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Storing Clothing

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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It's time to rotate the clothes in the closet. Many times the hardest decision is how should I store each season's clothes. Storing winter clothes is probably the most challenging. Tips to help storage dilemma of seasonal items:

Make sure all items are clean before storing. Launder or dry clean according to cleaning label on the garment. Check all garments, even if you think they are clean, they may have hidden soils. Do not use fabric softener or starch in garments stored for a longer length of time. Clean all pockets and remove any jewelry from garments before storing.

Make sure items are completely dry before storing. Damp or wet clothes may become moldy and mildewy.

When selecting a storage container consider using suitcases. Boxes or tubs can be used depending on the items and storage area. Select a dry area. Line the container with a muslin or cotton sheet or wrap items in tissue paper. Pillowcases may be used to store items in suitcases and then if the suitcase needs to be used the items can be remove easily.

Clothing may be stored in a closet or drawers. Be sure to thoroughly clean shelves and drawers before storing the items. It is a good idea to clean closets or other storage areas a least once a year. Closets should be allowed to air out, occasionally. Leave the door open.

Avoid storing items in plastic cleaner bags. They do not allow items to breathe. Cloth or canvas garment bags are the best use of hanging storage in a closet or storage area.

Mend all garments before storing.

Roll items to decrease the number of fold and creases. If you need to fold items fold at seam lines, as much as possible.

Label all containers with content and date.

The important thing to remember when storing clothes is to make sure they are clean. This will help eliminate insects and moth damage as they go for areas of soil to feed on.

Remember proper storage, care and maintenance of clothing will prolong the life of your clothes.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was added April 2008 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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