Out with the woolies and in with the cool

Packing away your winter woolies will create more space in your wardrobe for your summer clothing. Photo: pixabay

POLOKWANE – Spring is in the air and the trend is towards lighter, cooler clothing and strappy sandals.

What to do about the thick woollen winter warmers, and how to pack it away for maximum protection until next winter?

Here are some packing hacks to make things easier:

Wash or dry clean all items before packing it away.

Make sure items are dry before packing away. Also thoroughly clean the storage space. If not cleaned properly it will attract silverfish and other pests that will eat holes in your clothes, rendering it useless for wearing again.

Be ruthless.

It is also a good time to decide what items you would rather not wear again and throw it out. Sell and donate it.

Some items might be worn out and others are just so out of fashion that you did not wear it the past winter – what are the chances you are going to wear it again? Begin by going through your wardrobe and dresser, and sort items into piles.

Choose a storage space out of direct sunlight

If clothing is left in direct sunlight, it tends to fade. The ideal storage spot for your cold-weather clothes should be cool and dry.

Select your packing materials wisely

The packing materials that you choose can help to determine what state your clothing will be in once you finally take it out of storage. Cardboard boxes, although cheap and readily available, can be penetrated by vermin and can retain moisture, providing the perfect environment for mould and mildew to thrive. Cardboard and wood may also contain chemicals that can transfer on to clothes and damage them.

Pests may be attracted to proteins in the glue that holds them together.

Plastic boxes are generally a better choice when it comes to the moisture damage issue, but they do need to either be completely airtight or have some sort of ventilation system to allow air to circulate.

Fold knitwear and t-shirts.

Folding garments that are made of stretchy materials, such as jerseys and t-shirts, can help keep them in shape during the period of time you keep them in storage. If stored on a coat hanger for a long period of time, some garments can stretch and leave you with a less than ideal fit.

Repair shoes’ heels before storing it.

Come winter you might need it in an emergency and with no time for repairs.

Place the boxes or containers in a cool place that’s off the floor and away from damp, sunlight and any type of heat.

Don’t store clothes in direct contact with wood, as all wood contains acids that can damage textiles over a long period of time and cause yellow and brown stains.

Prevent delicate items from being crushed by ensuring you pack smartly.

As with packing for any house move, it’s best to place bulky and heavy items at the bottom of your chosen space and then work your way up to your daintier garments.

If you’re storing clothes for longer than one season, take them out once or twice a year and refold them along different lines to prevent stress or tears on the creases.

This is also a good way to inspect for damage. If you’re storing your clothing for a long period of time, it’s best to check on it from time to time. Regular checks can help you detect and deal with mould, insects and other problems before things too bad or your garments are damaged.

Label your garments

Although you might not need them right this minute, there might be situations where you need to quickly grab a garment or two out of storage on short notice. Avoid having to trawl through box after box by labelling the contents of each container.

While your labelling doesn’t need to list every single item of clothing included, a rough guide may help save precious time!

Be aware

If you have a down duvet, blanket, or pillow, it requires special care. Store it in a special cotton bag, and not in a vacuum bag.

Use vacuum bags

If space is at a premium, vacuum bags are a great alternative and ideal space save. Vacuum-packed bags can protect items from dirt, damp, mould and bugs.

Vacuum packed clothes – before.

Vacuum-packed clothes – after

Vacuum packing isn’t right for all textiles, though, as natural fibres like wool need to breathe but will allow you to keep out-of-season clothes in the smallest possible space, as you vacuum out the air to create a neat, tightly sealed package.

The bags then take up a lot less room on wardrobe shelves and protect the garments from moths, too.

Get creative

There is no rule stating that you must store your clothes in the bedroom, so make the most of whatever storage space you have. If this happens to be underneath the stairs, fine. Simply box or bag up your winter clothes and hide them in here until the cold weather comes.

Organise out-of-season shoes into boxes

Boots and heavy shoes take up a lot of space and should be neatly stashed while the heat is on, to free up space for sandals and flip-flops. Simply stack them neatly at the rear or in the top of your wardrobe. Before putting shoes and boots to bed for the summer, get them repaired, if necessary, and give them a good clean, too.

Some of the hack were taken from the following websites:
A place for everything
Make up and beauty

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Nelie Erasmus

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