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Elinor Coleman’s Suggestions for Conserving the Freshness of Your Wardrobe

So you are ready to go on vacation or weekend adventure, and all of a sudden such a surprise as you go through your packing!  You find a garment, scarf, purse or shoes which are in need of repair or dry cleaning! How frustrating!  And of course, Murphy’s Law, this particular item is the center of your focus for your outfits!

Well, here are my suggestions for stress-free packing!  And since we all multi- task and take care of spouses, children, parents, or 4 legged companions, there seem to be a never ending roster of please do such and such for me last minute errands. Or even better yet, let us delay our departure while we go by the dry cleaner, shoe repair place, pet food store, jeweler, etc……   All I can say is ugh!

Use these ideas as an outline for yourself or your family and tweak them to fit your space, calendar, and lifestyle.

As you take off an item, or put down a purse, or take off shoes, inspect them right away, or the next day, you will note repair needs right away

Choose a convenient location for your items to be repaired/ to be cleaned items. Laundry room, front hall closet, back door hook or basket/ hamper.

Easy to do basket for machine laundry items on one side/ dry cleaning on the other. They make hampers with several compartments so you could divide light colors from blacks, reds, deep purples. Or clothing from other repairs. Or separate the clothes from the linens and towels.

Create a special hanger for dry cleaning items to be taken in. Or hang up the items needing sewing repairs or alterations.

One day per month- inspect your closets/ wardrobes for stains, smells, repairs

Quarterly spend time going over the next season items. You have already done a one month review of the items you have used many times. Concentrate on items not worn in several months, years.

Store items in chest of drawers with cedar blocks, breathable shoe boxes, breathable jewelry boxes, or tissue paper. Never store items in sealed plastic containers, coffee cans. Remove the cotton from the jewelry boxes, as the cotton only absorbs the moisture of the summer. The rule is: no light, no dust, plenty of air circulating capability. For tissue paper- acid free. Store light colored garments separate from dark colors- blacks, reds, deep purples or blues.

Undo all plastic wrapping from dry cleaned or new items, as this material does not permit air to circulate. Note that plastic dry clean bags over clothing still contain chemicals from the dry cleaner. You can cut the plastic bags so that the top ½ of the garment is covered but the remainder has circulation ability. Closets need your air conditioning as well, leave the door slightly ajar for circulation.

Storage bags for purses are fabric for a reason- they cut out light and dust, but permit the leather to breathe with air circulation.

So in conclusion, here is a photo of wicker basket closed.

I hope these ideas gave you some guidance for a stress-free Summer and worry free wardrobe.


Elinor Coleman, owner of Vintage Mirage

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