Be sure they have been laundered recently, dry cleaned if needed. This will remove mold spores or dust that may have accumulated during their last storage session. Fabric bags are great because they allow air circulation and help stop any moisture build-up, which can damage clothes. Keep in mind that you can also use cotton sheets and pillowcases to cover clothes that are being stored on hangers. Simply cut a small hole and run the hook through.
Acid-Free Tissue Paper: For any special items that you want to preserve, consider wrapping them with acid-free tissue paper. This tissue can help prevent creasing and provide your clothes with protection.
Vacuum Packing: Though this method is not recommended for wool or other textiles that need to breathe, vacuum packing is a great way to save space while protecting your items from dirt, moisture, and pests.
Now that you have your supplies, here are your next steps for how to store your summer clothes.
Use a large table or bed as a temporary place to pile your clothes. Empty your closet(s) and dresser(s) of all your summer attire. Begin you project by sorting like items together. You should have a pile for pants, dresses, shirts, shorts, and accessories, etc. Now you will want to sort through each stack and determine if any items are ruined, in need of being donated, or no longer fit properly. Donations and garbage should be sorted into containers to go to charity or to the curb.
Prior to storage, all your items should be cleaned or dry-cleaned. If you are in need of dry-cleaning or laundry services, come visit us a McMahan Cleaners in Denver for your laundry and dry-cleaning needs. We can also repair zippers and seams or replace buttons so that your clothes are ready to wear when the warm weather rolls around next year and you bring everything out of storage.
Prepare your storage area prior to putting away your containers of clothes. Vacuum and clean the area. You may want to prepare your storage are with bleach if you have a mildew issue. If you need any pest control, be sure to take care of it before storing your clothes. It would be a shame to pull out summer clothes that had been ruined by moths or mildew. Be sure that the place you choose to use for storing your clothes is cool, dry, well ventilated, and free of natural light or temperature swings. Damp basements, attics, and garages are not recommended. Use the spaces under beds as a way to make better use of space.
Roll your clothes to avoid hard creases in your clothes and avoid packing your items too tightly. This will help avoid permanent creases. Rolling also saves space. Place all like items together to assist with organization. Also, label your boxes so that you can easily pull out the needed item without having to search through all boxes. Luggage makes for great storage containers that will also save some space in your closet. Consider using sachets of lavender, rosemary, or cedar chips. This will assist with pest and odor prevention.
Don’t Forget Your Beach Items
If you are also storing your beach items, be sure that everything is clean and dry. Consider dust covers for any items that you don’t want to clean again when you get them back out next year, especially if it will not be stored in a box. Your summer shoes should also be cleaned and free of dirt. If any of your summer shoes are more delicate, you may want to wrap them in acid-free paper to protect them during storage. You could consider storing all your beach-wear together in your beach bag so that it is all ready to go. Just be sure it is labeled so you don’t forget and make sure that the storage is appropriate.
Now that you know how to store your summer clothes, bring your clothes that need to be laundered or dry-cleaned in to us at McMahan Cleaners in Denver. We can help you get started with putting away your summer clothes and getting you ready for fall. Stop by any of our three, convenient locations today.