The arrival of autumn, with its fascinating colours and unique atmospheres, brings with it the need to change over from your summer wardrobe to warmer winter one.
This is no minor task. In fact, it often brings its own stresses, but it has to be done, and can even turn into a good opportunity to get rid of to eliminate those clothes and/or accessories that you no longer use or that your children have outgrown.
So, read on for some useful tips on how to store away last season’s garments and organise this season's wardrobe. We’ll see how you should wash and store your clothes using commercial products and/or natural methods like lavender sachets, and what appliances you can use to speed up the process while ensuring optimal results.
One of the things to do as the new season approaches is to wash and dry your lighter summer clothes before storing them away fresh and clean; but also wash, or at least freshen up, the autumn and winter clothing you have taken out of storage.
When not frequently in use, especially if the wardrobe is not regularly aired garments can take on the typical musty smell of wardrobes, no matter how clean and deodorised you keep it.
Nowadays, technology has made great strides, what with the front- and top-loading washing machines and washer dryers being commonly available all have special features to help ensure perfect washing. Some models also offer steam cycles that activate automatically at the end of the wash cycle to reduce wrinkling and therefore speed up ironing.
Moreover, tumble dryers have revolutionised our drying habits, solve the problem of dealing with bad weather. Some dryers also come with steam cycles that freshen up clothes, whether you have just taken them out of storage or you still need to store them away.
When storing away clothes, you should not underestimate the importance of drying thoroughly, especially if you do not have a washer-dryer or tumble dryer and hang out your clothes to dry in the traditional way, hoping for - increasingly rarer and colder - sunny days.
If you have a well-stocked wardrobe, you should think of getting started a little earlier to avoid being caught out by the rain or cold.
Wardrobe: your grandma’s tips
The first thing to do, of course, is to open your wardrobe, take out your summer clothes and arrange them in an orderly way, either on the bed or wherever suits you best.
Then, clean any shelves and drawers to create a healthy, fragrant environment. Now that your wardrobe is clean and aired out, put away your summer clothes, taking care to arrange them tidily and without creasing them and trying wherever possible to hang them comfortably on suitably sized hangers.
For optimal order, use cardboard boxes and cotton sacks, as these materials - unlike plastic - keep away
bad unpleasant odours. You may also find it useful to label any sacks and boxes so that you can find what you are looking for easily. Another trick is to colour code: arrange your clothes, bags and accessories by colour. The effect will be pleasing to the eye, as well as making it easier to identify specific items.
Pay particular attention to beachwear, such as swimsuits, beach towels, sarongs, and so on, which should be washed carefully to remove any salt, sand and chlorine residues and store them away in good condition for next summer.
To gain more space, you can use vacuum sealing, which allows you to store away bulky clothes and accessories in compact spaces.
Finally, it is advisable to use moth-repellents or scented sachets, for example containing lavender, or packaged scented soap bars.
Last but not least, open the wardrobe doors at least once a week to air it and keep your clothes fresh for as long as possible.
Shoes: how to store away last season's shoes
Shoes deserve a separate mention. For many, they are a genuine object of worship, to the point of owning them in large quantities.
The first thing to do, is to select those you no longer wear or that your children have outgrown. Clean the soles and wipe or polish the uppers, depending on the material.
It is a good idea to put this season’s shoes in the handiest part of the shoe-rack and summer shoes and sandals further up, out of the way, only to reverse this order when the warm weather returns.