As winter fades and warmer days approach, it’s time to pack away those heavy coats, woollen sweaters, and thermal wear. Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality and longevity of your winter garments. Here are several tips on how to store winter clothes in top condition until the next cold season.
Declutter and Clean Before Storing
Before packing everything away, take a moment to review your winter wardrobe. If there are items you didn’t wear at all during the past season, consider donating or recycling them. This not only saves storage space but also helps in maintaining a streamlined wardrobe.
Ensure everything you want to keep is thoroughly cleaned. Dirt, oils, and unnoticed stains can become permanent if left untreated over time. Washing or dry-cleaning items before storage also deters pests, as they’re attracted to sweat and food particles.
Winter footwear, especially leather ones, need care before storage. Clean them thoroughly, condition if necessary, and use boot shapers or stuff them with newspaper. This ensures they retain their shape and are free from dirt and salt stains.
Understand How Thing Should Be Stored
Bulky winter wear like down jackets can consume a lot of storage space. Vacuum-sealed bags compress these items, saving space and offering protection from moisture, dust, and pests. They also prevent unwanted creases and wrinkles. Before storing items like jackets or cardigans, zip them up or button them down. This simple step ensures they maintain their shape and reduces the risk of snags or tangles with other garments.
Different fabrics have unique care requirements. By grouping items of similar materials together, you can ensure that each garment gets the specific care it needs. For instance, woollens should be stored away from fabrics that might snag them.
Knitted items, especially heavy ones, can stretch and lose their shape when hung for extended periods. It’s best to fold them neatly, ensuring they retain their original form. Store them in drawers or stack them on shelves to prevent distortion. You should occasionally rotate them to ensures even weight distribution, preventing any garment from bearing too much pressure, which can lead to creases or damage.
If you must hang certain items, like heavy coats, use sturdy, padded hangers. These hangers provide adequate support, ensuring the garment retains its shape and doesn’t acquire hanger marks.
Winter accessories like gloves, scarves, and hats can get lost among larger items. Store them separately in designated pouches or bins. This ensures they’re easy to locate and remain in good condition.
Protect Your Garments
For garments that are delicate or of sentimental value, consider wrapping them in acid-free tissue paper. This special paper prevents yellowing, fabric degradation, and can help in preserving the garment’s shape.
By placing a few silica gel packs in storage boxes or bins, you can ensure a dry environment for your clothes, preventing mould and mildew growth. Cedar balls or cedarwood blocks are natural moth repellents. Unlike mothballs, which contain chemicals and emit a strong odour, cedar provides a pleasant, natural scent and effectively keeps pests at bay, ensuring your clothes remain undamaged.
Place a few fabric softener sheets between your stored clothes. These sheets can help in maintaining a fresh scent throughout the storage period, ensuring your clothes smell as good as they look when you retrieve them.
Store Things Appropriately
Opt for cotton garment bags or canvas boxes. These materials allow your clothes to breathe, ensuring they’re not trapped with moisture. Breathable storage solutions also help in maintaining the fabric’s integrity. While plastic bins might seem convenient, they can trap moisture too, especially if not sealed correctly. If you must use plastic, ensure there are some air holes or periodically air out the contents.
Sunlight can fade and weaken fabrics over time. To preserve the colour and strength of your winter garments, choose a storage spot that’s cool, dark, and dry, like a closet or under-bed storage space.
Storing winter clothes requires a bit of effort, but with these tips, you can ensure your garments remain in pristine condition, ready to serve you in the subsequent cold seasons.
Image Credits: Arina Krasnikova