Granted, not all of us live in places with defined, markedly different seasons, but most of us will still have some items that are reserved for a certain time of year. Whether it's a pair of snow boots, a long-sleeved dress or winter coat, it's crucial to prepare this clothing for storage by deciding what to put away and cleaning it thoroughly.
The first step, deciding what to put away, is one I've just started doing recently. As I've transitioned from modern to vintage clothing I haven't had enough clothing to cycle in and out. This year, however, I have a few pieces that I know I definitely won't be wearing until next season, which for me will be spring.
I also like the idea of storing garments that could work year-round for another reason: closet rotation fun! By putting away some items I love for a few months and pulling them back out later, it will be like getting new clothing. It also forces me to imagine new ways to style garments I already have and wear items I don't get to as often. By limiting my choices, I have to increase my creativity!
There are four things to look at when deciding which clothing to store:
- Which items do I absolutely need this season?
- Which basic garments will I need for mixing-and-matching?
- Which garments do I want for pizzazz?
- What special events will happen this season?
For me, I knew I absolutely needed warm clothing. This means I'm keeping a few long-sleeved dresses, furs, stockings, warm hats, and enclosed shoes in my closet.
I also knew I would need office-appropriate basics for mixing and matching. I'm keeping my trousers, suits, and solid-colored blouses out for this purpose. Lastly, I wanted some winter pizzazz! I've decided to keep out a couple hats, some patterned blouses, and some poppin' shoes.
I also know that this is the season for Christmas parties, and I may have a formal event or two. With that in mind, I've kept a couple formals and my highest heels in my closet for the occasion!
All the rest of it will be stored in my closet and places around my home. However, all of it needs to be properly laundered. It's a good time to air out the items I'll be wearing this season, so I hung them outside in my yard to get some fresh air. (I hung them in the shade to prevent fading from the sun, except my whites which could benefit from some sun-bleaching!)
As for items I'll be storing, I went over them and looked for spots, stains, weird smells, and deodorant residue. It's important to remove these things if at all possible before storing so they don't set permanently or cause discolorations or deterioration while in storage.
Here's a series of questions to help you decide how to wash your vintage pieces (or those not-as-vintage-savvy people in your household…). It's a basic overview, so if you have more detailed questions feel free to ask in the comments below! (You can get a printable version of this chart to hang in your laundry area here!)