It’s officially fall time, and that means cooler temps and shorter days. Hardly the kind of weather you’d want to be caught outside in a t-shirt, shorts, or bikini top.

For many people, “putting away” their summer clothes means throwing them in a pile in the closet or under the bed. The problem with this method of storage is that it leaves the clothes susceptible to damage.

Moths, creepy crawlies, your pets, and even an errant vacuum cleaner can destroy hundreds of dollars worth of summer clothes in a matter of minutes.

We’re going to show you the best ways to pack and store your summer clothes so that when you need them again next year, they’ll be as good as new.

First Things First

Before you start to get all Marie Kondo on your clothes, you should give them a good washing first. Bugs and animals (Mr. Kitty or Fido) are more attracted to sweat, body odor, and food stains than they are the fabric of the material.

Body oils and sweat are sometimes invisible to the naked eye, and when left untreated over the fall and winter months, can cause stains to form. When summer of next year rolls around, you’ll find that the stains are already set and impossible to remove.

Where NOT to Store Your Clothes

Now that your clothes are laundered, it’s time to put them away. Try not to store them out in the open in the attic, basement, or garage as these areas are highly susceptible to humidity, which in turn causes mildew.

When mildew starts to form, it views that $100 bikini top as a juicy prime rib steak, that’s just begging to be eaten. Try to avoid storing your clothes in areas that get direct sunlight. Even though the winter sun may seem weak, it can still fade clothing even if it’s only exposed for a few minutes every day.

Look for places that are dry, dark, and have excellent ventilation—if you’re not going to vacuum pack them. If you want to take it one step further, you can buy desiccant packs at any home goods store. They will help absorb excess moisture out of the air and protect your clothes from mildew and mold.

What Should You Store Your Clothes In?

There are two great ways to store your clothes to help prevent them from getting damaged or acquiring a musty smell over the fall and wintertime:

Plastic Storage Bins – If you have the space in your home, plastic storage bins are the perfect container to store your summer clothes. You can buy them at any major home goods store for anywhere from $10 to $20 each.

The only downside to plastic storage bins is that they can get really heavy, depending on how much stuff you pack in there. They also take up a considerable amount of space. This is fine if you have a walk-in closet, but for most people, space in their home or apartment is usually hard to come by.

If you don’t have a walk-in closet, then under the bed may be an option. You can find plastic storage bins that are specifically made to slide underneath your bed that are perfect for packing away clothes, or other items you may not need all the time.

Vacuum Sealed Plastic – Also known as “space bags,” vacuum-sealed plastic bags are another great way to store your summer clothes safely. By removing all of the air inside the bag, it prevents mold, mildew, and funny smells from forming and ruining your clothes.

You can find these bags at almost any store; however, they tend to cost a few dollars per piece. You’ll either need a machine or a hand-help air pump to remove the air from inside the bag.

Once the air is removed, you’re left with a rather bulky and bumpy plastic package. If you have a lot of clothes and shoes, you might find it hard to stack the bags as they’re somewhat uneven.

Where to Store Your Clothes?

If you have run out of closet and under the bed space, you can store clothes in your attic or garage if you’ve vacuum packed everything. If you’ve entirely run out of space, you can always try:

Friend or Family Member’s House – Perhaps a friend or family member will be kind enough to allow you to store a few boxes at their place. Keep in mind that accidents can sometimes happen when you give possession of your items to someone else.

Storage Unit – Storage units are great—if you have a ton of clothes. We mean a literal ton of clothes. Otherwise, they tend to cost more than they’re worth.

There is, however, another way to store your clothes. Livible is a premium, on-demand storage system where you only pay for the space that you use. It’s an affordable way to safely and securely store your clothes.

Simply download the app, box up your clothes, and the Livible delivery drivers will pick up your stuff and store it in one of our climate-controlled, highly secure warehouses.

When summertime rolls around again, open the app on your phone, and schedule the delivery of your stuff back to you. It’s as easy as that!

Safely Store Your Summer Clothes

You spent a lot of time and money finding the perfect summer clothes. It’s a shame if they get ruined due to improper fall and wintertime storage. If you follow the above tips, your clothes will be looking and smelling new when summertime rolls around again.