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Storing Your Summer Wardrobe

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Seasons have changed and the challenges of what to wear is a daily task. As cooler weather is more common each day it is time to put away the summer clothes and bring out the sweaters, wool items and coats.

As we prepare to store summer clothes and bring out the fall and winter items it is important to store items correctly. Tips for storing clothes include:

  • Launder or clean anything that will be stored. Small amounts of food or soil on a garment can attract insects. Items appearing to be clean may have hidden soils or stains. It is recommended not to use fabric softener, starch or sizing on items that will be stored.
  • Make any repairs - sew on buttons, mend ripped seams, repair hems that are loose or out.
  • Clean the area where the clothes will be stored — closet or tubs. Vacuum the closet. Use attachments to get in the corners and crevices to pick up dust, hair, lint, etc. If items are stored in drawers, clean them well also.
  • Wash plastic tubs with a disinfectant cleaner. Always read the directions of any product before purchasing and using. Tubs can be lined with a cotton sheet or muslin.
  • Sort through clothing before storing. If there are items that weren’t used the past season or ones that are to small or are worn out, give them to a charity or discard them. No need to store items that won’t be used next year.

Woolen sweaters and garments stored in mothballs during the summer may have an odor when they are taken out of storage. It will take time for the odor to come out the fabric. To eliminate the odor, take the garments out of storage as early as possible and give them time to air out. Hang or lay them in open spaces so fresh air will circulate around them. Let the garments air for several days. Avoid placing them in the sun. The odor will come out as mothballs are a pesticide and need fresh air and time to break down.

Clothing should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated area, away from artificial or natural light. Store items in an even temperature area. Avoid attics, damp basements and garages.

Now is the time to clean the closets, drawers and other areas where clothes are stored. Change out clothes for the season and make sure everything is clean before putting it away for the season.


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(This resource was updated November 2012 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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