It’s time to put away bathing suits, cover-ups, and sandals for the season. But don’t just stash it all wherever you find room, because your future self will be quite unhappy. Each of our summer items need just a little extra TLC and a smart storage space so that they stay fresh for next year. To help you out, our tips will ensure your warm-weather essentials stay in tip-top shape.
Bathing suits? Preclean with dish soap.
From chlorinated water to sunblock stains, your favorite swimsuit is subjected to many damage-causing seasonal elements. The storage tip to the rescue: dish soap. It gently removes grease, sweat and chemicals from the suit’s fabric, helping preserve it. “Simply rub a bit of dish soap into the suit before throwing it in the wash. And use the cold/delicate setting to prevent damaging over-agitation,” says stylist Erica Ball. “Then, just let it air-dry before packing it away for the season.”
Sunglasses? Corral them on a hanger.
Can’t find your sunglasses cases but worry the lenses will get scratched if stored in a pile? Give a clothes hanger a try. Just hook the sunglasses along the bottom rung of the hanger, then cover the hanger with a plastic garbage bag to keep your shades dust and scratch-free until it’s their time to shine again. Says Jacki Moseley of ABeautifulMess.com, “It’s a fun way to store sunglasses. Try it for summer scarves and belts, too.”
Knits? Ward off pests with lavender.
Rather than use chemical-laden mothballs (with such an off-putting smell), preserve knits with lavender, suggests Jessica Litman of TheOrganizedMama.com. “Just add dried lavender to an old sock or stocking, tie it off, and pack it away with your clothes. They’ll stay pest-free and smell great.”
Delicate fabrics? Fend off wrinkles with dryer sheets.
Keep lightweight summer fabrics looking freshly pressed with this storage tip from home organizer Jen Martin of ResetYourNest.com. “When storing delicate items like silks or linen swimsuit cover-ups, the first trick is to loosely roll (rather than fold) them to avoid creases.” Then, just take a dryer sheet and wrap it around each rolled garment. Not only will the sheet relax the fibers to eliminate wrinkles, it will also absorb excess moisture that can lead to mildew and keep your clothes smelling fresh.
Sandals? Stash ’em in a wine box.
Tossing strappy summer shoes in the back of the closet can lead to a tangled mess come next spring. Instead, keep them sorted with a wine box, suggests Vivien Albrecht of PoshPennies.com. “The bottle-size compartments are perfect for stashing each pair,” she says. “If you don’t have a wine box handy, just pop over to your local liquor store and ask for one — they’re always happy to give them away.”
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.