How do you store out of season clothing?

cearabApril 13, 2009

I'm in a small house with 3 teeny packed closets. I would like to store away my clean winter sweaters and such that I won't be wearing until the fall. My dresser and armoire are stuffed to the gills. I was thinking about purchasing some plastic (air tight) storage bins and filling them with the winter clothes. I can store in my basement; however the basement gets very musty and there is some mildew down there (kept in check with bleach spray). I run a dehumidifier 24/7 in the basement, and it does help, but it still has that dank basement smell. Would these plastic bins work at protecting wool, and then later on, cotton summer clothing?

Any other ideas? I'm out of space and can't think of what else to do.


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I would not store sweaters in plastic bins in a basement. I store wool blankets, down bedding and anything else that's bulky in space bags that are vacuumed sealed with a vacuum cleaner. They are air tight, dust and bug free. Then I think you can put them in the basement if you wish. I have finally pared down our wardrobe requirements and reorganized our closets so that I can store seasonal sweaters and pants in plastic bins on shelves in our closet, and rotate summer clothes into the same bins during the winter. My husband's blazers and dress pants I store in hanging space bags in the closet year round because he uses them so rarely, but they're clean and handy when needed. It's amazing, but the space bags don't wrinkle or crush and when opened, everything comes back to it's original state.
Please don't store anything in plastic bins in the basement or attic unless you vacuum seal them (taking the air out).

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:50PM
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I use the space saver bags- it keeps the clothes smelling fresh and they stay clean, too. Not to mention you don't use up near as much space as using totes.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 12:13PM
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I guess I need to go out and purchase some of those bags:-))
Target/Walmart/BBB? Is there a difference in the quality of the bags? I have never purchased any in the past.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:46PM
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We don't have a lot of heavy clothing here. I put sweatshirts and sweaters in flat boxes and slide them under the bed. Our closet is mostly full of t-shirts, shorts capris year around.

I have a little horror story re: the space bags. I got the gigantic one and managed to pack it as full as I could w/quilts blankets and other things. Vacumed it as flat as posible and slid it under the bed. It sprung a leak and filled up. I like to never got it out from under there. It was tight....since then I don't trust the bags to much. This was a genuine real deal space bag too!!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:59PM
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cearab- I purchased mine at wal-mart that is the only local retail we have nearby. But they are the actual space saver bags and not a knock-off brand.

I have not had a problem with any busting open or refilling with air unless I put too much in them. I did in one of the suit bag style ones and it kept fluffing open- once I took some clothes out it stayed sealed fine.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:24AM
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arizonarose: That's hysterical! A bit like one of those inflatable lifeboats inflating under your bed! That is the one problem with space bags. The tiniest pin hole, or if it's not closed tight, they inflate and become just another plastic bag, which is something you don't want your clothes in, especially in hot or humid climates. When they work -- they're great.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:23PM
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Why are the Rubbermaid bins a problem? I have been storing clothes like that for years and have never had a problem. I even put them in the basement.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:59PM
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ebear: I don't think Rubbermaid bins are a problem, unless you store in hot/humid conditions, and they are not bug tight. In our closet (heated/cooled, above ground) I use plastic bins for seasonal rotation. But I would not put anything of value in an attic or basement. Even so, I vacuum seal our wool scarves, etc. over the summer months and store them in the foyer closet drawers.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:33PM
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