Even though Californians don’t need to brace themselves for a cold season with plush sweaters and puffer coats, a new season comes with a new wardrobe. Time to put away your denim shorts and sundresses. However, this does not mean cramming stained or unloved items into a box and stowing them away under your bed.
For clothes to look their best—and to ensure they last for seasons to come—it’s important to prep and store them the right way. Here, we’ve rounded up a few tips for sorting out the items you don’t want, cleaning the ones you do, storing them in a way that won’t ruin them, and unpacking your in-season wardrobe no matter what time of year it is.
Follow these tips to seamlessly transition your wardrobe from warm weather to cold and back again.
Spruce Up Your Shoes
Be vigilant with your shoes. Mucky sandals will rub off on other items and packing away smelly sneakers is a recipe for disaster. Use a soft bristle brush to rub off any caked-on dirt, then clean the shoes with detergent and water, baby wipes, or with a cleaner made specifically for the material. Check the brand’s website as most provide detailed cleaning instructions.
Donate, Recycle, or Resell Unwanted Items
While it’s still fresh in your mind, sort out the old or unwanted items. Not loving that shirt or bathing suit anymore? Find a new home for it. Clothing free of stains, holes, or rips can be donated or sold. The rest can be dropped off at textile recyclers—if your local community doesn’t have one, H&M and other stores will take them off your hands, and some might even give you a discount on future purchases. In any case, you should wash and remove stains beforehand. Once you’ve gone through your collection, you’ll most likely have a lot less to store.
Store Clothing in a Dry, Dark Space
Storing your out-of-season clothes in a clean, unused suitcase is a great use of space, as is sticking them in attractive storage containers on the upper shelves of your closet. In order to prevent delicate dresses and blouses from getting crushed, hang them in a single garment bag to keep them protected and contained. Never store the item in a dry-cleaning bag as they trap in moisture.
Unpack In-Season Clothes
If you didn’t do a thorough review of your winter wardrobe last year, do it before putting the clothes back in your closet. Check for stains and tears, and determine whether someone else might get more use out of the items. Utilize Marie Kondo’s “spark-joy” test to make sure you are keeping items for the right reason. If you’re cramming your coats and boots back into your closet, it might be time to give something up.