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10 Tips to Keep Your Wardrobe in Good Shape

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10 Tips to Keep Your Wardrobe in Good Shape
Photo © J.Crew

With a little TLC, your clothes can last you a decade or more—no kidding. Learn how to store them, wash them and care for them the right way will save you not only money, but precious time, too. Read on to find out how.

Always put your clothes away immediately.At the end of the day, it may be the last thing you want to do, but it’s imperative that you put your clothes away. Toss what’s dirty in the laundry hamper and hang or fold what can be worn again before another wash. This way, the next time you’re looking for that favorite polka dot blouse, it will be hanging in your closet, exactly where it’s supposed to be, and wrinkle-free.

Hang what needs to be hung. In general you should hang your pants, jackets and coats, dresses, skirts and blouses. A rule to follow: If you’re likely to have to iron it, it goes on a hanger. Checkout these great hangers.

Fold what needs to be folded. Anything with weight that could potentially get stretched out should be folded. That includes your sweaters, anything knit and lingerie. T-shirts are thin and should be folded, too.

Wash them correctly.Hand wash lingerie and swimsuits, or place them in a lingerie bag in your machine’s gentle cycle. Always separate your light clothes from your dark so your whites don’t get stained. Wash in cold water for the best color preservation and use the lowest setting on the dryer. You may also want to consider line drying your delicates and anything else that you don’t want to shrink. Read on for more laundry tips.

Wash less often.Not every item of clothing needs to get washed or dry cleaned the minute you take it off. Suit jackets, dresses and even some blouses can be worn two or more times in between washings. You’re not being lazy, you are preserving the life of your clothes.

Attend to stains immediately. The longer a stain sets, the harder it is to remove. If the item of clothing that is stained is machine-washable, your best bet is to rinse it in cold water as long as possible. If it is dry clean only, take it into your dry cleaner at your earliest possible convenience. Let him or her know what the stain is and leave the removal to the professionals.

Dry clean as needed.Speaking of dry cleaning, dry clean your nicer clothes as needed. Remember, that’s not likely after every single wearing.

Iron on the right setting.Heat is quite possibly your clothing’s number one enemy. Don’t iron on too high a setting and don’t use steam heat unless it is specifically recommended on the care tag of your clothing.

Store bags stuffed.When you aren’t carrying a handbag and are ready to store it for a season, always store it stuffed, not empty. When it’s empty it can start to collapse on itself and won’t be in good shape when you go to use it a few months down the line.

Store shoes the right way.Never store shoes that are damp or have salt stains. Let them dry first by stuffing with newspapers or rags and always give leather shoes a quick rub down with a shoe shine pad to remove any salt during the winter months. Store your boots with trees in them. Store pumps, heels and other shoes neatly on your choice of rack.

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