Updated: Jan 8, 2021
We all benefit from a beautifully organized closet that provides easy access to our wardrobe.
We focus so much on getting organized that we forget that light and temperature has an affect on the clothes in the closet! Insects, moisture, and plastic can also wreck havoc on our wardrobes!
A few things to consider when storing your clothes:
Basements, attics, and some closets have inconsistent temperature and humidity levels.
If you have a vacation home, try not to store clothes in closets if your visits are infrequent.
Outside walls in a home tend to have higher relative humidity and be mindful of the sun
exposure of a large window exposing your clothes to sunlight resulting in fading.
Most people are aware of material damaging insects such as clothes moths, but note fabric’s worst enemies are changes in temperature, sunlight, and moisture.
Have you ever found an item of your grandmother's in the attic that had fur on one side and a brittle and crumbling side? HEAT was the culprit! - Animal skins and furs require natural oils to remain supple and prevent degradation and loss of integrity of the skin. Dry skins will eventually break down and split.
Sunlight - Be careful if you are in the habit of hanging your jacket or sweater in the window in your car, for long periods of time. The dyes in our clothes are susceptible to sun fading.
Moisture = mold and mildew. Have you ever pulled a purse or shoe from the back of a closet and found mold on them? Closets are generally dark places with little air movement. Add moisture and this is the perfect environment for the growth of mildew. Periodically leave the closet door open to allow air to circulate in the closet.
Living in Florida, it is common to get caught in an afternoon rain shower and our shoes and purse can get soaked quickly. Note: if a leather item (purse, shoes, belts etc) has gotten wet, let it dry completely before returning to your closet. If these items are placed in the closet too soon it could cause mildew and contaminate the closet.
Are you crowding your closet by holding onto clothes you no longer wear? Overcrowded closets results in poor circulation in your closet? Proper air circulation is critical to preserving fabrics.
Did you know, plastic or vinyl bags from the dry cleaner do not allow the garments to breathe properly, which leads to fume fading? Out gasses from the dyes of the garment and linen can collect in the bag and cause fume fading. Also, the lack of air movement caused by dry cleaning bags will permit moisture to collect resulting in mold.
Do you pay attention to your hangers? Why wire hangers are so bad?
Have you ever come across an article of clothing that was left on a wire hanger for years only to find it has rusted and stained the garment? Long term use of wire hangers can have annoying consequences. Knitwear is particularly susceptible to distortion from a wire hanger. The weight of the knit or stretch wear garments can cause the formation of “rabbit ears” at the shoulders as well as stretching of the garment overall. It is best to store these items flat.
P.S. I love the slimline velvet hangers, they take up less room, minimize "rabbit ears," slipping and come in a variety of colors!