How to Store Your Summer Clothes for Winter in Chicago

A young couple folding summer clothes and placing them in boxes for storage.

Chicago is amazing in the fall. From Oktoberfest and haunted tours to seasonal events at Brookfield Zoo, there's no better place to enjoy the gorgeousness of autumn than the Windy City. You'll need to make room for those cozy sweaters and warm jackets, though. Learn how to store clothes properly as we transition from steamy summer weather to the cooler months.

You'll learn how to prepare your clothes for winter storage. We'll walk you through the dos and don'ts of packing your clothes for storage to keep pests away, to avoid mold, and preserve your clothes’ original condition. We've also outlined tips for proper summer clothing storage.

Why Knowing How to Store Clothes for Each Season Matters

 

Knowing how to pack clothes for storage helps preserve your wardrobe and make seasonal transitions easier. Packing your garments with care also helps prevent pests and ensures your clothes retain their original shape. Incorrectly placing them in storage, however, can result in sagging, stretching, and holes. You've spent hard-earned cash on those clothes, so knowing how to store them properly will only increase your return on investment in your wardrobe.

Preparing Your Clothes for Winter Storage

 

The condition of your clothes before you store them makes a difference, too. Putting your apparel away without washing or dry-cleaning can spell disaster. Even if you wore an item briefly without cleaning it, you could end up with a smelly piece of clothing when you go to retrieve it in the spring. 

Before packing any boxes, wash and dry your clothes thoroughly (or have them dry-cleaned if necessary). If you're worried about clothes-eating moths making a meal out of your spring and summer knits, put dried lavender in a breathable pouch with your clothes. You can also try cedar wood blocks, but don’t let the blocks actually touch your clothes. The oil in cedar wood can transfer to the fabric and become an everlasting part of that garment.

Mild scents you didn't even notice could become permanent after fermenting in storage over winter. The same goes for spots. You may be tempted to overlook a minor spill, but putting your garment away unwashed can turn a tiny discoloration into a nasty stain. Additionally, pests find sweat and other gross odors alluring, making a pre-storage wash vital.

How to Pack Clothes for Storage

 

Knowing how to store clothes may seem simple, but certain techniques can protect your wardrobe. Before we tell you how to store seasonal clothes, we'll start with what not to do:

  • Don't use wire hangers
  • Avoid the mold risk that comes with plastic dry-cleaning bags
  • Don't let cedar wood blocks or mothballs touch your clothing

Hanging delicate clothes is risky. Lessen the risk of dimples, creases, tears, or misshaping by using padded hangers. Consider investing in a garment rack for hanging delicate clothes that shouldn’t be folded. You can get a stylish one for your home to act as a piece of decor or an inexpensive, space-saving one if you plan to stash it away in your basement or a storage unit.

Carefully folding clean clothes and placing them in plastic containers away from sunlight and dampness is optimal. To save even more space, roll up your clothes after you've folded them. You'll be surprised at how many more pairs of shorts and T-shirts you can pack into a container!

Speaking of containers, choose to spend a little more cash on plastic bins. Many nearby retailers offer a variety of sizes, and these plastic bins slide easily under beds and into closets and stack neatly to help save space. If you have the choice between a plastic bin or a cardboard box, go the plastic route; not only will those plastic bins last for years to come, but cardboard boxes can make your clothing more susceptible to damage from moisture, mold, and bugs.

Where to Store Your Summer Clothes

 

Basements, garages, and attics can seem like good options. They're out of the way yet within easy reach. But basements and garages can be damp, making them breeding grounds for mildew and mold. 

Sunlight exposure and moisture are common hazards in attics. If you can, use a guest room closet or reserve a storage unit near your home. Alternatively, climate-controlled units offer the ultimate protection with temperature and moisture control. 

Once you've found the right option for you, follow these tips for proper storage:

  • Choose same-sized containers
  • Place heavier containers on the bottom
  • Put off-season and seldom-used items in the back, leaving room for an aisle

Label each container to make retrieving your swimsuits, tees, tanks, and shorts easier next spring.

Free Up Space for Your Fall Wardrobe with Safeguard

The return of fall means a new opportunity to streamline organizing your belongings. As you prepare to clean and pack your things, set aside anything you don't love or haven't worn for a year; some minimalists even toss anything they haven't worn for six months. While we recommend the tearing-off-the-bandage method, giving yourself a one-day decision deadline may make parting with those once-loved items easier.

Now that you know how to store seasonal clothes the way experts do, you’ll need the perfect place to protect your off-season clothes and other belongings and free up space in your home. 

Safeguard Self Storage offers secure, conveniently located units in several Chicagoland locations. Contact us for assistance, or reserve a unit online today.

Getting the Most Mileage Out of Your Clothes

When it comes to fast fashion, there are few benefits for you or our planet. Although these clothes may be affordable and on-trend with high-end fashion retailers, they are cheaply made and eventually contribute to a significant amount of waste in landfills around the globe.

While we all want to dress in a way to express our personalities, there is a global price to pay when you choose to shop at fast-fashion retailers—and that price is contributing to more carbon emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste.

At Safeguard Self Storage in Brooklyn, NY, we all want to do our best for the planet while expressing our individuality, which is why we wanted to take a closer look at how you can get the most out of a fashionable wardrobe without impacting the environment.

Why Is Fast Fashion Bad?

It's hard to resist the latest trends when you can buy three affordable versions at a fast-fashion retailer. And, while it can be fun to invest in easily accessible, trendy clothes for a diverse wardrobe, that joy wears off quickly due to changing trends or items falling apart from poor craftsmanship. Speaking of changing trends: as styles change with the times, fast fashion houses are forced into manufacturing new articles of clothing to keep up, which contributes to significant global carbon emissions.

Cheap materials quickly wear out. Once those new jeans fade or lose their shape, you move on. Think about the expense of stuffing your closets with fast fashion. Replacement costs add up, and replaced items end up in a landfill if they are not disposed of properly or donated. Remember, quality lasts, and that's better for your long-term budget and the health of our planet.

Stop Before You Toss

It may seem easy to throw out inexpensive items, but make sure to stop before you toss. Remember that fabric decomposing in landfills emits toxic greenhouse gases, and clothes are always better off being donated. If an item is torn or damaged, sew it up yourself or support a local business that offers mending services.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Invest in your wardrobe and our planet by making quality clothing purchases, even if they have a higher up-front cost. These items will be wearable and durable for years to come and can be easily mended if damage occurs.

Additionally, try to source ethical, trustworthy clothing companies that work hard to reduce carbon emissions and treat their employees fairly. And always follow the recommended care instructions to ensure your washing machine doesn’t harm them.

How Clothing Storage Can Help

Rather than tossing out or donating the clothes you already own, you can make room in your closet for high-quality items by adding additional storage space with Safeguard. With our wide selection of climate controlled self storage units, you can keep the items you’ve already purchased out of landfills, save space at home, and come back to them whenever you desire.

When you organize clothes for self storage, you can also clear up cluttered home storage spaces and donate things you don't want to keep. In addition, you can monetize extra items by selling them to a used clothing dealer near you. The idea is to give old clothes a new life instead of throwing them away, allowing you to transition from fast fashion to a wardrobe that lasts—and that's good for you and the planet.

Store Extra Clothes at a Safeguard Facility Near You

Safeguard Self Storage can help you protect our environment by giving you affordable storage solutions that always fit. We offer climate-controlled clothing storage in Brooklyn in a variety of sizes (including units the size of a standard closet), and our leasing options are flexible, too. You want the best clothing storage available, and Safeguard is here to help. Call us today to rent a unit or reserve a space online!