Store Winter Clothing Properly
Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Lynn, Eng
What do you do with your winter clothes when the cold season ends? Do not throw your sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, and thermals into the nearest container and/or some out of the way place. Doing so will present you with very bad surprises come next winter. Take good measures to store your clothing properly. Follow these nifty tips to ensure that your clothes are safe throughout storage. A little effort can go a long way and make a big difference when it is time to unpack again next year.
Things you might Need
Prepare prior to Storing
You must clean the closet you will use before putting in any of your winter clothing. Mold and mites can damage your clothes if the closet is not clean and dry enough when you store them.
- 1Wash everything.Make sure all winter clothes are washed before you store them (or dry-cleaned perhaps). Insects are fond of and feed on dead skin cells and perspiration. This makes it important for you to wash your clothes before packing them away. Also, a small amount of soil and/or food may not be noticeable at first glance, but they can become stains that are difficult to remove when left uncleaned.Advertisement
- 2Fold all sweaters carefully and slip a piece of acid-free tissue paper into them.Acid-free paper will protect your clothes from stains and deterioration caused by moisture that can gather during the long period that your winter clothes are packed away.
- 3Remember to store your clothing in air-tight bins or completely clean areas.You can also use moth balls and lavender to keep moths at bay. Either buy a moth ball product or simply include cotton sacks soaked in lavender essential oil with your clothes.
- 4Place your storage packs, bags or containers in a cool, dry place.Avoid storing clothes in a hot and humid basement or attic. The heat can make clothes deteriorate and mildew. Place your clothes instead underneath your bed or in the back of your closet.
- 5Prepare sturdy hangers if you're keeping heavy winter coats in the closet.This way you will avoid misshaping clothes during off-season. For boots, check them inside out for any debris, insect or foreign material which may have been left inside. It's a good idea to get the fixed before storing them as well. Stuff them with old newspaper or even tissue paper to ensure that they hold their form, then out them in an airtight box.
Below are different storage methods you can utilize for storing your winter clothes, so pick what is best for you and the environment you're in. Remember not to buy fake containers or use old ones, as this can defeat the purpose of protecting your clothes from damage during the off-season.
- 1Closet.Empty the entire closet and remove dusts, insects, dirt and other debris. If you suspect insect infestation or mildew, do some insect control first, followed by killing the mold. Sort through your winter clothes before storing them, If you happened not to wear it during the past season, there is a good chance you won't wear it again next year. Prepare a bag for such clothes and another for children's clothing that might be too small for them next year. You can give them to charity or even consign them for resale.
- 2Fabric storage.Fabric storage bags offer a flexible and reusable type of storage, but before using them, make sure to run it trough the washing machine in order to remove mold spores and dust. Remember to dry it thoroughly before putting your winter clothing inside, as moist containers allow mildew, mold and other bacteria to gather, this ultimately will result in your clothes being infested and nasty smelling the next time you unpack them.
- 3Plastic containers.If you will be using plastic containers for storage, clean them with a disinfectant cleaner first. Before putting in the clothes, line the container either with a cotton sheet or acid-free tissue papers to keep fragile materials of your clothes from touching the plastic container. If you use a non-transparent container, label each one so you can have quick access to it during unpacking.
- 4Cardboard boxes.Cardboard boxes provide another affordable method for storing winter clothes, as it is moisture absorbent and won't result in too much fuzz when unpacking. Just remember to put it in a dry place and seal the opening completely so that no insect can enter and infest your clothing.
- 5Garbage bags.While not the most beautiful storing material on the list, garbage bags also offer an inexpensive option for storing your winter clothing, it provides a moisture barrier. However they can be easily punctured and do not keep nice folding in place. So you may want to use them only when you have no other option to store your winter clothes.
- 6Vacuum storage bags.This is a very nice storage option. Vacuum bags makes a compact storage option, and act as a complete barrier for your winter clothing. They discourage mold, insects and other harmful elements from bothering your clothes. If you're not planning a vacation soon, you can even put them inside any of your luggage or carry bags during the off-season.Advertisement
In storing clothes, always remember Cool, Clean, Dry and Dark. It will do you good to take note of these four essential steps when storing your winter clothing. Choose a place that is not hot or near any heat sources. Clean all areas prior to storage. Dark storage places prevent fading. Also, keep all clothes in a cool place, and making sure that the place is dry discourages insects and mildews. Now you're all set!
Tips, Tricks and Warning
- Skip ironing your winter clothes prior to storage, as bugs are attracted to starch anyway. It's best to wash them again when you pull/unpack them from their storage space.
- Do not use cardboard boxes if you live in a humid environment/place because they're very susceptible to moisture.
- Moths are naturally repelled by the smell of lavender.
- Refrain from using trash bags for storing boots, because they can potentially damage each other if they have sharp heels.
- Be careful when using mothballs. Pets and even small children are typically attracted to them, with sometimes dangerous results. You can try cedar blocks instead if you sense moths can be a potential danger to your home.
- Storage chemicals must be used with discretion and care, according to their directions.
- Regularly check on the items you have stored to make sure there are no issues.
- Clean all winter clothing after unpacking and before using it.
- Only buy containers that will work together nicely with your storage and environment.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Recent edits by: Lynn, Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo