Marie Kondo has a lot to answer for.
Enchanted with organising since early childhood, the Japanese tidying expert was given her own series on Netflix and as a result is almost solely responsible for Australia’s obsession with transforming our cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.
Which is all very well, of course, when you have Howards Storage World just down the road, a two-car garage sitting empty and an attic begging to be filled.
When space is at a premium, how and where should strata residents put clothes and bed linen that is no longer in season?
It’s pointless playing the game when you don’t know how many opponents you are dealing with. So the first thing most experts will recommend you do is to take stock of just how many clothes, shoes, summer weight doonas and blankets you have.
Put aside any you intend using next season and discard any items you won’t use.
Make one pile for donation and another pile for any clothes whose best days are behind them. These can be cut up to use as rags or offered to your nearest rescue shelter where they could have a new life keeping rescue animals warm.
Prepare for storage
You don’t want any nasty surprises the next time you access stored clothing and linen so it is best to machine wash or dry clean everything before you pack and store away.
Sprays, perfumes, body lotions and even perspiration can cause yellowing and stains that are difficult to get out and may attracts moths and other insects.
Washing before storage can help prevent odour, mould and mildew and prevent stains before they settle into the fabric.
To prep your shoes for storage, first remove all dirt and sprinkle them in baking soda as this will this help remove any associated odours.
Consider stuffing them with clean newsprint to help them maintain shape and prevent creasing and store them in pillow cases to keep them looking and smelling fresh.
Smart storage solutions
While it is tempting to push our summer clothes to the back of the wardrobe when it cools down, silks and linens will quickly lose shape if not stored properly.
Instead, fold T-shirts and other casual items and place in a suitable storage container with a strong lid, ensuring you stack heavier items such as purses and accessories on the bottom and lighter items on the top.
Where possible, try to pack and store the garments as loosely as possible to allow them to breathe. Add extra balls of scrunched up acid-free tissue paper and insert them between clothes so air can circulate.
Dresses, skirts, silks and leather items that need to be hung should be placed in breathable (non-plastic) garment bags and placed on racks to protect them from dust.
Place summer weight bedding into airtight storage containers and place in a cool, dark, dry space such as under the bed, linen closet or wardrobe.
It is wise to avoid placing bed linen in plastic boxes with lids or in cardboard boxes. Mould loves to breed in the humid confines of plastic and it can be a moisture trap which could cause mildew on your clothes.
Another expert tip to keep your stored goods looking and smelling good is to deploy the use of lavender sachets.
These have lots of different uses. Not only do they help keep clothing and delicates smelling lovely, lavender sachets are also a natural alternative to mothballs, which are toxic, and they help to repel moths.