With the weather starting to warm up it's time to ditch the duffle coat and reach to the back of the wardrobe for lighter layers. If you're not blessed with the closet space of a Kardashian, it's a good time to think about seasonal clothes storage.
To help you sort your seasonal clothes storage, we caught up with an expert. Vicky Booker is a Personal Stylist and Coach, helping her client's to build their personal brand and confidence.
Q: What are the benefits of a seasonal wardrobe change over?
A: If you’re tight on wardrobe space, the obvious benefit is making room to see what you have. When things are packed in tightly, it’s easy to forget that piece stuck at the back. And it’s not great for the clothes to be squished up getting all creased and cramped! It’s also a chance to reflect on what you have, refresh and renew.
Q: What are your top tips for tackling a seasonal wardrobe change over?
I treat it as a chance to do your own wardrobe audit/review. How you wish to tackle it depends on how much time you wish to dedicate to the task. You could go all out and Marie Kondo. Get EVERYTHING out on the bed and evaluate every piece to see if it sparks joy, then discard those that don’t. Alternatively, carry out a quicker sweep to sort out what’s staying and what’s had its day. Either way, make sure you’re honest with yourself about whether it’s something that still works for you. Think about whether it's a good colour and fit for you. Ask yourself whether you’ll be happy to see it again next season.
Q: What recommendations do you have for practically storing items of clothing? How should they be packed to keep them in the best condition?
If you’re storing stuff away, it must be clean and dry beforehand. So, you’ll need to get down the dry cleaners for the specialist stuff, or pull on the rubber gloves and get hand washing if needs be! If it goes away damp or worn, it could end up going mouldy in storage. Another benefit of spending a bit of time getting the clothes in good nick when you store them is they’ll be ready to pull out next season.
Use acid-free tissue paper to wrap delicate items as this stops any discolouration which can occur with standard packing materials. It's worth investing in specialist storage boxes for valuable or special care items. Another great invention is the vacuum storage bag. You literally stick a hoover in, and it sucks up the excess air and shrinks everything down smaller! These are good for big bulky items such as coats and jumpers. Do use these with caution though; they're not really suited to delicate pieces.
Q: Do you have any specific tips for people using self-storage facilities for seasonal clothes storage?
Do keep your shoe boxes. They're great for storing, not just shoes, but also other accessories like scarves. Use a suitcase as it will hold a lot of items in a reasonably compact way. Do label any boxes and bags that you put into self-storage. If you do need to retrieve something you'll be able to get to it easily.
Q: What items of clothing should never be far away even if they’re offseason?
The main challenge in the U.K. is our lovely unpredictable weather! It’s been known to snow in April and be boiling in September or October. So while you may store warm chunky knits away for the summer, I’d always keep a fine knit and a cardigan or two to hand for when you need to cosy up. Also, come autumn do keep a bikini or swimsuit as you deserve a spa day in wet and miserable February! Classic pieces like a leather biker jacket can be good all year round, and I keep all my scarves to hand as I wear the thinner ones as cover-ups in the sun, and an extra layer in air-conditioned summer venues.
Q: As fashion trends come and go are there ever items of clothing that should go into long-term storage because they have too much potential value or sentimental value just to donate or toss aside?
Sentimental clothing is so interesting to me. I do a lot of wardrobe reviews with people, and I often get people struggling to let go of things because they have sentimental value. I never force clients to get rid of anything if it really does hold value (and that it’s a positive memory). A wedding dress is an obvious one. Or perhaps a vintage Chanel jacket passed down from a glamorous mum or aunt. I have kept a handful of my ‘going out’ clothes from my formative years in the ’90s. These have now come back into fashion this season, making me feel sartorially old for the first time! Now and then, I get them out and recall the memories, or show my nieces. It’s important they’re packed and stored well, but that you do still get enjoyment from them.
Q: Would you recommend using self-storage facilities to store clothes offseason?
If you’re lucky to have a full wardrobe, but are short on space at home, self-storage is a great option. Do follow the careful cleaning and packing advice I mentioned above. It's also a great option for things you really do only use once a year or less (like ski-gear or specialist sports clothing, which also tends to be quite bulky. Additionally, consider secure self-storage for any valuable pieces that you’re storing as an investment or to hand onto someone.
Thanks to Vicky for her tips and advice. You can visit Vicky's website HERE or find her on Facebook.
If you need to invest in some seasonal clothes storage contact us at Blue Bear Self-Storage in Petersfield or Buckingham. We offer savings of up to 75% of conventional self-storage operators. We are living proof that storage doesn’t have to cost the earth. What’s our big secret? Easy, we keep it simple! Contact us HERE.