Clean, repair winter clothes before storage
The return of the warm weather can signal a return to that spring wardrobe — and the chance to stow away those heavy coats and woolly sweaters.
But putting away your winter wear should involve more than simply moving it from one closet to another, says Molly Maid franchisee Michelle Yonge. Before you begin, you need to ensure your items are clean and in good repair.
Inspect your winter wardrobe before you pack it up. If you’re unsure whether an item is clean, launder it anyway. When you next unpack your winter clothing, you don’t want to discover something that’s slightly dirty.
Then make any repairs that need to be done before putting them away, so they’re ready to go come next winter, Yonge says, such as hems needing stitching or buttons needing reattaching.
Moths love your body oil, so before you put them away, dry-clean all your woollen items.
Then fold your clothes neatly; separate woollen trousers with tissue paper so they won’t wrinkle.
Decide which of your children’s clothing items will be outgrown by next winter; some can be given to a consignment store or charity.
Or if you have younger siblings, keep the clothes for them, says Yonge. The best place to stow children’s clothing is at the top of their closet.
Remember to allow clothes to breathe; that helps prevent mould and mildew from forming. When storing items in a container, put the heavier items on the bottom and the lighter ones on top to promote air flow, Yonge says.
While some of your clothing needs to be hung up, the rest should be folded and placed in a drawer or box that has been lined with white, acid-free tissue paper. (If you don’t have spare drawers, a winter wardrobe can be stored in cardboard boxes.)
Never wrap your clothes in plastic, unless it’s a vacuum-sealed plastic or nylon container, Yonge notes.
Certain items, including knits, can be pulled out of shape if they’re hung up for a long period, so it’s better to store them in boxes. Items that are hung up should be sitting properly on hangers.
When it comes to winter sports gear — snowshoes, skis, hockey equipment, skates and snowboards — apply the same rules as you would for clothing: clean, repair and store.
Winter clothing, sports equipment and Christmas decorations should be placed in labelled boxes, containers or garment bags. Good storage places include the attic or basement, although items can also be stowed beneath a guest bed.
It’s a good idea to store them where it’s typically cooler and dark, which keeps clothing in good shape for next winter, Yonge says, adding that too much light can cause clothes and other fabrics to fade.
If you find you don’t have enough room in your home, consider renting a storage unit for part of the year. Storage-rental facilities have a wide range of sizes, from tiny closets to big garages. It’s an inexpensive option if you need a little more space.
With just a little attention to storage, you’re sure to have all your winter clothes and equipment ready to go next year.
— Canwest News Service
It’s a good idea to launder winter clothes before putting them away for winter.