Putting Winter Away: How to Store Clothing and Linens
As the seasons change, so does your wardrobe and your need for heavier linens. Here are some ways to care for and store your fabrics as spring arrives.
It’s that time of year again – the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining! I’ve just spent the weekend putting my winter items away to make room for the spring ones. Tucking winter away is more than just shoving everything into the back of the closet – here’s how to put it all away so it will still be in good shape for next year:
Inspect all items before storing – stains can become permanently set if they are not dealt with, and it’s better to fix small holes or pulls sooner rather than later. Wash or dry clean (follow the label) all clothing before storing to ensure that all sweat and mites (ew!) are long gone as these can fester away during storage and cause damage.If you are having your clothes professionally cleaned make sure to take them out of the dry cleaning plastic cover ASAP – those are the ideal grounds for mildew growth.
Use your used suitcases
Unused suitcases are an ideal place to store seasonal clothing because they will keep the clothing fresh, and they are usually empty and taking up room anyway – win win! Cedar storage chests also work well and can often do double duty as a table.
If you do not have suitcases or chests plastic bins with lids are fine for seasonal storage. Fold items neatly and place in gently – as opposed to jamming items all in. It’s best to store in a closet, under the bed or another similar dark dry area. Basements and attics should be used with care because they can get humid and damp.
Give boots the boot
As with clothing, make sure you repair and clean boots before storing. For pricier shoes you want to have last for years it may be worth taking them to a shoemaker to clean up any scuffs and gouges before putting them away for the season. Stuff newspaper into the boots – get right down into the toes – to absorb odors and moisture and keep them fresh. Boot shapers can be purchased to help boots stand upright, to keep the shape and prevent creases, but I use rolled up magazines and this seems to work the same way – and is much cheaper! Again, dry dark areas work best for preservation.
Blankets and heavier linens
I feel like a broken record – clean and repair these before storing. Bins, chests or suitcases are great for storing linens and blankets too, but because of their size they can take up a lot of room. Vacuum storage bags are a great option for bulkier items. Place the blankets, bedding, etc into these bags and use your vacuum hose to pull out all the extra air, making the bag flatter and easier to store.
Lovely lavender and cedar
Some people place mothballs in with their clothing and linens but cedar chips or lavender sachets work just as well for repelling moths and small pests. Using lavender and cedar also won’t give off the pungent odor that mothballs do, and they are much safer if animals or children happen upon them.
Thinking and planning ahead
When it starts to cool down next fall and it’s time to bring your winter gear out again – I know you probably don’t want to think about that – but you will appreciate the time you took now to ensure these products are ready to go.