As the warmer weather starts to fade and the days get shorter, it’s time to start thinking about storing away your summer clothing and bringing out your winter items.
Storing away unused summer clothing not only opens up more space in your wardrobe, it also gives the rest of your wardrobe a chance to breathe and air out a bit. It also means you aren’t searching for random articles of clothing hidden in your wardrobe.
Begin by sorting out your clothing. Put your summer clothing in one pile and your winter clothing in another. Also, take the opportunity to make a pile of any clothing that you no longer wear. You can later decide if you want to donate, sell or upcycle these items.
Tip: see if you can wear some of your summer items during winter. Maybe you could layer a long sleeve top under a jumpsuit or wear pants under a dress. Not only will this lower your cost per wear, it will also give you more outfit options!
It’s important to clean all the clothing before you store it, otherwise little stains can become permanent and attract pests. Clothing moths can eat through natural fibres like wool and silk. They don’t usually like cotton but will lay eggs on a cotton tee if near.
After you have washed all your clothing, hang it outside (if possible) to dry. Make sure you let it dry completely to avoid mould when stored.
While your clothing is drying, use this opportunity to give your wardrobe a clean – vacuum in all the corners and wipe down the doors to ensure you don’t have an infestation of clothes-eating moths hiding in there!
Once your garments are all clean and dry, it’s time to start packing! The best option is a plastic tub that can be stored in a dry, dark place like a cupboard or under a bed. An unused suitcase is also another option. Vacuum bags are a good option for short-term storage but remember these bags compress the fibres of your clothing and can cause damage.
Carefully fold your garments and place them in the tub. Once full, pop in a moth repeller (see next tip) and close the lid.
If you need to store our clothing on a hanger, ensure you choose a padded one to keep the garments shape and use a proper garment bag – not the thin plastic ones you can buy from IKEA.
- Moth Repeller
Certain moths like to nibble at our precious clothes when they are kept in dark spaces – like wardrobes! To avoid these pests, it’s best to use natural repellents such as cedar, lavender, cloves, thyme, rosemary and eucalyptus.
You can also DIY a little hanging bag for your wardrobe too. Use a small cotton bag, place some of the above dried herbs into it and hang in the wardrobe or in the storage box. You can also use essential oils in place of dried herbs on a cotton bag. But remember, all these will need to be refreshed to avoid the threat of moths.
Note: avoid chemical moth balls! They contain a substance called naphthalene that when ingested in large amounts can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
It’s best to check your garments every now and then – say once a month – just to make sure there is no mould or mildew present to spoil your beautiful garments! You can also refresh your moth repeller with new essential oils or swap out some of the cedar balls if they no longer smell nice.
These steps can also be used when storing winter garments for summer, just remember that moths love fibres like wool, so you need to be a bit more vigilant when storing these items. I’ve added some further tips for storing clothes:
- Avoid hanging woollen jumpers for long periods of time – they sag and will stretch out of shape.
- Keep your garments clean and avoid keeping sweat or food stained clothing in the wardrobe for a long time. Moths love those stains!
- Try and keep your wardrobe well ventilated – moths thrive in humid, warm conditions.
- Wash your second-hand items before you put them in the wardrobe, they can sometimes contain moth larva.
- Give your clothing a shake outside every now and then – just to keep them fresh.
Written by Jenna Ruthflood
Jenna is a Stylist by trade who creates runway-worthy looks using ethically produced or op shopped clothing. Having been featured for her fast fashion alternatives in The Age newspaper, she believes that by styling with sustainable fashion we can bring to light the issues of fast fashion and show people better alternatives.