Off Season Storage 101: How to Use Closet Organizers to Keep Items Out of Sight

closet systemsWhen the seasons change and it is time to store your clothes, you’ll need a step-by-step process to protect the garments from humidity, heat, dust and creepy-crawly insects.

By using closet organizers, under-bed bins or shrinkable plastic bags, you can store your clothes inexpensively and easily.

Thankfully, there are expert ways to keep your clothes out of sight, without allowing insects or the elements to destroy your favorite garments.

Things you will need:

  • Detergent and washing machine
  • Closet organizers or closet systems
  • Shrinkable plastic bags
  • Under-bed bins
  • Zippered or collapsible fabric bins

Step 1- Clean your clothes before you store them.
The insects who munch on your clothes typically devour only natural fibers such as cashmere, silk, mohair and wool. However, these bugs will eat your synthetic polyester, rayon and acetate items if they have sweat, food or blood stains. In fact, starched cotton shirts also attract crickets and silverfish.

If you dry clean your clothes, or wash them using detergent and hot water, your garments should be pest-free during storage.

Step 2 – Choose the proper containers to store your shoes and handbags.
If you are storing a large wool coat, hang the coat first on a padded hanger. Stuff the sleeves with white tissue paper to maintain their shape. Place the coat in a large fabric garment bag. Hang the coat at the back of your closet organizer.

When storing your leather or suede shoes and handbags, store them in ventilated, under-bed fabric bins that allow the natural fabrics to breathe. Before storing, clean the soles of your shoes with disinfectant wipes. After the soles are dry, you can place them neatly in shoe bags. Place your purses and shoes in bins that coordinate with your favorite closet systems.

Step 3 – Tuck your sweaters, shirts and skirts into the bottom of your closet system using a large, zippered fabric bin or shrinkable plastic bags.

After laundering, hand-washing or dry cleaning these garments, fold your items neatly. Place the garments made with natural fibers in a soft, fabric bin or collapsible linen storage container. After zipping the bin or container shut, place it in the bottom of your closet organizer or underneath your bed. To keep your down jackets and ski accessories pristine, store them in a shrinkable plastic bag in the attic.

Off-season Storage FAQ

Can I use a cedar chest to store my garments?
Yes, cedar chests are one of the best moth-repelling storage systems. Just line the cedar chest with undyed muslin, canvas bags or white pillowcases to protect the acidic wood from staining your clothing.

Make sure that your cedar chest is also tight fitting and durable to keep the insects away from your items during the summer.
Should I store my clothes in my closet system, attic or the basement?
When storing your clothes, skip the basement or the attic and store them at the bottom of your customized closet system. A basement is a breeding ground for moisture, while clothes stored in plastic may not survive the hot and cold temperatures of the attic.

Are mothballs great for keeping the bugs away from my clothes?
Mothballs contain compounds that may irritate the eyes or the skin. To keep the moths away use a sachet filled with dried lavender or cedar chips.

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