10 Ways To Help Your Clothes Last From Year To Year

10 Ways To Help Your Clothes Last From Year To Year

Rebecca Orlov
Oct 27, 2008

As a native east coaster, we certainly miss the changing of the seasons, especially from Summer to Fall. So although it's still sunny and hot in Los Angeles, we keep true to the seasonal change by rotating our clothes in our small walk-in closet. We do this for both space and to help keep our clothes in good shape. Check out these 10 things you can try to help your clothes last from year to year.

Try one or all of these suggestions. Since it's your clothes and your closet, you will know which tips will work best for you. Also, while some of these tips may seem to take some work and/or cash (like tip 6), the idea is that your clothes wearability will last longer and, therefore, will save you some money on buying new pieces for next Spring.

Always remove dry-cleaner bags as soon as you get home since plastic doesn't allow clothes to breathe.

Don't store your clothes just anywhere. Storage must be cool, dark, and dry since fabric is delicate and changes with temperature and humidity. Buy some storage containers that fit under beds or in the top of closets.

Invest in moth repellent, ideally made of cedar. Cedar, which comes in hangers, boxes, blocks, and drawer liners, should be sanded with fine-grade sandpaper after each season because otherwise the surface oxidizes, eliminating the moth-repelling scent.

Group clothes by fabric. Fabrics like silks, wool, fur, suede, and leather require the most attention because they are food for bugs in themselves. Keep these apart from plant fibers, such as cotton, linen, rayon, and ramie.

Acidity speeds the deterioration of fabrics. Wood is acidic so if you're storing clothes in wooden shelves or chests for longer than six months then you should place lining down.

Heavy garments, as well as cashmere sweaters and beaded or sequined gowns, should be folded, with muslin or acid-neutral tissue paper to prevent creases. Canvas or muslin boxes are ideal, though pricey, because they allow air to circulate. Clear plastic containers also are an option for short-term storage--up to six months. The longer things are going to be stored, the more finicky you want to be.

Launder or dry-clean everything that you are putting away until Spring. Even if you've only worn it once, you'll avoid stains that set before you next wear your clothes. And don't starch either, this can weaken the fabric.

Cloth garment bags are preferable to plastic for long-term storage and are essential for leathers, which may crack or break off if kept in plastic.

Avoid wire hangers. Use wide, shaped plastic or wood ones instead.

Get rid of clothes that you don't wear anymore. Donate or toss these pieces and mentally clear your head.

[Tips via Real Simple.]

Check out more closet tips from Apartment Therapy here:

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