With fall officially here, the time has come to say goodbye (for now) to those gauzy sundresses and make room for cozy cardigans. Instead of simply packing away your summer clothes ‘til next year, why not take the opportunity to pare down and do a bit of wardrobe editing? Get started by asking yourself the following questions:
1. When was the last time I wore it?
If you can’t remember, or the answer is two summers ago, you don’t need it. Donate it to charity or plan a post-season clothing swap with your friends.
2. Can I still wear it?
Before packing up your tank tops, t-shirts, and summer dresses, consider which pieces will still work in the fall and beyond. Dark-hued sleeveless cocktail dresses, for instance, can be worn all year when paired with the right jacket, and your favorite camisole might look even cuter layered under a cardigan.
3. Is it clean and pristine?
Carefully check everything you plan to store for stains, dirt, and holes before packing. Use a stain remover and mend wherever necessary before washing. Experts recommend laundering all garments before storing both to remove dirt and protect against moth infestations.
4. Where will I store it?
Some dry cleaners or storage facilities offer seasonal clothing storage. If you’re planning to use one, ask about their storage container recommendations. When storing your clothes at home, clear plastic containers make it easy to identify your items and protect them against moths and other insects. Luggage that you’re not planning to use this season is also a good option. Avoid cardboard, which is easily penetrated by pests. Be sure to clean your storage containers first, and line them with acid-free tissue paper (which can be found at home stores and wherever storage supplies are sold).
5. Should I hang it or fold it?
Consider a piece of clothing’s fabric and where you keep it when it’s in season. If being folded for nine months will cause permanent creases, keep it on a hanger and store it in a specially designed hanger box. Folded items should be loosely packed to prevent creasing.
6. Where will I store it?
Before purchasing storage containers, consider where they’re going to be stored. You might opt for different containers if you’ll be stacking them in your closet rather then sliding them under the bed. Wherever you store them, make sure the area is clean, dry, and well ventilated. Professionals warn against attics and basements, which are notoriously prone to dampness and mildew. To protect against insects and odors, include a sachet of lavender, rosemary, or cedar chips in each container.