I’ve had the idea to start this blog for a long time, but I kept putting it off in favor of…well, almost anything else. Until, that is, the next item on my project list was swapping out my summer and winter clothes. That’s when I thought, I really need to get the new blog started NOW. But cool weather is here (Memphis), and my winter clothes are kind of in the way piled on my bedroom floor.
Today was swap day in Casa Cammy. As usual, I had made a mountain out of a
molehill medium-sized hill. While the process does require some thinking, creativity, and time, I actually have a routine that works pretty well. I shared it awhile back on The Tippy Toe Diet, but given the time of year, it bears revisiting here.
SIMPLE STEPS TO A SMOOTH SWAP
1) Sort first! My first instinct when thinking about storage is to go shopping for new (and cute!) storage containers. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s more efficient to first identify any clothes that are torn, stained, stretched, ill-fitting, and/or out of style, and get rid of them. If you’re not going to wear them, there’s no sense in storing them and no need for new containers, no matter how cute they are!
2) Go through the pockets of any clothes you’re putting away. If you’re a pocket-tucker, you might find lipsticks or other products that could stain when the clothes are packed away. If you’re lucky, you might find some cash!
3) Launder or dry clean clothing before you pack it away. Minor stains could set, plus bugs and other icky creatures will eat through your clothing in search of that teensy little grape jelly (sugar-free, I’m sure) on your favorite sweater.
A couple of notes about dry cleaning: DO NOT store your clothes in their dry cleaning bags. The chemicals used in cleaning build up, along with (possibly) mildew and mold. Eeeew. Also, DO NOT have your clothes starched at the dry cleaners before packing them away. Bugs *love* starch.
4) Sort clothes by fabric type. Protein-types like wool, silk, suede, leather, or–Heaven forbid!–fur should be packed together in breathable containers to prevent drying out or cracking.
Plant-type fabrics such as linen, cotton, and rayon should be packed separately. Since bugs are more likely to go for the protein-y fabrics, having these clothes packed elsewhere eliminates them from the feast.
5) Choose your storage containers. For breathable storage, think canvas or mesh. For airtight storage, I prefer the under-the-bed type storage boxes for their size. I stack them on a closet shelf, instead of under the bed) as I find them to be less bulky to lift than the big tub-style storage boxes.
6) Consider using some sort of moth repellent. (Not everyone can, because of the strong scent.) Cedar is a good choice. Just remember to give the pieces a light sanding between seasons to reactivate the oil in the wood.
If you’re using airtight containers, consider adding some desiccant packs to capture moisture and help prevent mildew.
I have no affiliation with any of those businesses; I just like them.
7) Choose your storage location, which should be a cool, dry place. That, of course, eliminates the storage places most of us have and use: basements, attics, garages, and outside storage buildings. Bad ideas, as it turns out. Moisture invites mold and mildew, and excessive heat can break down the fibers in fabrics, a lesson I learned the hard way when I bought my first house and promptly used one of the two attics as off-season clothing storage. Cool and dry is the way to go.
Guest bedroom closets are great for off-season storage. Under the bed works well if your bed is high enough. If you’ve got room in your main closet, stack the boxes in the back of it.
Another possibility is to create functional storage. Stack boxes bed- or sofa-height, and then put a round piece of wood and a cloth over them to create a nightstand/end table. Or put a metal garbage can, preferably a new one, to work. (I know, too much HGTV.)
I’m so glad to have The Semi-Annual Swap out of the way now. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to buy any new containers. Maybe next year.
Do you have any storage tips or advice to offer? Or maybe a cute storage container source I haven’t heard of?