Should You Wash Your Seasonal Clothes Before Storing Them?

With the changing seasons comes lots of excitement since each turn of the calendar brings new possibilities. However, this also means it's time to store your seasonal clothing. Typically, clothes are stored two times a year: before summer and winter. In the spring, coats are replaced with shorts and bathing suits; in the fall, bathing suits are put away, and coats return.

There are a number of benefits to storing away seasonal items, and of course, the main reason is to give yourself more dresser and closet space. Storing away clothes will also help you organize the garments you currently use. HowStuffWorks adds that each time you bring your stored pieces out, it will feel like you went on an extensive shopping spree for a new wardrobe. This can lead to more excitement about the items you own. But there is a certain method for storing your seasonal clothes, and you may be wondering if you need to clean your outfits before you put them in storage. We've got you covered!

Should seasonal clothes be cleaned?

Put simply — yes, seasonal clothes should be cleaned before being stored. Zips Cleaners say that summer clothes should be washed because your items may have stains like those from grass that will be impossible to remove after six months. HGTV also points out that some stains may be invisible at first but become observable over time if not properly cleaned. Another reason to clean them is that smelly clothes could attract bugs, damaging your pieces. Additionally, a foul-smelling article of clothing will give all your clothes in the bin a fetid odor.

Washing your winter pieces to prepare for the summer is also essential. According to Charlie's Soap, your coats and sweaters may have stains, damage from winter salt, or smells. Wool coats, sweaters, and snow gear like pants and gloves can typically be cleaned in the washing machine. However, coats made of delicate items like leather and fur should be taken to the dry cleaners before being stored.

Tips on storing seasonal clothes

Before packing your clothes away for six months, you should take the time to carefully consider if you want to keep each piece. HowStuffWorks recommends throwing away or donating items that haven't been worn in a year or a year and a half. You could also try selling your clothes online or to a consignment shop. If you're on the fence about a piece, you could try it on, and it might not look the same way you remember.

Charlie's Soap says to store clothes in plastic bins to protect them from bugs and moisture. Don't use cardboard or light boxes because these could easily break or damage. When storing large items like heavy snow coats, you could vacuum seal them to save space. Also, keep the bins in a safe and dry place. Avoid the attic or the basement, as these areas are not well ventilated or temperature controlled, per HGTV.