It’s that time of year again when the leaves are beginning to change colour and the air has a chilly, crisp feeling. This is the perfect time to put your summer clothes away and make space for your warm, snuggle-up and cosy items. If you’ve been thinking that you’d like to be more eco-conscious when you make this big seasonal transition, you’ve come to the right place. I’m Your Professional Organiser, passionate about eco-friendly decluttering and organising, and in this blog post, I’ll share sustainable strategies for putting away your summer clothes for the winter.
1. It’s Declutter Time
Before you start packing your summer clothing away, it’s really important to take stock of the items that you have. Look carefully at each item and ask yourself if it’s still in good condition. Rips, tears, holes-these things can tend to put you off when choosing what to wear, unless it’s one of your absolute favourites! Other things to consider are if you have worn the item this past summer season, whether it still fits you in a way that makes you feel amazing or if it still fits in with the styles that you most enjoy wearing. Be honest with yourself, and if the answer is no, this is the time to donate, or even repurpose if you’re more ambitious, the clothes instead of putting them into storage, taking up your space.
It’s worth mentioning that at this point, when your summer clothes are out of the wardrobes, is a great time to give the actually wardrobe a clean. Hoover out those dust bunnies, swipe away those cobwebs and wipe the surfaces down, ready for your winter clothing.
2. Get Washing
It may not seem that important to wash your summer clothes before storing them. I mean, sometimes they come out smelling a bit stale and musty anyway so why bother? This might look like another load of laundry or a dry-cleaning bill, but trust me, it’s worth it. The truth is that making sure that your clothes are clean and free from any odours or stains can prolong their life. It prevents any stains from setting in and even keeps pests away during storage.
3. Eco-Friendly Storage Solutions
This option will ultimately depend on whether where you are going to be storing your summer items is dry or there is no possibility that mice might find them. Those little creatures are quite good at finding anything that can be chewed, as you may know. If you are feeling confident that your clothes will be dry and mice-free, you may want to invest in eco-friendly storage containers. Breathable fabric bags, natural fibre garment bags or storage boxes are a good alternative to plastic. The materials in these items will allow your clothes to breathe and reduce the risk of any moisture damaging your precious summer items.
4. To Fold, Roll or Hang
The way that you decide to store your summer clothes will depend on a few things such as the room you have for storing, what materials the items are made from and whether you mind a wrinkle here and there. It’s almost impossible to store clothes away without getting some wrinkles (unless you have the space to hang all of your items). But you can do a few things to reduce the number of wrinkles. Folding or rolling your clothing will help to lessen the creases that occur, and at the same time, it will maximise the space in your storage containers. For your more delicate items, you can hang them in natural fibre garment bags or wrap them up inside of a pillowcase.
Just a note about fabrics and keeping your clothes safe from damage when storing them. Try and separate any fabrics that can be easily snagged from clothing that is embellished or embroidered. Doing buttons and zips up also helps to prevents snags and helps the clothing to keep its shape, too.
5. Natural is Best
Instead of using chemical mothballs, which in my opinion smell quite unpleasant anyway, opt for natural products. Lavender bags or cedar wood are great options and smell really nice, too. Not only will they keep your summer clothes smelling rather pleasant, but they will keep any nasty pests away, too.
6. Label it Up
When you start to take your summer clothes out of your wardrobes and drawers, sort specific items into categories. That way when you store them, all similar items will be together, which will make unpacking them so much easier. Take a bit of time to label your storage containers or bags with whatever is inside as this will save you heaps of time when it comes to bringing it out of storage and putting everything away.
7. A Bit Like Red Wine
Once you have all summer clothing washed and stored into its containers, try and choose a cool, dark and dry place (just like that wine) for your items to hibernate over the winter. This will prevent any colours from fading due to the direct sunlight. Basements, wardrobes, lofts or under-bed storage can be great options if damp-proof.
8. Reflect in Spring
In spring, before the days get too warm, it’s wise to revisit you summer clothes so you’ll be completely ready when the summery season starts. This is a great opportunity to have another think about what you want to keep or what you want to let go of based on your ever-changing style and clothing needs. You may even be feeling like it’s time to repeat the decluttering process!
The changeover of your summer clothes into winter storage can be both an organised yet sustainable process. By following these eco-friendly tips, you will not only help your clothes last longer but also reduce clothing waste and save money in the long run. Your professional organiser is here to help you declutter sustainably and create a more organised and eco-conscious living space. Embrace the change of the seasons with a clear mind and a clutter-free closet!
Are you doing a wardrobe switch over? Share your thoughts and experiences of sustainable ways to go through this process below. Or if you’d like some help to get things done more quickly and easily, feel free to get in touch for a consultation.