Storing clothing

Now that the weather has changed it is time to store all the spring and summer clothing away and make room for the warm winter clothing. It can be tempting to pack things away without examining them for stains. Sometimes we don’t notice a stain on a piece of clothing but when we get the clothing out of storage, the stains are very noticeable and sometimes hard to remove. These stains can be caused by sugary foods or even perspiration that was not removed before storing the garment.

It would be best to launder or dry clean all the summer clothing and store it in a way that will keep it clean and free of pests until it is needed again. Be sure that clothing is completely dry before storing as your clothing might develop mildew if stored damp. Large plastic tubs with tight fitting lids work well to keep dust out of clothing. Additionally, it will keep out insects like Asian lady beetles and prevent mice from making a nest in your favorite outfit. If a tub has clear sides, it is easier to know what is in the container. Better or more formal items can be stored on hangers.  Allow enough room between hangers that new wrinkles are not pressed into the garment.

Cleaning these summer items doesn’t need to be a huge project. You can keep a large plastic bin near where you do laundry and add a few summer items to each load of laundry you do for the next several weeks. Simply fold and place the dry clean clothing into the bin as you do your regular laundry.

When the seasons change again, you can remove the summer things and begin cleaning and storing the winter clothes. Be sure that all your sweaters and other woolen items are clean and stored in an air tight container. That will prevent damage from clothing moths. It is so discouraging to find a hole in one of your favorite sweaters when it can be prevented so easily. If you would like more information on clothing moths, Iowa State University has an interesting article. Moth balls or granules are no longer recommended for storing woolens, they can be caustic and irritating and difficult to remove the odor when you take the clothing out of storage.

I’m still in the process of getting all our summer clothing stored; when I’m done I will be glad to have more room in my closet.



Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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